Winter can be a time of fun and excitement, but for those with eczema, it can be a frustrating and irritating time of the year. Itchy, dry, and cracked skin can be painful as much as it is annoying, but with a proper gameplan, you can keep your eczema under control this winter.
The cold temperature and high winds are disastrous for everyone’s skin and for eczema and dermatitis sufferers, it’s even worse. Winter easily whisks moisture out of the air and our skin, leaving our face, lips, and bodies dry and brittle. If you have dermatitis, then you know just how difficult it is to avoid having a flare-up during these frigid months. To survive the winter, it’s all about prevention. Carrying out the following preventative measures can possibly save you from a ton of stress and pain.
Nothing is more important than moisturizing! Staying moisturized is the best way to keep your skin from drying out and paving the way for another flare-up. We’re not talking about simply slapping on some lotion after a shower. Moisturizer needs to become your best friend. Whenever you are out, keep a small bottle or tube of lotion/cream in your pocket. Anytime, you’re beginning to feel dry, pull it out. You should also moisturize at home whenever you wash your hands, sweat, or feel dry. Keep it close and use it often.
When you blast the heat to keep the cold air away, you also dry out the air. The indoor dry air is the perfect storm for a flare up. Avoid this by keeping a humidifier or two around the house. This will help moisturize the air and keep your skin comfortably refreshed.
Rough materials like jeans, leather, and any type of tight clothing can really irritate the skin. We understand the urge to bundle up to trap in the heat, but you don’t want to suffocate your skin. Opt for breathable clothes made of cotton and other soft and natural materials that hang loosely.
If you’ve been dealing with eczema and dermatitis for years, then you are probably well aware of your triggers. But if you’re new to the game, you’ll need to figure out what factors trigger a flare up. It may be a particular type of clothing, a brand of lotion, or perfume. Even certain types of foods have been known to cause a flare up. Find out what your triggers are and avoid them at all costs.
Oftentimes, going quickly from one general climate to another can be a drastic change that eczema-prone skin can’t keep up with. For example, going from a nice warm house straight into the bitter cold can confuse your skin and lead to a flare up.
This may sound crazy, but even in the winter, the sun is raining down harmful UV rays that can pose a serious risk to those with sensitive skin. Not only does the sun dry out your skin, but the UV rays can manipulate the skin cells and cause issues greater than an eczema breakout like skin cancer. Anytime you’re going out, despite the weather, wear a generous amount of sunscreen. Be sure to shop for the right sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer and contains no chemicals.
To get help with your eczema/dermatitis, our experts at The Dermatology Group are here to help you explore treatment options, give you advice, resources, and more. If you’re in the Cincinnati, Ohio area then give us a call today!