If you’ve ever experienced windburn, you’re familiar with the stinging, burning sensation that can result from a fun-filled winter adventure (or sometimes just a walk to the store). When my skin is windburned — often on my face — it can develop a reddened appearance, taking the “rosy winter cheeks” thing to the extreme. It’s not a look I’m very fond of.
For about a day afterward, my skin also feels extremely dry, slightly warm and somewhat painful — not a sharp pain but an overall tenderness that I try to combat with moisturizer (which is usually moderately successful). Though there have been times when the burning sensation has been pretty intense, most often I’d liken it to what a mild sunburn feels like.
According to the experts I talked to, windburn is pretty common. As little as 15 minutes of exposure can lead to the condition, said Dr. Adam Friedman, a professor and the chair of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. It turns out that skin, especially on the face, is quite tender.