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Winter Woes: How to Deal with Common Skin Problems during the Cold season

winter woes skin care

Winter weather can have a significant impact on human skin. The drop in humidity during colder months, combined with cold temperatures, can lead to dryness, flakiness, and irritation. Indoor heating further exacerbates the issue by reducing moisture in the air. 

These factors contribute to skin dehydration, itchiness, and conditions like eczema. Proper skincare, including moisturising and hydrating routines, becomes essential to counteract the adverse effects of winter.

What are the Common Winter Skin Problems?

Winter brings about several common skin problems due to the cold and dry conditions, such as:

  1. Dry Skin: Cold air and low humidity lead to dehydration. The skin becomes flaky and may crack.
  2. Chapped Lips: Delicate lip skin is prone to cracking in cold weather. Regular use of lip balm helps prevent and alleviate chapping.
  3. Eczema and Dermatitis: Inflammatory skin conditions may worsen due to dry winter air. Symptoms include redness, itching, and discomfort.
  4. Winter Itch: Dry and itchy skin is caused by low humidity and indoor heating. Regular moisturising and avoiding hot showers can alleviate winter itch.
  5. Psoriasis Flare-ups: Cold weather can trigger flare-ups in individuals with psoriasis. Adequate moisturization and medical management are essential.
  6. Cold Urticaria: Hives triggered by exposure to cold temperatures can cause itching, redness, and welts upon exposure to cold air.
  7. Frostbite: Exposure to freezing temperatures can damage skin and underlying tissues. Requires immediate medical attention in severe cases.
  8. Cracked Heels: Dry, cold air and inadequate foot care contribute to cracked heels. Regular moisturising and wearing warm, protective footwear can help.
  9. Rosacea: Cold weather may exacerbate symptoms of rosacea, causing redness and irritation. Gentle skincare and avoiding triggers are essential for management.
  10. Static Electricity: Low humidity in winter leads to static electricity, causing hair and skin issues. Using a humidifier and hydrating hair and skin can mitigate static-related problems.
  11. Allergic Reactions: Indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander may trigger skin allergies, so identifying and minimising exposure to allergens is crucial.
  12. Sunburn: Sun exposure in winter, especially in snowy areas, can cause sunburn. Applying sunscreen on exposed skin helps prevent sunburn.
  13. Worsening of Acne: Dry air can lead to increased oil production as the skin tries to compensate. Proper skincare and hydration are vital for acne-prone skin.
  14. Red Nose: Exposure to cold winds can cause a red, irritated nose. Keeping the face covered and using a moisturiser can prevent redness.
  15. Under-eye Dryness: Cold weather and indoor heating can contribute to dryness around the eyes. Using a hydrating eye cream helps combat under-eye dryness.

Winter skin problems can vary among individuals, and understanding these issues is crucial for effective skincare during the colder months. Seeking professional advice for persistent or severe skin problems is recommended.

You Can Also Read: Types of Skin Problems and Their Solutions

What are the Winter Skin Care Tips?

It’s not inevitable to have dry skin in the winter. It’s possible to maintain radiant, silky, and soft skin throughout the winter by utilising the appropriate products and modifying your skincare routine and behaviours. Some of these tips are:

  1. Hydration: Drink plenty of water to maintain skin hydration from within.
  2. Moisturise: Use a rich, hydrating moisturiser to combat dryness and flakiness.
  3. Lip Balm: Apply a nourishing lip balm regularly to prevent chapped lips.
  4. Humidifier: Use a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air, preventing dry skin.
  5. Lukewarm Baths: Avoid hot showers; opt for lukewarm baths to prevent skin dehydration.
  6. Gentle Cleansing: Use a mild, hydrating cleanser to avoid stripping natural oils.
  7. Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen on exposed skin, as UV rays can still cause damage in winter.
  8. Protective Clothing: Wear layers and use hats, scarves, and gloves to shield your skin from cold winds.
  9. Avoid Wet Gloves: Wet gloves can irritate the skin; keep hands dry in winter.
  10. Exfoliate: Gently exfoliate to remove dead skin cells, promoting better absorption of moisturisers.
  11. Ointments for Cracks: For cracked heels or hands, use healing ointments or balms.
  12. Stay Active: Regular exercise improves blood circulation, benefiting overall skin health.
  13. Limit Indoor Heating: Indoor heating can dry the air; limit its use and stay adequately moisturised.
  14. Warm Clothing: Dress in layers to stay warm and protect skin from harsh temperatures.
  15. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants for skin health.
  16. Overnight Moisture: Apply a thicker moisturiser overnight for intensive hydration.
  17. Pat Dry: Gently pat skin dry after washing instead of rubbing vigorously.
  18. Eye Care: Use an eye cream to combat dryness and prevent under-eye circles.
  19. Limit Exfoliation: Reduce the frequency of exfoliation in winter to prevent over-drying.
  20. Consult a Dermatologist: Seek professional advice for persistent skin issues or concerns.

These winter skincare tips help maintain skin health and prevent common issues associated with cold weather. Customise your skincare routine based on your skin type and individual needs.

What are Some Diy Remedies for Dry Skin?

From coconut oil to honey masks, pamper your skin naturally at home. Discover relief for dry skin with these DIY remedies:

  1. Coconut Oil: Apply virgin coconut oil for its natural moisturising properties.
  2. Honey Mask: Mix honey with yoghurt for a hydrating face mask.
  3. Oatmeal Bath: Add colloidal oatmeal to bathwater to soothe and moisturise skin.
  4. Avocado Mask: Mash avocado and apply as a nourishing face mask.
  5. Olive Oil Massage: Massage skin with olive oil for intense hydration.
  6. Aloe Vera Gel: Use fresh aloe vera gel to soothe and moisturise dry skin.
  7. DIY Sugar Scrub: Create a sugar scrub with olive oil for gentle exfoliation and hydration.
  8. Cucumber Slices: Place cucumber slices on dry areas for a cooling effect.

These natural remedies offer cost-effective solutions for dry skin, incorporating readily available ingredients with hydrating and soothing properties.

You Can Also Read: Know the common causes of Itchy Skin & its treatment

What are the Clothing Tips for Dry Skin?

To alleviate dry skin, consider your clothing choices. Opt for breathable fabrics such as cotton, as they allow proper air circulation, preventing irritation. Harsh materials like wool can exacerbate dryness, so choose softer alternatives. Embrace layering to regulate body temperature, ensuring comfort without compromising moisture. 

Additionally, prioritise loose-fitting garments to minimise friction and irritation on sensitive skin. These clothing tips complement a comprehensive approach to dry skin care, enhancing your comfort throughout the winter months.

Which Foods Contribute to Healthy Winter Skin?

Maintain healthy winter skin by incorporating these nourishing foods into your diet:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish and walnuts contribute to skin hydration. 
  • Vitamins C and E from citrus fruits, berries, and almonds offer antioxidant protection. 
  • Foods rich in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds and chickpeas, support collagen production. 
  • Ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D through sources like fortified dairy or supplements to promote skin health. 
  • Hydrating with water-rich fruits like watermelon also aids in combating winter dryness, fostering a radiant complexion from within.


In the winter, dry, flaky skin affects not just your face but also your hands, feet, and other exposed skin parts. If you discover that using at-home treatments isn’t helping your dry skin, then it is always advisable to seek medical help from an experienced dermatologist. Timely care and help can ensure an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of your condition. 

At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a dermatologist, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment at the CK Birla Hospital. 


How Can I Soothe Chapped Lips?

Soothe chapped lips by regularly applying a moisturising lip balm, staying hydrated, and avoiding licking your lips. Exfoliate gently with a soft toothbrush and protect lips from harsh weather.

Can Winter Weather Cause Acne Breakouts?

Yes, winter weather can contribute to acne breakouts due to factors like dry skin, increased use of heavy moisturisers, and indoor heating, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.

How Often Should I Moisturise in Winter?

In winter, moisturise at least twice daily, especially after bathing. Use a rich, hydrating moisturiser to combat dryness caused by cold weather and indoor heating.

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