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Wild March Weather Changes Could Be Affecting Your Health

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Have you noticed that the weather has been a lot like the Cyclone at Coney Island -- all ups and downs!

Aside from being disorienting, it might be affecting our health.

As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez explained, there are things you can do to keep the weather from making you miserable.

The ups and downs can wreak havoc on our skin, hair, and sinuses as our bodies try to figure out if it's spring yet or still winter.

Weird doesn't even begin to describe our weather lately. Last week it was 60 degrees and spring was in the air. Two days later we had a snow storm followed by frigid temperatures, and then a thaw over the last couple of days before turning frigid again.

So, what's a body to do?

"Outside you can feel cold wind, then heat inside, and when I wake up in the morning, my skin, my throat, eyes, everything is dry," Somi Basathia said.

Basathia -- like so many New Yorkers -- is trying to figure out how to dress and how to handle the wild weather swings.

"My skin is getting drier, scalp too," she said.

Dermatologist Dr. Bruce Katz has seen many patients coming in with similar complaints.

Even though there have been warm days, New York apartments often run their heat based on the calendar, not the thermometer -- which means dry indoor air that even some warm days can't overcome.

"Weather when cold, and warm, cold again, dries out mucosa and the low humidity also affects these areas so you wake up feeling dry and hoarse. Even nose bleeds," Dr. Katz said.

Your first line of defense is actually something you should be doing in all sorts of weather, cold and hot.

"It's really important to drink water, helps with skin, mucosa, and even hair," Dr. Katz said.

Another good way to get water into your system is with a humidifier. Run one at night in your bedroom. it moisturizes skin, keeps nose and throat moist which also helps prevent colds and nosebleeds.

Water can also be your enemy. Long hot showers strip protective oils off your skin, and washing your hair more than three times a week also dries off hair and scalp.

Finally, you can just be patient.

"Looking forward to warm weather no more heavy coats or boots," Basathia said.

Another tried and true method to combat dry skin is to moisturize early and often.

Find a moisturizer you like, it doesn't have to be expensive, drug store brands are just as good -- apply it all over right after you shower to lock in the moisture your skin just absorbed.


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