By Victoria Moorhouse
Updated: Sep 27, 2018 @ 3:22 pm
ROSDIANA CIARAVOLO/Getty Images

It’s officially fall, which means your Instagram feed is filled with pics of sweaters, boots, and a maybe even a decorative gourd or two. But for so many of us, the new season also brings along some really annoying skin issues — think dry patches, redness, and zits galore.

But why does our skin change so drastically come fall?

You can blame planet Earth for the hiccup in your skin's behavior, according to board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Melanie Palm. Turns out, environmental changes can have a direct impact on your status of your skin's health and appearance. 

"The skin is a responsive organ," Dr. Palm explains. "It filters, protects, and responds to stimuli in the environment.  Temperature, humidity, and even allergen profiles associated with seasonal climate changes can cause a variety of skin conditions depending on the season."

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In colder months, dryness is always an issue. "Skin becomes drier, as it was producing less oil during warmer humid summer months." That dryness also contributes to worsening cases of eczema and other skin irritations can become more likely, she explains. The change of climate can also have an impact on how oil glands behave, so acne can either improve or worsen, depending on the person, with fall temps. 

While staying inside on the couch until summer comes around again sounds downright lovely, it's not exactly the most realistic fix. To start, Dr. Palm recommends giving your skin a few weeks to adjust and honing in on the specific issues. 

If dryness is a concern, your routine might be to become a little more high-maintenance. "Increase the frequency of moisturizing, invest in a humidifier if skin is dry, and make sure to sleep 7.5 to 8 hours a night," dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler suggests. In addition, she says investing in a hydrating serum might help clear up dry patches, too. 

And if zits are causing you agony? Approach the situation very thoughtfully. "Use gentle anti-acne medications that are not overly drying such as glycolic acid, azelaic acid, or salicylic acid," Dr. Palm suggests. "Retinoids are great for acne, but should not be introduced when skin is already dry." She also notes that products that contain benzoyl peroxide may also be difficult to tolerate if your skin is already compromised by the weather. 

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Once all those probs are under control, you'll probably come to appreciate the pumpkin epidemic around you. 

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