Winter is tough on your skin. Cold, dry air outside and hot, dry air inside whisk away moisture. Your skin becomes dehydrated and cells die off faster than usual. The skin becomes flaky, causing irritation and inflammation in lower layers, opening paths to infection.
Winter Skin Problems
5. Winter Rash
Exposed skin becomes inflamed and reddened. Red bumps and blisters appear. The skin is itchy and sore with rough patches and flakiness.
Using moisturizers and keeping yourself well hydrated helps. Vaseline at night also helps healing.
Reddened skin is tender with a burning sensation, swollen bumps, some with pus. Spider veins appear. The eyes are often involved with dryness and irritation. Causation is unknown but thought to be auto-immune, worsened by the cold.
Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotics, especially doxycycline, and skin creams, such as azelaic acid, metronidazole, and ivermectin.
Eczema is a genetic abnormality that prevents the skin from retaining moisture. Symptoms are dry, extremely itchy skin with small red bumps and multiple brownish patches. It is often associated with asthma and hay fever.
Treatment is keeping the skin moist and using steroid creams and creams that affect the immune system. You may also need Prednisone.
This immune system disorder produces thick, reddish brown plaques with silvery scales especially on the elbows and knees. It can be painful and itchy and may be extensive, sometimes associated with nail disorders and arthritis.
The condition is treated with steroids, UV light, and a wide variety of medications.
7. Cold Urticaria
This allergic reaction is brought on by cold temperatures, producing hives. Contact of the lips or hands with cold objects can cause swelling. The reaction can be severe.
Preventive measures include taking antihistamines and avoiding exposure.
6. Raynaud’s Disease
Raynaud’s is probably a connective tissue disorder. There are secondary causes, conditions that reduce circulation to the extremities. The major symptoms are color changes in skin exposed to cold. The skin turns white as the blood vessels shut down, then blue. When warmed, the area turns red and can be painful.
Therapy includes avoidance of cold, calcium channel blockers that relax blood vessels, and vasodilators.
Caused by exposure to cold winds, as in skiers and skaters, the facial skin gets red, irritated, and painful. Prevention includes protective clothing and moisturizers.
8. Chapped Lips
Chapped lips are painful and may crack and bleed. Besides cold, dry air, licking the lips is a cause. The moisture is not retained but rather dries the lips more.
Lip balm, used frequently, is the treatment.
If you have an acute medical problem, remember the website Housecalldoctor.com.au in the Brisbane area. We are here to meet your needs after hours. When your GP’s office is closed, and you have a problem, call us. If you don’t want to spend hours in the Emergency Department, call us. If it’s not a life threatening condition, we will come to your home and treat you there. Call us at 13 55 66.
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