People with eczema know that managing their skin’s health can be a tricky thing. Sometimes, flare-ups occur from the slightest change. Winter weather brings numerous changes, all of which may work synergistically to trigger irritation. Here, we discuss some tips to avoid unnecessary inflammation and itching.
1. Take temperature transitions slowly.
You know what it’s like, we go from a warm car to the cold air outside to the hot air in our home or office. We come indoors looking forward to a steamy shower and warm blankets. These are all comforting in some way, but a transition from cold to hot to cold should be taken slowly for the person with eczema. When outdoors, it is important to avoid getting the skin too cold. This leads to dryness and cracking or itching. This can be avoided by wearing layers. Wearing layers also allows you to transition from cold to warm more slowly, by removing layers a little at a time. This slow transition should also be used when showering or bathing, or even soaking in a jacuzzi. Adjusting water temperature slowly, and keeping it on the low side of hot, can help prevent skin irritation.
One of the problems with eczema is that the skin’s protective barrier gets compromised. This allows the skin to dry out more quickly and suffer irritation. After every shower, people with eczema should pat dry and apply a quality lotion. In the winter, it may be beneficial to switch to an emollient cream, shea butter, or an oil-based moisturizer. Furthermore, every person has to identify how much moisturizing their skin needs. Some may feel fine with a daily application of cream, and some may need to apply a cream several times a day. To help maintain moisture in the skin, it may be useful to keep the air somewhat moist through the use of a humidifier.
3. Down some D.
Studies suggest that vitamin D3 can reduce the severity and frequency of eczema flare-ups. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin,” but you don’t have to have sunshine to get it. When the weather may be more on the cloudy side, taking a quality vitamin D supplement can help support the skin. Vitamin D isn’t only beneficial for dermatologic health but has also been associated with lifting the effects of depression.
4. See your dermatologist.
For many people, lifestyle remedies for eczema simply aren’t enough to thoroughly manage symptoms. A dermatologist can perform a dermatologic examination of irritated patches and discuss optimal treatment. Often, a prescription cream can be applied to inflamed areas to quickly resolve itching and dryness.
We can help you get through the winter with proper eczema treatment. To schedule a visit to our Westport office, contact us at (203) 226-3600.