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dry and burning face after being in cold weather
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dry and burning face after being in cold weather

Hello,

My face feels SO dry and it BURNS like I have a sunburn on my face.  My face is very tight and uncomfortable.  It feel as if it is on fire and is hot to the touch.  I was out in cold, windy weather earlier in the day and my face is still dry and burning.  My doctor thinks that it is dermatitis, but wouldn't my face look visibly dry?  Does dermatitis cause burning?  Wind and cold weather seems to trigger this.

Please help. I am hurting!
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681148_tn?1285160820
I'm not sure what you can put on the skin at the moment to soothe the skin other than cool wash cloths.  But, then again, that can even dry the skin worse if you're not very careful not to do that too much.  Did the dermatologist give you a prescription to use on your face?

After this, once the skin has healed, you'll need to try some preventative measures when you need to be out in the cold wind.  Besides obviously covering up your face as much as possible, you could try some hypoallergenic creams or oils meant for the face, even ones you might use at night.  I recently purchased argon oil for use at night.  It feels like something that should at least reduce the effects of windburn.  Jojoba oil comes to mind as another alternative.

Argon oil might even help the skin heal, and it's supposed to be hypoallergenic.  I found a bottle for around $10.00.  No, it's not cheap, but a little goes a long way.  

You need to patch test on skin that isn't affected by the wind burn to make sure you aren't going to have a reaction to it on top of the wind burn no matter what you decide to try.

What ever you do, don't use heavily fragranced items, even if the fragrances are natural herbs.  I made that mistake with a Jason brand face cream and it burned my face.  It was only red for a little while after I washed it off.  I ended up giving the rest of the jar to a friend who said she used the product regularly already.  I didn't realize I was that sensitive to natural as well as man made chemicals.  So, definitely don't use something like that, because my experience without wind burn tells me that you would definitely feel worse using a product like that.
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Hi Furballsmom,

Thanks fir your message, you offered me very helpful informatiion.  So this sounds like windburn to you?  It is so odd because I was only outside for an hour in the wind but my face burned all night.  Today it is not as bad but still feels a little burny and warm.  What's going on with my skin?  It's so sensitive but does not necessarily look bad really ar all, it just hurts.  Does this sound like dermatitis or just sensitive skin?  I'm so upset.  This is not the first time it jas happened.

Thanks again
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681148_tn?1285160820
It could be either one.  Dermatitis can sometimes be a form of eczema, so if you have ever been told that you have had eczema, then diet has to be considered.  It was the only way for me to stop having flare ups of the kind I was having.

On the other hand, I've had sensitive skin reactions on the face similar to what you're talking about from both wind burn and skin cosmetics.  And, yeah, it doesn't take that long in extreme weather of any kind for the skin to react if it's sensitive.  For me, I can get sun burn in a relatively short amount of time, so I pretty much have to be careful in all sorts of extreme weather.

In either case, being gentle to the skin and using appropriate skin care products is very important.  For you, I would recommend always carrying an extra long scarf in the winter, because the scarf is part of normal winter attire and you can use it to cover your face.  If you're in a part of the country where the winters are always rather brutal, I would definitely consider getting a ski mask and not worry about what other people think.    If you're outside because you have to work outside or something active like that, the ski mask would be more practical, of course.  I use a different kind of mask for a different purpose (And, no, it's not due to being a germaphobe because of cold and flu season.  I use it all year due to severe allergies.)  After a while, you develop a thick skin when it comes to what other people think, because the mask is so much better than suffering severe allergic reactions.)  But, definitely use a scarf over your face if getting a ski mask is out of the question.  

In either case, preventing the skin reaction in the first place is so much better than suffering the burned skin.  And, in either case, being extra gentle to the skin is extremely necessary.
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Avatar_n_tn
Furballsmom,

You are so helpful, thank you!  I wonder if it is my allergies causing all of this to happen?  It's a mystery.. I have always had sensitive skin and have gotten rashes, eczema, etc., but I've never been intolerant to the weather.  I think I will make a trip to see my dermatologist to see what he says.  

You mentioned that you were experiencing flare-ups and you changed your diet?  What don't you eat that helps you?  

I went walking this evening in 55 degree weather but wore a hood that covered most of my cheeks.  I seem to be OK now so that is good.  I hope that this all passes.  I am concerned about the winter weather so I will definitely be using scarves and maybe a ski mask if I am outside shoveling snow.  

Do you know what makes the skin react to cold temperatures?  What causes this burning/tightness?
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681148_tn?1285160820
I'm not entirely sure about the science behind the skin reacting to cold temperatures, but I suspect it has to be the same science behind your meat in the freezer getting freezer burned.  When meat is freezer burned it dries out.

For the eczema, the biggest dietary change that helps prevent those flare ups on my hands I was getting is avoiding gluten and dairy, especially gluten.  I'm not sure why conventional doctors are afraid to make this suggestion to patients with eczema or why they believe that fewer people have gluten and/or dairy sensitivities of some sort than they're willing to believe just because the blood test for Celiac/gluten intolerance comes back negative.  Why it's treated differently than any other allergy or sensitivity when those tests come back negative, I'll never understand.  My allergist believes that I have some sensitivities that just don't test positive, and so does the neurologist.  The neurologist believes it, because of something called Tyramine Intolerance that is often associated with migraines.

But, natural medicine does believe that things like elimination diets can figure out sensitivities that those fancy tests can't find.  Also, if you do a search for things like "eczema diet" "foods to avoid with eczema" or something of that nature, you will find that the general consensus is that many with eczema do better avoiding gluten and dairy in particular.

Of course, that's in addition to being very careful about what you put on your skin.  You may find that things with sulfites bother the skin, whether the sulfites are taken in by consuming food and drink or if the sulfites are in your personal care products or your laundry products.  If you can't find a laundry product for washing the clothes without sulfites, you can use just baking soda.  In high efficiency washers you can use considerably less of this baking soda than in standard machines.  No matter what you find to use, double rinse your clothes.  You will find that if you don't over dry the clothes you won't need a fabric softener, but if you do need a sulfite free way to soften clothes, just use half a cup of white vinegar placed in the fabric softener cup on those commercial machines or with the rinse cycle of the home manual machine that probably doesn't have this option.  You still need to rinse a second time.

There are many hair washes that don't have sulfites.  They don't lather as much without the sulfites, but they work well.  Without the sulfites to irritate the skin, they also don't dry out the skin and hair the way products with sulfites do.  If you live in a large metropolis area, you should have more options available for natural foods and natural personal care products than the rural communities have.  If not, you can always try to order some products online.  I found one recently that seems to work well called Alaffia, but I have tried some others.  John Masters, Collective Well Being, Aubrey Organics, Redken's Nature's Rescue and Organix are some brands you can look for that are sulfite free.

Sulfites are a known carcinogen, too, but that's not the primary reason for us wanting to avoid these things.  They irritate already delicate skin and cause an allergic response to our skin as well.  Sulfites are drying, too.

Closely related to the sulfites issue is a chemical called Triclosan, the ingredient that makes things antibacterial.  It's also another known carcinogen.  It's also worse for the environment than man made sulfites.  But, for us, the main reason is because of what it does to our sensitive skin.  That helps avoid conflict and controversy with people who don't believe this chemical is so bad due to it being a carcinogenic or for it being bad for the environment.  For us, that isn't the primary reason.  Besides, Triclosan is usually added to products that are too smelly for us.  Those fragrances are known irritants for eczema.  I have no doubt that the fragrances are used to cover up the smell from the Triclosan.

I don't use the hand sanitizers either.  They're not really necessary anyway.  Plain old soap and water will take care of the germs that everyone is so worried about.  Over drying the skin from that stuff actually makes the germ problem worse, because it breaks down the protective barrier the skin needs to keep the germs out.  I carry a bar of my own soap that I know doesn't bother my skin to use when I'm out and about.  This is all that is necessary.

For additional protection during cold and flu season, supplementing with enough vitamin D and magnesium, according to information from the Vitamin D Council (I recommend getting on their mailing list.) works better over all than those hand sanitizers do anyway.  It's the best boost to the immune system in addition to what we've been told about vitamin C our whole lives.  It's hard to overload on vitamin C, and there is nothing wrong with taking it, too.  It's still a good thing to do.  Besides, it's water soluble, so there is nothing to worry about.  But, most people are already deficient with vitamin D, and most people don't know they're deficient until they become severely deficient.  While there is danger in taking too much, the new recommendations from the FDA for the amount of vitamin D is still too low.  The Vitamin D Council has great information about the guidelines that will do you the most good.  This is so much better than irritating the skin more with those hand sanitizers, because it definitely does more over all good.  
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Hi.  Doctor said that I have "eczema skin" and that it is very sensitive.  He prescribed locoid cream which is a hydrocortisone and it has been helping.  Dont want to use the cream too lonng though because I do not want to worsen things

Honestly, I just want my liife back.  I am sick of worrying about whether or not I am going to experience a flare up.  Tonight I went out in 40 degree weather WITH my scarf and now my face feels tight, what gives?  

I hope that this passess.

Thanks for all of your recommendations and help!
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