If you’ve ever noticed sunburn type skin irritation during cold, windy weather, you’ve likely experienced Wind Burn. In the winter, the freezing air and intense UV rays draw moisture from your skin, leaving you susceptible to Wind Burn.

Symptoms of Wind Burn

The following symptoms indicate Wind Burn. The burn would most certainly arise in a person’s skin that is subjected to harsh environmental elements and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Wind burns are commonly confused with sunburns during cold cloudy days but they are actually a mix of factors.

  • Sunburn
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity 
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Blister 

Causes of Wind Burn

When the skin loses its natural oils and its defensive outer skin layer is weakened, it releases moisture and protective natural oils. This causes the skin to be subjected to dangerous exposure such as the sun’s UV rays, which renders you vulnerable to more wind burn.

People in cooler climates need to be much more cautious when exposed to snow, which reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, raising the possibility of sunburn. Wind burns are a combination of sunburns and dry weather which can weaken the skin’s moisture.

How to Prevent Wind Burn

Use these prevention tips below to help protect yourself against and wind burn.

Using the proper skin care to protect yourself from the sun’s rays is also vital. Try these prevention tips below:

  • Avoid extended exposure to cold, dry air environments
  • Use humidifiers indoors when you can to help keep the humidity just right for your skin.
  • Shower/bathe/wash hands with cooler water. Staying in contact with hot water for long periods of time can further dry out your skin.
  • Avoid any chemicals in cleaning/deodorizing that can irritate or dry out your skin. Try sticking to only all-natural products.
  • Cover your face/neck/ as much as possible with a neck gaiter style covering.
  • You should wear gloves in cold climates and when in long periods of time in water to reduce abrasion to the hands.
  • Use a Body Glide Balm on any exposed skin. We recommend Body Glide® Sun Balms because it not only protects  your skin from harmful UV rays but it also provides a protective barrier from wind burn.

Treating a Wind Burn

Luckily, wind burn is easier to treat than most rashes or burns.


  • Use 30 SPF sunscreen to protect yourself from damaging UV light. It is also recommended to stay out of direct sunlight as this can worsen the burn.
  • Drink plenty of water to help keep you and your skin hydrated.
  • Use moisturizer consistently throughout the day, especially if it may have been washed off after washing hands or cleaning.
  • Use natural irritation relief ointments and creams. This will help make sure no harsh chemicals can make the burn worse.
  • Use a humidifier to help keep your skin moisturized.

Wind burns can get better after administering these treatments. It is recommended that you don’t rub the burns as this can just exacerbate them and may start an infection. If the situation does not change, please seek medical treatment.

Final Thoughts.


Taking preventive steps is the best way to combat winter burn. Being prepared is vital because once the burns form it may take a little while for them to fully heal and stop irritating your skin.

Most burns are only mild. There are other rashes that are more extreme that need medical attention. If your rash or burn is not healing after the home care, please contact your doctor.


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