Face gets splotchy red after being exposed to cold - suggestions?
December 5, 2006 1:50 PM   Subscribe

[Cold Weather Filter]: Facial skin getting really splotchy red as New England is starting to get cold. Any suggestions or remedies?

So I suppose I have what people would call sensitive skin. I never really notice it during the year, but when it gets cold, my face is really splotchy red after being in the cold for more than 20 minutes. It sort've looks like a (very) mild allergic reaction.

I'm currently using Oil of Olay "Senstive" Skin lotion on my face. I make a point to put on an AMPLE amount before going into the cold, but it doesn't really seem to help and my skin is still splotchy red after only 20 min in the cold.

The rest of my routine is using Cetaphil face wash in the morning and night, and then putting on lotion immediately.

Any suggestions?
posted by MaverickX to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'll throw my experience into the ring. See a dermatologist. I had splotchy bits on the lower half of my face that turned out to be Peri-oral Dermatitis. Which means the skin near my mouth gets irritated, particularly with cold and stress. I got a steroid shot and they gave me a prescription cream to put on the area. Before going to the derm I had tried lotion and special washes but they only made things worse. The doc said this is most common among women of my age group but it can happen to anyone. And he said no one is certain why it happens.
posted by bilabial at 1:56 PM on December 5, 2006

Response by poster: Not sure if it defnitely matters, but I should add that the splotchiness tends to go away after about 3-5 hours after being initally exposed to the cold elements.
posted by MaverickX at 2:03 PM on December 5, 2006

yeah get this cream (stay away from shots). Triamcinolone. You need a prescription.
posted by alkupe at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2006

If this is a new thing for you (the condition) but you have lived through similar cold before, then yes, you should probably seek medical attention. (assuming you can afford to do so!)

I have a similar thing, but I've had it all my life, so I don't really worry about it. I've just got extremely pale skin, and when it gets exposed to serious cold (sub-freezing) it goes even paler, except for my cheeks and nose, which turn bright red. I don't notice it, but it can apparently be alarming to people who don't know me, as I have gotten many comments about it over the years. Meh. Whatever. I could wear a scarf over my face, but that gets frozen from exhalation, and I find that very uncomfortable, far more so than any random comments I might get...
posted by schwap23 at 3:57 PM on December 5, 2006

Best answer: Complex 15 Therapeutic Moisturizing Face Cream


La Roche-Posay Toleriane Toleriane Facial Cream

have gotten me through years of New England winters. Toleriane is richer and really heals dry, irritated skin. Complex 15 is the lightest, least irritating moisturizer I've used.
posted by saffron at 5:15 PM on December 5, 2006

When I lived in Rhode Island, a dermatologist suggested Acid Mantle Cream for winter-chapped skin. I now use it for any kind of dry skin. It's a very mild, slightly acidic cream with a mineral-oil base; about $7 an ounce, but a little goes a long way. It acidifies and moisturizes, plus it creates a barrier. It's not a prescription product, but at a drugstore it's sold at the pharmacy counter -- they might have to order it for you. It's also available on eBay, and various web sites. No fragrance or odor. Even if it turns out not to be the perfect cream for your face, it's great for hands. Can you tell I can't live without it?
posted by wryly at 5:37 PM on December 5, 2006

If your skin gets splotchy red when it's cold, it could be anything, really. But if it also gets red when you're hot, when you drink hot drinks, or when you drink alcohol, you may be developing rosacea, and you should see a dermatologist for treatment. This may not just be "sensitive" skin.
posted by rosemere at 7:27 PM on December 5, 2006

I spent many winters in the UK - Olde England, rather than New :) - and the transition from heated indoor to cold outdoor and back again gave me much splotchiness. I saw a doc who suggested antihistamines which really calmed the redness and the crazy itching - ymmv, of course. I also keep my skincare routine simple - I'm an olay/cetaphil fan.
posted by poissonrouge at 4:38 AM on December 6, 2006

Best answer: If you're using Cetaphil, are you washing it off with water, or wiping with soft tissue? I find wiping rather than rinsing during the winter helps me.
posted by methylsalicylate at 6:32 AM on December 6, 2006

Also, if you don't have a humidifier...you should get one. It helps your skin.
posted by Gooney at 7:56 AM on December 6, 2006

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