Winter Colds & Skincare Survey Results

Author: talkhealth

Date: Jan 16

Throughout October, November, and December of last year, talkhealth ran a survey designed to learn a bit about how the cold weather affects our members’ health. We focused on two common health complaints associated with wintery weather: colds and the deterioration of skin conditions. We were delighted with the response, with well over 3,000 of our members sharing thoughts.


Nearly everyone who responded to the survey (95%!) reported being concerned by the spread of germs in the winter months. To avoid catching and spreading germs, most people (around a third) said that they wash their hands more frequently during winter; most also said that they use hand sanitizers. Just under half said that they use antiseptic wipes or sprays; a similar number said that they take vitamins or other supplements.

Asked what sort of medications they take when they have or suspect they might have a cold, around two thirds said that they take paracetamol. Around half said that they take throat lozenges, and roughly a third reported taking natural remedies like honey and lemon, as well as vapour rub, cold remedy drinks, cough mixture, or ibuprofen.



About a third of the people who responded to the survey suffer from a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. Most of these (over half) suffer from eczema or dry skin, followed by psoriasis and acne. The vast majority (93%!) of skin condition sufferers reported that their skin quality deteriorates in the winter months.

Over three quarters of skin condition sufferers said that they are concerned that cold weather may crack or ‘open’ their skin, leaving them at risk of infection. To combat or prevent such infections, the most common measure taken was regular emollient use (which hydrates and moisturises skin to prevent cracking). Others used antiseptic creams and hand sanitisers, and avoided scratching their skin.

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Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 12 January 2016

Next review: 12 January 2018