Monday, January 5, 2015

How to deal with Winter Rashes

While I enjoy cold weather and delight in the sight of snow, I am not too happy about dealing with the aftermath of exposure to the harsh winter air. On our 3rd day in Seoul, we started getting these small bumps on our legs and arms, though my sister got the worst bit as it developed faster on her. By the 4th day she had these red bumps on her legs already.

I was spared from these rashes but my lips, cuticles, and nail beds suffered. My hands were super dry and my nails were splitting even though I heavily moisturized every single time. I decided not to take a photo but my nails were their worst and I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life!

Winter Rashes 101

The dry, bitter cold partnered with warm (or hot) showers contribute to dry skin which in effect, give us those dreaded winter rashes. They can be pinkish, and/or scaly, and are terribly itchy. It's recommended to use only gentle soaps and also refrain from bathing too often or using warm water during winter, but really in 0-degree weather it would be terribly difficult to do so.

What to do

If you check online, several factors may contribute to rashes including allergic reactions to latex, rubber, or certain product ingredients. Once you've ruled out the cause, then it would be easier to treat. In our case, it was really the dry winter air that caused the itch. My sister asked for my help and I checked my stash of skin care products and recommended these two non-steroidal solutions:

I've been using the VMV Red Better Flare-Up Balm since 2013 when I experienced chaffing, and it's been my go-to treatment for dermatitis, rashes, and other skin conditions. It's best applied to the affected area twice a day.

Another product that's easier to tote around is the VMV Boo Boo Balm which has effectively healed my windburn lips. It's made of petroleum jelly infused with monolaurin, an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral ingredient, and can be used a number of ways from healing cuts and nicks, moisturizing lips, and of course, healing rashes.

Remember, never scratch them no matter how tempting it may seem! If you're caught unprepared like we were, make sure to moisturize the area well to prevent further stressing of the skin. In our case since our regular lotion wasn't enough, we applied argan oil (which I brought along for hair use) to alleviate the itchiness.

Now if you find that these are not enough or if you have a more serious condition, then you may want to take some antihistamine as well or have yourself checked out by your doctor. In our case, application of these products plus our Philippine weather normalized our skin and the rashes are on their way out.

How do you deal with winter rashes?
Share your experiences with me in the comments :)


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