What is windburn ?

Windburn, as its name suggests, is caused by extreme exposure to frequent cold winds within an extended amount of time. Wind causes the removal of oils from skin layers, creating chapped and dry skin that appear swollen, inflamed or red. Most people confuse sunburns to windburns, especially if the weather is cloudy, since both conditions have the characteristics of skin burning and many assume that they cannot get sunburnt without sun. Contrary to popular belief, overcast days cause more severe sunburns, especially people who went to high locations like mountains.

Compared to sunburns, windburn causes less long-term damages to the skin. However, windburn is a preventable condition. Wearing sunscreen can easily avoid harmful wind, but make sure to cover exposed parts of the face. However, ski masks, gloves and sunglasses or goggles with UVB and UVA protection could protect the eyes, face and hands from irritation.

If you still develop windburn, make sure to put moisture back to the irritated skin. Avoid heat, such as hot showers, fires and other sources of extreme warmth to promote faster healing. Use a mild lotion when treating windburn. If the skin peels out and causes discomfort, use small amounts of aloe vera, noni or chamomile to alleviate the hot sensations. However, if the symptoms of windburn continue after several days, this may be associated to other conditions like rosacea. When this happens, check with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

Severe cases of windburn may require mild pain reliever prescribed by a doctor. Although the normal duration of windburn takes up to a week, pain relievers help alleviate discomfort.

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