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The Winter Itch: 5 Common Conditions That Are Secretly Irritating Your Skin

There are definitely various skin types, but the one thing that unites them is that at one point or another, they all get irritated.

The universal sign for skin irritation happens to be itchy bumps, red in color, and can be brought on by a variety of causes. Rashes also signify irritation, and here are some skin irritant manifestations that are common during winter.

1. Contact Dermatitis

This skin rash manifests itself when your skin comes into contact with a substance that it is sensitive to, probably an ingredient in detergent, cosmetics, or hair products. While any ingredient out there can cause dermatitis, some are known to cause a more pronounced reaction.

The rash presents with a burning, itching sensation, and of course, followed by redness. Contact dermatitis, Dr. Joshua Zeichner says, can either be caused by an allergic reaction to the ingredient, or by the chemical affecting your skin adversely.

To treat dermatitis, you just have to figure out the product that triggers the reaction, then stop using it. As for the rash itself, wash it using cool water, and if the sensation persists, buy an OTC hydrocortisone product.

2. Rosacea

This skin condition can be terrifyingly annoying, owing to its varied irritation symptoms. The most common one is a red flushing face, accompanied by acne-like bumps, although each may be present individually.

A red flushing face is the most common symptom of rosacea

Similar to contact dermatitis, ingredients in specific products trigger these symptoms, but they can also be brought on by environmental factors and other lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption and spicy foods. Exposure to UV rays (the sun) can also trigger rosacea symptoms.

A more serious condition than dermatitis, rosacea calls for a visit to the dermatologist for treatment.

3. Keratosis pilaris

KP, also known as chicken skin, is a condition that causes raised bumps akin to those on chicken’s skin. Accompanying the bumps are patches of dry skin, which can sometimes get uncomfortably rough.

As for the bumps, they can either present as brown or red, and are usually found at the back of your arms or legs, or both. Ordinarily, they aren’t itchy. However, if the skin becomes overly dry, they can get quite uncomfortable.

The bumps can either be brown as above, or red

KP bumps are not harmful, so they’re usually left untreated. The trick is to keep your skin moisturized to keep them from becoming itchy. If their appearance on your skin bothers you though, exfoliating products with lactic acid or urea will help reduce them.

4. Bug Bites

Typically, bug bites present as a few red bumps. However, some people can develop an allergic reaction, depending on the bug that bit them.

In the case of bed bugs, for example, you may have an unending red rash. While hydrocortisone cream purchased over the counter can comfortably treat this, you should visit a doctor if the rash persists.

Bedbug bites can cause a persistent rash

If you suspect a tick bite, it is vital that you visit the hospital, as there’s the possibility of contracting Lyme disease.

5. Sun allergy

Yes, sun allergy is really a thing, and Mayo Clinic reports that the reaction presents in different forms. The most common one, however, is known as polymorphous light eruption, or to put it plainly, sun poisoning.

On exposure to the sun, pain, redness, and red bumps, especially on your forearms manifest. Staying indoors for a while fights away the symptoms. For serious cases, corticosteroid medication does the trick.

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