Winter brings the cold and sucks the moisture out of your skin, making it dry, itchy, and irritated. If you’re having a chronic skin condition, winter weather can make your symptoms worse and trigger new flare-ups. Here are seven common skin conditions you can get in winter and how you can treat them.

7 Common Winter Skin Problems

1. Dry skin

Dry skin is one of the most common skin problems in winter. It is caused by low humidity levels outside. In fact, dry, cold air in winter makes your skin evaporate more quickly. This causes your skin to become dry and tight. Dry skin can lead to itching, cracking and thickening of your skin. To fix the problem, you can:

Use skin moisturizers.

Limit soap and hot water use.

2. Oily skin

There are many things that can cause your oily skin. For example: diet, genetics, hormonal changes and environmental changes. In the winter, cold weather strips your skin of its natural oils, making it dry. When natural oil or sebum has been cleansed away, your glands will become overactive and produce more oil. To handle your oily skin in winter, you can:

Use a gentle skin cleanser.

Consider a light moisturizing lotion.  

Oily skin in winter

3. Winter itch

Winter itch can cause itching in any area of your body. It’s also known as atopic dermatitis, or eczema. In winter, the cold air can cause your skin to lose moisture, leading to dryness and irritation. Winter itch related to eczema commonly goes with the following symptoms:

  • Tightness
  • Dryness
  • Itchy, flaky skin
  • Scaling skin

To help stop the itch, you can:

Apply moisturizing cream.

Avoid hot showers.

Drink plenty of water.

winter itch

Read more: The Connection between Stress and Eczema

4. Sunburn

Besides the summer, you can still get sunburn in the winter. In fact, UV rays in sunlight can reflect off the snow, hitting your skin. Overexposure can cause sunburn. To avoid getting sunburn in winter, you can:

Use sunscreen when going outside.

Wear sunglasses and a hat.

Use a lip balm with UV protection.  

5. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is also a common skin condition you can get this summer. It is caused by overproduction of cells on your skin. Symptoms include red, irritated patches of skin, dry skin, itching, burning and soreness. In winter, cold weather combined with decreased sunlight exposure can make those symptoms worse. Stress and drinking alcohol in winter holidays can also cause a flare of psoriasis. To soothe symptoms and avoid flare ups, you can:

Use medication (topical corticosteroids)

Try light therapy.

Reduce stress.

Drink water.

Avoid long, hot showers.

Use moisturizers.

Psoriasis in winter

6. Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes a flushed red rash on your nose, cheeks and forehead. It often comes with other symptoms like redness, dryness, itchiness and pimples. Winter weather can trigger rosacea flare-ups by some ways. For example, cold winds make symptoms worse. Also, strong heat at home can cause dry skin and aggravate rosacea.

To treat and prevent rosacea this winter, you can:   

Use topical treatments like antibiotics.

Avoid heat sources.

Consider a cool mist humidifier.

Cover-up your face when being outside.

Moisturize your skin.

Wear layers.

Use a sunscreen.

Cool off hot drinks.

Rosacea in winter

7. Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is an infection of the feet caused by a fungus. Anyone can catch this fungus in moist, warm areas, such as public showers. People who have sweaty feet or wear damp, moist socks for long periods of time can also be at risk. Athlete’s foot is most common in the summer. But you can get this condition in the winter, too. In fact, in the winter, people tend to wear heavy, enclosed boots and thick, warm socks. This does not allow moisture to wick away and can create a perfect environment for fungus to grow.

Athlete’s foot causes itching and burning sensation between the toes. It usually goes along with other symptoms like:

  • Rash
  • Feet peeling, cracked skin
  • Dry skin on the sole of the foot
  • Thick, discolored and crumbly toenails
  • Sores or blisters

To treat and prevent athlete’s foot, you can:

Use antifungal medication (Fugacil cream).

Keep your feet dry and clean.

Avoid walking barefoot in public places and showers.

Do not share socks or shoes with others.

Change your socks regularly.

Choose the right shoes for your feet.

Athlete's foot in winter

Read more: 10 Things to Do When You Suspect You Have Athlete’s Foot

Tips for Healthy Skin in Winter

Limit shower time and use lukewarm, not hot, water.

Opt for a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel.

Gently pat yourself dry after your shower or bath.

Use skin moisturizer frequently.  

Always use sunscreen when going outside.

Choose soft, breathable fabrics to avoid skin irritation.

Eat healthy and stay hydrated.

Relieve stress.

Read more: 25 Best Foods to Eat for Your Skin