Eczema is almost always uncomfortable and can even interfere with your self esteem. And winter can affect eczema flare ups, regardless of how chilly it gets during the season. Even for those in more humid climates, eczema can be an ongoing area of concern. Here’s how to manage during the winter.
Eczema – also clinically referred to as dermatitis – can cause extremely uncomfortable symptoms at all times of the year. Commonly, eczema sufferers deal with dry, scaly skin or red patches that resemble a rash. They also might encounter severe itching (particularly at night). Scratching can eventually lead to an infection or oozing and pus from the affected area.
Winter in particular can be tough on those with eczema because of the change in weather. Those located in dry, freezing climates often suffer more than those in milder climates, but even a few days of chilly weather here and there can really do a number on eczema flare ups. Contrary to popular belief, excess exposure to moisture during colder months actually dries out the skin. Add whipping wind and indoor heat, and you’ve got a recipe for an eczema rash. Here are a few tips for keeping your skin free of flare ups.
Winter is undoubtedly chillier than the other seasons, and naturally, you will want to warm up. But taking long, steaming showers or frequent dips in a chlorine-filled hot tub can dry out and irritate the skin – which is especially detrimental for those who already struggle with eczema.
We recommend skipping excessively hot showers and baths and instead opting for warm or even lukewarm water. Keep your showers shorter, and avoid the hot tub as much as you can.
Adding water in is crucial during those cold winter months. Many times, you can keep an eczema flare up at bay by using a thick, hydrating moisturizer. Make sure that any product you choose is unscented so it doesn’t irritate your skin further. There are many over-the-counter dermatologist-recommended moisturizers on the market.
Additionally, you can use a humidifier to help increase the hydration you’re exposed to. Forced air heat in particular can be irritating for those with eczema, drying out the skin. Humidifiers will help keep moisture in the air circulating inside your home. It’s recommended to run a humidifier as frequently as you can throughout the day, and certainly in your bedroom while sleeping so that your skin can absorb this hydration.
Sometimes, all the at-home remedies and preventative measures simply don’t work. If that’s the case, make an appointment with your dermatologist. Your eczema may be contact dermatitis, which involves flare ups due to exposure to an allergen. Your dermatologist can help get to the bottom of what is triggering this skin issue.
Further, only a dermatologist will know your best treatment for eczema, and that may include a prescription eczema treatment cream. Usually these creams contain trace amounts of steroids to help with inflammation, but there are non-steroidal options too.
Don’t suffer any longer with your winter eczema. If you’re in Baton Rouge or the surrounding areas, contact Louisiana Dermatology Associates today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.