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8 Illnesses You Can Get in the Winter and How to Combat Them

Winter is a period of cold temperatures, where various kinds of health problems may occur. Less sunlight and cold air can make humans easy to be exposed to viruses. That’s why many people usually pick up a viral infection in the winter. These infections may include a cough, cold, flu, asthma and cold sores. Some autoimmune diseases such as lupus can also develop flare-up during this season. Here are 8 common winter illnesses and how to deal with them.

  1. Common cold

Cold is one of the most common illnesses that you can easily get in the winter. The condition can affect anyone at any time of the year. But, winter is a good time for common cold to become persistent and reach its peak. Common cold is caused by different types of viruses and it’s highly contagious. Having direct contact with an infected person or item can make it easier to spread the virus.

Common symptoms are cough, fatigue, sneezing, runny or stuffed nose and body ache. There are various risk factors that can cause your common cold. But, doctors believe age and cold weather can contribute to the causes. People with weakened immune system are also easier to catch this condition.  


If you have a cold in the winter, speak to a pharmacist or doctor for medications. To keep away from the condition, the following tips can be helpful.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid sharing personal items with an infected person
  • Avoid drinking cold water

Common cold has no cure and can only be managed at home. Besides, there is currently no available vaccine for the condition. So, take care of yourself during this winter to prevent common cold.

  1. Flu

This is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called influenza. You can get it by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it. Flu is super contagious. If you have contact or shake hands with an infected person, you can catch flu, too.

Symptoms of flu are:

  • Fever
  • High temperature
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Body aches


The causes of flu are unknown. But, doctors say that people who are over 65 are particularly at risk. People with weakened immune system and women who are pregnant are also easier to get flu. Besides, the low humidity during the wintertime can make people get sick from flu.

If you have a flu, prescription medications can help. For prevention, these following tips can be effective.

  • Stay hydrated with plenty of fluid intake
  • Satay warm
  • Get enough rest
  • Eat a healthy diet

Flu sometimes can develop complications and lead to death. But fortunately, there are now two types of vaccines available to treat flu. So, you should get vaccinated and take care of yourself in this winter to prevent flu.

  1. Cold sores

Cold sore is another common illness that you can get easily in the winter. It’s also known as oral herpes caused by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sore is characterized by painful sores or blisters that occur on the face. Also, it causes itching and burning sensations around your mouth and lips.

Cold sore is highly contagious and can be spread through direct skin contact. Kissing or touching the sore can make the virus spread. Besides, performing oral sex on your partner can also make them be infected.

treat cold sores in winter

There is no certain cure for cold sores. You can relieve symptoms, but the virus still remains in your body. When meeting perfect environment, it can become active and trigger an outbreak. For example, the cold weather can make your lips dry, leading to cold sores. Others factors that can make herpes active are stress and weakened immune system.

To treat cold sores, topical creams like Prosurx can be highly effective. Besides, you can try using green tea to get herpes relief. Know more Does Green Tea Work for Cold Sores?

Related: Cold Sores: Frequently Asked Questions

               Stop Cold Sores- the Best and Worse Foods You Should Know

  1. Asthma

Asthma is another respiratory illness that usually occurs in winter. A combination of genetic and environmental factors can be a main cause. Sudden change in weather like dry air and cold winds can trigger asthma symptoms. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath

To avoid asthma in this winter, you should stay indoors. If you have to go out, wear warm clothes and scarf covering the nose and mouth. Plus, you should eat healthy and avoid foods that trigger asthma.

Treat asthma in winter

  1. Dry skin

Dry skin a common condition that occurs mostly in the winter. Our skin plays a role in producing oils to protect the body against germs. Also, it helps to regulate the body’s temperature. But, the low humidity and cold temperatures can stop it from functioning. That’s why your skin usually becomes dry and sick in this season.

Dry skin is really itching, irritating and painful. To combat it during this winter, you should:

  • Regularly moisturize your skin
  • Avoid cold air and winds
  • Take bath with warm water
  • Avoid using strong soaps

Besides, you should eat more foods that are beneficial for your skin. For example, vegetables, fruits, walnuts, seeds, salmons and eggs.

get rid of dry skin in winter


  1. Cold hands

Cold hands are a very common symptom in the winter. It’s often associated with changes in skin color. Other symptoms are open sores and blisters, tightened or hardened skin. Cold hands are not dangerous, but can affect your daily activities.

To prevent it during this winter, you should:

  • Dress warmly
  • Eat healthy
  • Keep hands in warm water and massage them
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol and caffeine

Related: 6 Causes of Cold Hands and How to Treat Them

treat cold hands during this winter

  1. Heart attack

Heart attack that mainly affects the elderly is very common in winter. This is because, the cold weather has strong impact on your heart. It puts too much pressure on your heart by increasing blood pressure level. Then, it prevents your heart from pumping blood throughout your body. At that time, your heart has to work harder to keep you warm. As a result, a heart attack may occur.

To prevent a heart attack, you should keep warm in the house. Dress warmly when you go out. Bathe in hot water. And, eat foods that can monitor your blood pressure level.

Related: Shingles and the Risk of Heart Attack

treat heart attack in this winter

  1. Sore throat

Sore throat is a viral infection that is very common during the winter months. Doctors believe environmental factors like dry air can affect the throat. Symptoms of sore throat are:

  • White patches on the tonsils
  • Swelling in the neck or jaw
  • Difficulty talking and swallowing
  • Hoarse

Gargling with warm, salty water can help with sore throat. Take chamomile tea can also help soothe the infection. To prevent it, you should stay warm and drink enough water.

treat sore throat in winter

There are various illnesses that you can get in the winter. If left untreated, they can become severe and lead to complications. So, you should take care of yourself and keep you warm during this winter. If you think you have a winter illness, get it checked and treated immediately.


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