Winter Skin Diseases: Prevention and Treatment

As the weather begins to cool down, your skin can react negatively to the seasonal change and you might develop one of the following common winter skin diseases:


  • Winter Rash is a general diagnosis of skin when it becomes irritated, red, scaly, or itchy in the winter due to the dry and cold air.
    • Symptoms include a red rash, itching, dry/cracked/scaly skin, bumps, blisters, or burning and skin tenderness.
    • Treatments include topical moisturizers or topical cortisone creams that help to reduce redness, itching, and inflammation.
  • Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and small red bumps on the face. Signs and symptoms can come and go for months at a time and can be confused with acne and other dermatology skin conditions.
    • Key symptoms include Facial flushing, blushing, skin redness, skin burning, red bumps and pustules, small cysts, thickening of the facial tissue around the nose.
    • Rosacea treatment includes antibiotics that are proven to control rosacea (erythromycin, metronidazole, tetracycline, and minocycline). Treatment can also be in the form of topical creams, lotions, ointments, gels, and foams. Ingredients in these products can vary, common products contain azelaic acid, brimonidine, clindamycin, erythromycin, ivermectin, metronidazole, oxymetazoline, sodium sulfacetamide, and sulfur.
  • Cold Urticaria is an allergic reaction to the cold.
    • Symptoms include temporary hives on the exposed area, swelling of hands when touching cold objects, and swelling of lips when consuming cold foods/drinks.
    • Treatment includes antihistamines that are non-drowsy (Claritin, Zyrtec, Clarinex). Omalizumab, which is typically used to treat asthma, has also been proven to be effective in treating cold urticaria if other medications do not work.
  • Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.
    • Symptoms include red skin patches, scaly patches, cracked skin, skin burning/tenderness, swollen/stiff joints.
    • Psoriasis treatment is typically in the form of topical products. The most prescribed are corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, salicylic acid, coal tar, Goeckerman therapy, and anthralin.
  • Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder that results in red, dry itchy skin. Eczema can be exacerbated in the winter due to the dry/cold air.
    • Symptoms include dry skin, itchy skin, red/brown patches on the skin, small, raised bumps, thick/scaly skin, or sensitive skin.
    • Eczema treatments include topical over-the-counter products that are moisturizing, anti-rash, anti-itch, and gentle skin cleansing products to prevent infection. For more severe eczema flare-ups, prescription products can be used including corticosteroids, PDE4 inhibits, skin barrier creams, or topical calcineurin inhibitors.
  • Raynaud’s Disease causes numbness in the fingers and toes in response to cold temperatures. It occurs from the narrowing of arteries that limits blood flow to the affected areas.
    • Symptoms include cold fingers/toes, color changes in fingers/toes, numbness, or stinging pain when fingers/toes begin to warm up after being exposed to the cold.
    • Treatment includes wearing gloves and socks to prevent exposure to the cold, and in more severe cases medication can be prescribed to expand arteries and increase blood flow.


The changes in weather can cause your skin to act out in any of the previously mentioned conditions. If you are noticing symptoms of these conditions and are struggling to find dry skin solutions, contact your dermatologist or dermatology pharmacy. Here at Apotheco Pharmacy we are well versed in treating all winter skin conditions and will work to provide you with the best treatment at the best cost!


This blog is based on research and/or other scientific articles and is written by our experienced Chief Strategy Officer and Pharmacist, Ronak Desai. This blog is fact checked by our educated Pharmacist in Charge, Darshan Patel, who additionally runs our Apotheco Manhattan location.

Here at Apotheco Pharmacy Group, our goal is to provide the most up to date and accurate information on health and dermatology related topics. We do this to ensure our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All blogs undergo an extensive review process before posted.

This blog contains trusted sources. All sources are listed at the bottom of this article with hyperlinks that take you directly to the source.

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