ZocdocAnswersCan winter weather cause red bumps to form on arms?

Question

Can winter weather cause red bumps to form on arms?

Can the dry, cold weather of winter cause your arms to break out in red bumps? I've seen this happen to my husband's arms twice before, and every time it has seemed to correspond with the weather turning cold. If that is the cause of the problem, what can we do to help him?

Answer

Skin concerns are one of the most common reasons that people seek medical advise. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Skin dryness, caused by the breaking down of the skins natural oils and protective barriers, is a very common problem in cold weather months. It is a combination of the cold weather itself damaging the skin and chafing from extra layers of thick clothing. Fortunately, it is not a serious problem. The best treatment is to apply a good skin moisturizer multiple times per day. Furthermore, he should limit bathing some, as bathing strips the skin's protective oils. Sometimes bathing should be done even less often than one a day and never with very hot water. Applying the moisturizer immediately after bathing will limit the drying out of the skin. He should also avoid itching the affected areas, and sometimes an over the counter anti itch cream can help with this. As always the diagnosis and the management of your husbands particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist may be advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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