What to Do if You Get a Winter Rash

Woman applying treatment to a rash What to Do if You Get a Winter Rash

Whether you’re switching on the indoor heat or braving the cold outdoors, winter can be harsh on your skin. Many people will develop skin rashes this time of year, and these rashes can be dry and itchy. Fortunately, you can keep these rashes in check with some basic skin care tips.

What to Know About Treating Rashes

What Causes Rashes in the Winter?

Dry skin rashes can appear on the face and body for several reasons. Some of the most common causes of winter rashes include:

  • Dry Skin: Cold and dry air, along with cold winter wind, can remove the natural oils from your skin. This can cause your skin to lose moisture and dry out, leading to a rash. These rashes can be especially dry on areas that are often exposed to the cold, such as your face and hands.
  • Skin Conditions: If you have a skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, cold winter air can make it worse. Be sure to talk to your dermatologist about adjusting your treatment if cold air triggers your rashes.
  • Sunburn: The sun’s UV rays can still damage your skin in the winter leading to red rashes on exposed areas. This is especially true if you have fair skin.
  • Sensitivities: Sensitivities to soaps, lotions, and detergents can cause rashes on your skin in any weather, but the cold winter air can make this irritation worse. A dermatologist can help you pinpoint which products might be causing problems.
  • Infections: A bacterial or viral infection can cause a rash on the skin. Look for other symptoms like sores, pus, worsening pain, and a fever.
  • Stress: Stress and fatigue can be triggers for winter rashes, especially if you have a skin condition like eczema and psoriasis.

Keep in mind that there are many types of rashes, and winter rashes may not always have a clear cause. It’s important to see a dermatologist to discuss your symptoms and receive an accurate diagnosis.

What Treatments Can Help?

Once your dermatologist confirms your diagnosis, they will recommend several treatments to soothe your skin. These will likely include using a rich moisturizer and gentle skin care products. Turning the temperature down in the shower and moisturizing soon after can also help soothe dryness. Bundling up when you spend time outdoors, applying sunscreen, and wearing breathable fabrics can shield your skin from irritation.

If you have a condition like eczema or psoriasis, it’s important to follow your dermatologist’s treatment plan. Apply topical medications as directed to prevent discomfort. Professional treatments like laser therapy can be effective at controlling these rashes, so talk to your dermatologist about scheduling these services.


If you’re prone to itchy rashes in the winter, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists can help you prioritize your skin health. With locations in Seal Beach, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles area, we offer cosmetic, medical, and surgical services to address a range of skin concerns. Whether you’re interested in dermal fillers or a skin cancer screening, our experts are available to discuss your options. Contact us today to get started.

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