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How to Treat And Prevent Windburn
Windburn which, truth be told, is a misnomer. Yes, it looks like a burn. And it certainly feels like a burn. But it is really a drying effect. Windburn results from a combination of cold wind and low humidity, which depletes the oil layer on your skin. As you might have guessed, folks who live in warm southern climates are virtually immune to windburn, unless they take a trip north in the dead of winter. The condition is most likely to affect those who spend time outside in cold, dry, windy weather. And keep in mind that any exposed, unprotected part of your body is vulnerable, not just your face. A windburn can hurt just as much as a sunburn, but fortunately it is far less serious. It will usually fade away on its own in a couple of days, provided you take proper care of the affected skin. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to speed the healing process.
1. Bundle Up
When you head outdoors in wintry weather, every exposed part of your body needs to be covered. Wear gloves to protect your hands and a stocking cap or hood to protect your ears. Better yet, cover your entire head with a ski mask.
2. Don't Stick Out Your Neck
The most vulnerable square inch on your body is the front part of your neck. The skin there is very thin, and it doesn't get much protection. It is recommended wrapping a terry-cloth towel around your neck. It is actually much better than a wool scarf. Wool is irritating and more absorbent. You can also wear a turtleneck, of course. Just make sure it is made of cotton, not wool or a synthetic fabric.
3. Pop A Pill For The Pain
Aspirin will ease any soreness and discomfort associated with windburn. And because it is an anti-inflammatory, it will help speed the healing process as well.
4. Lay It On Your Kisser
Your lips are especially vulnerable to windburn. Make sure you give them extra protection. It is recommended using a lip balm with sunscreen such as Blistex or Chap Stick.
5. Put Your Best Face Forward
If you know you are going to be spending time outside in conditions that produce windburn, then don't wash your face or shave beforehand. Doing so moves your skin's natural oils, which offer protection against the environment.
6. Stay Moist
Be sure to moisturize windburned skin frequently, perhaps three or four times a day. The best moisturizer is petroleum jelly, but most people don't find it cosmetically pleasing. Choose a product that you are comfortable with, as long as it is not highly scented. Fragrances can cause skin irritations.
7. Don't Forget Your Sunscreen
Just because it is not swimsuit weather does not mean that you can't get a sunburn. The sun is often a factor in complaints of windburn. It is recommended wearing a moisturizer and a sunscreen on days that you are out in cold, dry, windy weather. Look for a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
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