Did you know that Eczema can be triggered by cold weather? That’s why it’s especially important to be wary of proper skincare during the cold months to prevent cold weather eczema.
What is Cold Weather Eczema?
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is an extremely common skin disease that can be triggered by:
- cold weather
- physiological changes to the skin
Common symptoms of eczema are red, itchy, and dry patches on the skin. Eczema outbreaks can happen on any location on the skin but it is frequently found on high contact areas, such as the face, hands, and feet.
Ridding yourself of a cold weather eczema outbreak can be as simple as using over the counter medication or can be extremely difficult depending on the condition of your skin. Many children have a difficult time with eczema due to excessive itching and irritation that inflames the skin and advances the condition. Also, due to the wide array of illnesses spawning from dermatitis (eczema), it is recommended to see a dermatologist for a personalized health plan regarding your skin.
Home Remedies for Eczema:
Home remedies for eczema may be as simple as changing your laundry detergent or fabric softener or as difficult as moving to a new climate or changing jobs. Removing whatever is causing the allergic reaction is the easiest and most effective treatment.
MOST forms of eczema can be prevented by hydrating the skin. Dry skin is the most common form of winter eczema. The cold weather has a tendency to dry your skin and cause dermatitis.
During winter months, you face two specific problems that can make it hard to control symptoms with your usual treatment for eczema:
- Dry air. Winter typically ushers in cold, dry air, making it difficult for your moisture deprived skin to stay on an even keel.
- Harsh temperatures. You go from icy winds to blasts of dry heat off and on all day. When you turn up the heat in the car, at home, and at the office, any time spent in cold winter air becomes even more of a shock to your skin.
Here are ways to counter winter’s effects on your eczema symptoms:
- Moisturize daily. Vigilantly maintain the treatment regimen your dermatologist recommends. You should be washing with a moisture-rich soap (without any added fragrance) and moisturizing your skin at least once, but possibly twice a day. Petroleum jelly such as Vaseline is a good option in the winter, but if that doesn’t work for you, you might need to use more expensive moisturizers containing ceramides. Ask your dermatologist for suggestions to make sure you’re using the best product for your skin.
- Use topical steroids. If you have a flare-up, use the steroid cream recommended by your dermatologist.
- Humidify dry air. You might need a humidifier inside your home, especially if you use forced-air heat during the winter.
- Healthy Diet. As colds and flu can exacerbate eczema, by causing either a generalized flare or a more local contact reaction around the nose due to constant nose blowing, it pays to take extra precautions with your general health, as well as your skin. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest and maintain good hand hygiene, especially in public places or if you have been in contact with someone who is unwell.