Winter can bring about a plethora of skin issues including heat rashes, eczema etc. Yes, heat rashes are not restricted to summers alone as layering with warm winter wear can cause sweating and subsequent blocking of the skin’s sweat glands. This leads to miliaria or prickly heat rash in winters. Winters can also give rise dry, itchy winter rash. Many people use excess hot water and bathe twice, even thrice a day in winters. This strips the skin’s natural oil barriers causing red, blotchy skin. Today we will study some ways to banish this cold weather rash.
What causes winter rash on face and body?
Hot air indoors
In winters, we use indoor heating that dries up the air inside our homes and offices. Similarly, most of us use very hot water to bathe. Many people do not drink adequate fluids in winters. Since the surrounding air is very dry, the water from our bodies evaporates rapidly. This makes us feel even colder as a result of which we crank up the heat even more. The result: even more dehydration. This leads to a host of skin issues such as dry blotchy, red rashes on face, arms and legs.
Frequent baths and harsh soaps
When we bathe, many of us tend to use harsh deodorant soaps that dry off the skin further by depleting its natural protective barriers. Dry skin becomes very sensitive and is highly prone to itchiness. Scratching the skin leads to red rashes.
Excess use of softeners
When we use detergents and fabric softeners to clean our winter clothes, the chemicals in these products also interact with the skin leading to rashes. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners might make our pillowcases smell fantastic but they remain in the microscopic fibers and can irritate facial skin. In winters, the effect is multifold as it aggravates the rash and can give rise to rashes.
Dry skin tends to open out and develop cuts and gaping wounds. These make the skin extremely susceptible to ringworm or tinea infections as well as scabies and impetigo. The microbes can easily invade the skin to enter the body and cause rashes.
Warm winter wear
Tight sweaters and woolen fabrics can irritate the dry skin and lead to rashes. Excess sweat also remains trapped under these layers lead to prickly heat like rashes. Scratching the rash aggravates the condition causing bacterial infections that may need steroids or antibiotics to heal.
What to do to prevent cold rash on legs, face and arms?
The best thing to do in order to prevent cold rash on face and legs is to bathe less frequently. Always use warm, not hot water to do so. Try and reduce the duration of your showers. Avoid harsh antibacterial or deodorant soaps. Instead, use gentle or mild cleansers containing oatmeal. You can also use homemade/natural soaps with olive oil and other soothing ingredients.
As soon as you step out of the shower, pat your skin dry and then apply a thick layer of moisturizer. Avoid alcohol based moisturizers which can dry out the skin more.
- Avoid wearing tight sweaters or abrasive woolen garments. Instead, dress up in layers so you can shed them off when you feel hot.
- Run a humidifier at night. This will prevent excess dryness and keep your skin and nasal airways moist.
- Reapply moisturizers as needed through the day.
- Do not overheat your environment.
- Drink plenty of water or hot beverages like herbal teas, soups and broths. These will replenish the lost moisture.
- When stepping outdoors in the day, apply a sunscreen and protect yourself with a hat/cap or scarf.
- If the rash starts oozing or worsens in the next few days, see a dermatologist/doctor immediately.
Try these tips to say goodbye to winter rashes on face and legs.