Windburn ~ The Philippine Mountaineering


Windburn in Philippine Mountaineering
photo courtesy of Google images 
One of the common experiences of mountaineers after climbing high altitude mountains is the windburn. The common idea of Filipino mountaineers regarding windburn is that, is an inflammation of the skin, especially that of the face and hands, caused by overexposure to the wind. According to wikipedia  wind burn is a form of sunburn. It affects the skin through removing the UV-filtering thin layer of lipids from the skin. Sad to say, although it's probably known as windburn for majority but according to dermatologists and scientist the burn to the exposed body is not cause wind but by sun exposure. Even it looks and feels like a burn that is only a drying effect to the skin. Windburn is the effect of the compound cold wind and low humidity that causes to lessen the natural oil of the body. For Filipinos it is possible for us to experience this state because we are not used to spend time outside in cold, dry and windy weather condition.

This summer season lots of mountaineer will go to high mountains like Mt. Pulag, Mt. Apo and other mountains on our wish list.  The healing process of windburn is shorter compare to sunburn because it's not serious compare to sunburn. The popular idea of preventing skin to suffer from windburn is to put a moisturizer or sunscreen. Products with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) are highly recommended. Also the practice of covering our body with proper clothing is a good idea. Protect your neck form some burn by covering it because the neck is the most vulnerable part of the body to windburn and most especially to sunburn. And if you are suffering from windburn like me these are some recommendations for speedy skin recovery:
1. Cover your exposed body parts
2. Take anti-inflammatory medicine
3. Apply lip balm
4. Ensure wetness of your body
photo courtesy of Google images 
Remember, that the treatment and prevention of windburn and sunburn are basically identical. Thus as you prepare for your next climbing destination consider the state of your skin.

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