Dr. Simantini R. Sakhardande

Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist

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Dr. Simantini R. Sakhardande

Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist

Manipal Hospitals, Goa

How to Get Rid of a Winter Rash: Your Guide to Healthy Skin in Winter

Posted On: Jun 12, 2024

blogs read 4 Min Read

Winter rash: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Winter is a time of joy, festivity and celebration for people around the world. It’s a season filled with holidays, picnics and social outings that bring people together. However, amidst the winter wonderland, for some people, it also brings few unwelcome guests, the winter rashes. These skin conditions can put a pause on the winter holiday spirit and damper the festivities. Let’s explore its causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatments to ensure a rash-free winter.


Why Do We Have Winter Rashes?

Skin rashes in the winter are a common occurrence, several causes are there that make the skin itchy and develop these irritating rashes:

  • Dry Air: Winter air is often dry. Low humidity levels can strip the skin of its natural moisture, leading to dryness and itching.

  • Hot Showers: When it's cold outside, a hot shower can be incredibly tempting. However, hot water can exacerbate dry skin, leading to irritation and rashes.

  • Heavy Clothing: Bundling up in layers of heavy clothing can create a warm and moist environment under your garments. This can lead to friction and trapping of sweat, which can irritate the skin.

  • Reduced Sun Exposure: During winter, people tend to spend less time outdoors, leading to reduced exposure to natural sunlight. Sunlight is essential for the skin's production of vitamin D, which plays a role in skin health.

  • Harsh Winds: Cold, brisk winds can strip the skin's protective oils, leaving it vulnerable to dryness and irritation.

Symptoms of a Winter Rash

Rashes can manifest in various ways, but some common winter rash symptoms to look out for include:

  • Dryness

  • Persistent itching

  • Redness over the skin

  • Bumps or Hives on the skin

  • Cracks and Peeling Skin

  • Burning Sensation on the skin

Who Are at a Higher Risk of a Winter Rash?

Anyone can experience a winter rash, but some individuals are more susceptible due to various factors. Those at a higher risk include:

  • People with Sensitive Skin

  • Elderly Individuals

  • People with Certain Medical Conditions

  • Frequent Swimmers

  • Individuals in Extremely Cold Climates

Tips to Prevent a Winter Rash

Preventing a winter rash is all about maintaining your skin's moisture and protecting it from the harsh winter elements. Here are some tips to help you keep your skin healthy and rash-free:

  • Moisturize Regularly: Apply a rich, emollient moisturizer immediately after bathing to lock in moisture. Shea butter, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid are all great ingredients for skin care.

  • Shorter, Lukewarm Showers: Avoid long, hot showers, which can strip your skin of its natural oils. Opt for shorter, lukewarm showers instead.

  • Choose Gentle Cleansers: Use mild, fragrance-free cleansers to avoid further irritation.

  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: Layer up with breathable fabrics like cotton to reduce friction and allow your skin to breathe.

  • Use Humidifiers: Invest in a humidifier to add moisture to the indoor air, which can help combat dryness.

  • Sunscreen: Don't forget sunscreen, even in the winter, especially if you're spending time outdoors. 

  • Avoid Overheating: Keep indoor temperatures moderate to prevent excessive drying of the skin.

How to Treat a Winter Rash?

If, despite your best efforts, you still develop a winter rash, there are ways you can take to alleviate the discomfort and promote healing. Here are some winter rash treatments steps:

  • Moisturize: Apply a thick, hypoallergenic moisturizer several times a day as a part of your winter skin care routine to keep the affected area hydrated.

  • Topical Steroids: In some cases, over-the-counter or prescription topical steroids may be necessary to reduce inflammation and itching.

  • Antihistamines: Over-the-counter antihistamines can help relieve itching and discomfort.

  • Avoid Irritants: Steer clear of harsh soaps, fragrances, and other potential irritants that can worsen the rash.

  • Consult a Dermatologist: If your rash persists or worsens, consult our dermatologist in Goa for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


Winter rashes are a very common yet irritating skin condition that not only affects our skin health but also can turn any good occasion into a worrisome time. However, we can avoid such tough times by keeping our skin hydrated, protecting it from the harsh weather and seeking medical advice when required. One could easily have a rash-free winter by following simple skin routines during the cold months. So, withstand the winter challenge to embrace the festive spirit and magical time of the year. You can also consult the top dermatologists in Manipal Hospitals, Goa, if you want professional assistance.


Winter rash is primarily caused by the dry, cold air that strips the skin of its natural moisture. Other contributing factors include indoor heating, hot showers, and wearing rough fabrics that irritate the skin.

Common symptoms of winter rash include dry, itchy, and red patches on the skin. In some cases, the skin may also crack, peel, or develop small bumps.

Treat a winter rash by moisturizing regularly with a thick, fragrance-free cream, using gentle, unscented soaps, and taking lukewarm showers instead of hot ones. Applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help reduce inflammation and itching.

Yes, several home remedies can alleviate winter rash symptoms. These include applying aloe vera gel, coconut oil, or oatmeal baths to soothe and moisturize the skin. Avoiding harsh soaps and detergents can also help.

Yes, children and babies can develop winter rash due to their sensitive skin. It is essential to keep their skin moisturized, dress them in soft fabrics, and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures.

Yes, diet can impact skin health. Eating a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, and staying hydrated can help maintain healthy skin and potentially reduce the severity of winter rash.

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