Winter rash

Fact Checked

A winter rash occurs once the moisture content in the skin drops due to the cold weather. The individual develops an area of irritated skin and typically triggered by dry skin.

Even those who have skin in good shape can develop the rash throughout the cold season. It is a relatively common condition and frequently reappears every year. Those who reside in areas with cold temperatures have suffered from the rash at some point.

If treatment was not started and there are no lifestyle changes made, the rash can last throughout winter.

What are the signs?

A winter rash might include any of these symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Flaking
    The rash might affect one area of the body, usually on the arms, legs or hands.
  • Itchiness
  • Bumps or lumps
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Blisters

The rash might affect one area of the body, usually on the arms, legs or hands. In some cases, it can spread throughout the body.

What are the possible causes?

The outer skin layer includes natural oils and dead skin cells that retain water within the skin. This helps keep the skin moisturized, soft and smooth.

The cold temperature can disrupt the overall condition of the skin. Low humidity, cold air and strong winds when spending time outdoors can strip the skin of moisture. On the other hand, increasing the heat and hot showers indoors can cause the same effect. These severe circumstances can lead to the loss of natural oils from the skin. This enables the moisture to escape, resulting to dry skin and eventually a winter rash.

Management of winter rash

Some of the commonly used treatment options for a winter rash include:

  • Moisturizers are utilized as the initial line of protection against a rash since they work by locking moisture in the skin. It should be applied several times throughout the day, especially after a bath and hand washing.
  • Natural oils such as coconut and olive can soothe the irritated skin and restore moisture.
  • Petroleum jelly works as a barrier to seal in the moisture into the skin.
  • An oatmeal soap and baths can help soothe the irritated skin due to a winter rash. You can purchase a soap made of oatmeal or add oats that are finely grounded to a warm bath.
  • Cortisone creams applied topically available over-the-counter or with prescription can lessen the itchiness, redness and inflammation.

Most cases of winter rashes settle with home remedies, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments. Remember to avoid scratching since it can cause the skin to crack and bleed.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.