What to Do for Itchy Winter Skin

With up to 50 million Americans seeking treatment annually, acne is one of the most common skin disorders impacting the lives of young adults and adults. However, it is not the only skin problem that seems to worsen or become harder to treat when the weather turns colder. Whether it is the dry, colder air outside or the inside air that lacks humidity, winter can be a rough time for those with skin conditions.

Below are four of the top skin disorders treated at Desert Oasis Clinic. With a brief explanation of the condition, we will look at possible reasons these skin concerns become worse in colder temperatures. Lastly, you will be invited to discuss possible treatment options offered at the clinic.  


Most are familiar with dealing with acne breakouts during our adolescent years. Yet, many continue to contend with the condition well into adulthood. Acne occurs when the pores become blocked with oils, bacteria, and dead skin, causing lesions (what we call pimples or zits) to occur on the face, back, chest, upper arms, and shoulders.

What some may not know is that dry skin during the winter months can cause acne. Skin, thinking it needs more oils, will overproduce an oily substance called sebum. Drier outdoor air coupled with the dry and heated indoor air makes it difficult to maintain proper skin moisture levels. Added to the skin’s difficult balancing act, are patients taking showers that are too long and too hot, thus drying out the skin even more. This leads to a cycle of the skin producing oils to make up for different drying effects. 


Considered a long-term, chronic skin disorder; psoriasis is diagnosed when there are dry, red, itchy patches that are usually found on elbows, knees, the trunk of the body, and scalp. Although common with no cure, the condition can go for long bouts without any flare-ups, seeming to go into periods of remission.

Thought to be a disturbance of the immune system that causes the skin to regenerate at a faster rate than what is considered normal, initiating thick, dry, and scaly patches. Researchers have not determined what causes the immune system to malfunction in this manner, but attribute both genetics and environmental factors as possible reasons for psoriasis.

Some psoriasis sufferers report that during the fall and winter months they have worse symptoms. The belief is that the colder temperature and the patient’s decreased exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays are possible reasons for the exacerbation in symptoms. It is understood that ultraviolet rays help to decrease the fast regeneration of skin cells. This belief is supported by patient reports of having fewer psoriasis symptoms in the spring and summer months.


Although it comes in different forms with different names, the most common eczema is called atopic dermatitis and is considered an inflammatory disease of the immune system. Like other problematic skin disorders, eczema is chronic and it is believed that genetic and environmental factors contribute to the condition and its intensity. 

Eczema is characterized by skin that is bumpy, thickened, red, itchy, or discolored. Eczema flare-ups are unpredictable and may vary in intensity from one episode to the next. It has been discovered that while it may bring temporary relief, scratching the itchy skin causes more damage to the inflamed skin. Some report the itchiness can disrupt their lives and cause sleep disturbances. 

In colder climates, eczema symptoms tend to increase due to a lack of moisture. This skin condition is commonly experienced on the hands, elbows, knees, and face and can deteriorate when water settles on it from frequent handwashing and bathing. Most physicians suggest using a fragrance-free moisturizer on the problem areas. 


Sometimes mistaken for acne, rosacea is a common condition that can impact anyone but tends to impact middle-aged women and smokers most. Rosacea is recognized as causing a blushing or flushing effect on the face with visible blood vessels. There are times this condition can result in small bumps that are sometimes filled with pus.

Rosacea patients are impacted differently by the disorder with many reporting problems with dry, irritated, and swollen eyelids called ocular rosacea. For some, eye problems are their introduction to a diagnosis of rosacea. If the symptoms are not managed, the skin around the nose area can thicken and become bulbous, giving the appearance that the nose is enlarged. This symptom occurs more in male patients.

While the condition is chronic with no known cure, there have been some specific triggers identified to bring on flare-ups that include: 

  • Hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine, cheese, and yogurt
  • Some alcoholic beverages including red wine
  • Sun or wind
  • Varying emotions
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, like some blood pressure medications
  • Some cosmetics, skin, or hair products
  • Cold weather

How Can Desert Oasis Clinic Help

A consultation with Dr. Thompson can not only help you pinpoint the type of winter skin disorder you have but also work with you to begin a treatment plan that is individualized. Depending on the skin disorder, Desert Oasis Clinic offers treatments that are specific to managing symptoms o improve your quality of life. Three services at Desert Oasis Clinic that are available to support your journey to healthy skin are Low Dose Allergen Therapy (LDA), Lymphatic Stimulation With The ST-8, and Biopuncture.  

A complete consultation and assessment are needed prior to beginning treatment options. Please call 702-310-9350 to speak to one of our friendly staff to schedule an appointment to discuss which of our natural and holistic therapies could assist you in managing your problem skin.

Posted in: Health Tips