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No one enjoys living with itchy skin, and the start of sweater season can make it even more miserable. If you’re prone to eczema flare-ups, then you probably dread how winter weather exacerbates your symptoms, leaving you with irritated, flakey skin.
But here’s the good news.
There are simple steps you can take today to help control your eczema over the colder months. If you follow these guidelines and start implementing our top winter eczema tips, you’re less likely to suffer from an eczema outbreak during the chilly season.
Before we cover our strategies for managing eczema in the winter, let’s define eczema first.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a common skin condition known for causing dry, itchy red patches on your skin. Most people first develop eczema in childhood, though flare-ups can continue long into adulthood.
You’re likely experiencing an eczema flareup if you have dry, scaly patches shaded red or brown on your skin and raised bumps that leak fluid when scratched. Not to mention, these patches are likely so itchy that you struggle to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s not altogether clear what causes eczema, though it seems to be an overactive allergic reaction. There’s also no cure for the condition, but there are steps you can take to manage the symptoms — especially in the winter.
Four Ways To Manage Eczema in the Winter
Many people find that their eczema gets worse as the weather turns cold. This is due to multiple factors, including itchier clothing, too-hot showers and baths, dryer indoor air, and freezing winds.
If you want to manage your symptoms to keep your eczema manageable, consider the following lifestyle changes:
Bathe in Warm (Not Hot) Water
Heat dries out your skin, so hot baths and showers in the winter can make eczema flare-ups even worse. Keep the knob turned towards warm instead, and try to bathe a little less frequently. It’s also beneficial to add moisturizing skincare products to the water, such as calming ground oats, and to gently pat yourself dry, rather than vigorously rubbing with a towel.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Winter weather saps the hydration from your skin, so you need to be conscious about adding it back. Consider slathering yourself in thicker moisturizers after washing, like a body butter or petroleum jelly. If you’re dealing with itchiness, look for lotions that contain hydrocortisone.
Pay Attention to What Touches Your Skin
The wrong clothing and bed sheets can make eczema flare-ups even itchier and irritated than normal. Stick to breathable materials like cotton and avoid over-layering yourself. It’s also smart to stay away from wool until you learn how your skin handles it.
Use a Humidifier
Nothing dries skin out faster than dry indoor air. You can combat this at home with a quality humidifier. These portable machines add moisture back to the air, which soothes your lungs and prevents your skin from drying out as fast.
Get Help Managing Eczema at Cumberland Skin
While there’s a lot you can do for managing eczema in cold weather at home, sometimes you need some expert guidance.
If you live in central Tennessee, consider getting in touch with us at Cumberland Skin. All of our physicians are board-certified dermatologists, and they are committed to helping you with skin concern, from the serious to the cosmetic.
You can learn more or book an appointment by messaging us online or calling at (615) 257-7396.