How Winter Weather Affects Your Skin

The cold, dry winter months affect all skin types, but what if you are already suffering from a condition? It is important to be proactive to understand how winter weather affects your skin condition. Here are some common skin conditions, how the weather affects these conditions, and how to better manage the symptoms.


Rosacea is a chronic condition that causes the face to become inflamed and remain red for an extended period of time. This can be a frustrating condition; however, it causes no internal health issues. In the winter months, your skin can be especially delicate as it fights against the harsh temperatures and conditions. Try to keep your skin covered from the elements. Wearing a scarf is a great idea, as you can pull it up to cover your nose and cheeks as you trek to your destination. It’s important to stick to your treatment plan. However, if you are experiencing more intense flushing, start applying a heavy moisturizer and talk to your dermatologist about adding something seasonal to your treatment regimen.


Phototherapy and spending time in the sunlight are common psoriasis treatments. The condition causes a buildup of skin cells that leave scaly, raised patches. In addition to the patches, psoriasis can also cause small, red bumps that cover different areas of the body. Decreased exposure to sunlight can play a huge role in the increased intensity of the condition during the winter months. Try talking to your doctor about phototherapy, a new psoriasis treatment, to supplement for the time lost in the natural sunlight. Another reason for the condition worsening is the dry weather. A lack of humidity in the air can cause dry skin. A way to add moisture back into the air is to use a humidifier in your home, allowing your skin to drink in a bit more hydration.


The skin condition, eczema is commonly seen as red, irritated, and bumpy skin. It is often itchy and uncomfortable. Although it is not treatable, eczema is easily managed. However, in the winter, flare-ups occur more often causing heightened symptoms due to rapid temperature changes, especially when coming indoors from a cold day. To help avoid a reaction that may cause your skin to inflame, it is important to regulate your temperature as best as possible. Try keeping your heater at a low setting. While it may seem nice to walk into an incredibly warm house after being in the cold, keeping your heater at a lower setting helps your skin acclimate to the temperature more easily.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Similar to dandruff, but with more serious implications, seborrheic dermatitis causes a red, burning scalp with flakes. However, unlike dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis can appear on your body anywhere hair is present. The dryness of the winter can cause your condition to worsen, but be sure to still follow your treatment plan. Don’t use hot water when showering, but instead use lukewarm water so your scalp does not become inflamed. Try adding a humidifier in your home so your scalp stays moisturized without adding extra products to your hair or increasing oil production.

You can’t change the weather, but you can change up your daily routine by adding some simple items to your home treatment regimen. If your skin condition is beginning to worsen, it may be caused by the weather. Talk to your dermatologist about changes in your condition and ask about different treatment options. 

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