Eczema can be difficult to maintain, especially during the winter months. Winter weather can cause eczema to flare and become less manageable, but there are steps you can take to help ease your skin.

Be Aware of Temperature

Skin is affected by multiple stimuli during the day that can leave it dry or flakey. Changes in temperature can affect everyone’s skin, but especially those with eczema. It is important to try to maintain an even temperature for your skin, avoiding constant fluctuations of cold or heat. This can be done by keeping each room in your house a constant comfortable (not too hot or cold) temperature. It can be helpful to have layers instead of one heavy coat or one thick duvet on the bed. Instead of constantly becoming too hot, layers can be taken off until you reach a comfortable temperature.

Humidity

Humidity is a problem in the South with high humidity during the summer. However, low humidity during the winter can also be a nuisance. Dry air (low humidity) can draw out moisture from skin and make eczema worse. On the same note, heaters (which are prevalent during winter) can also dry out the air around us. The best way to deal with humidity is to use a humidifier. A humidifier is designed to put moisture back into the air. While there is no scientific evidence that humidifiers specifically help those with eczema, some people have found them to be helpful. It is important to note that while humidifiers can help ease dry sinuses and possibly dry skin, they can also cause harm to those with indoor allergies such as dust and mold. The humidity level within your house should remain between 40-50%, and the humidifier should be cleaned regularly.

Moisturize!

Moisturizing is always essential for those with eczema, no matter the season. However, in the winter it becomes even more necessary, frequent application is necessary. The hands and face will need extra protection if they are exposed to the elements. Also, dry lips should be treated with petroleum jelly or an emollient ointment, licking dry lips only further dries them out.

Clothing

Wool should be avoided as it can scratch at skin and increase itching. This same effect can be caused by rough seams or loose threads. Again, several layers of cotton clothing are more beneficial than one heavy layer of warm clothing.

 

Dealing with eczema can be a constant struggle that never seems to let up. National Allergy & ENT Research is currently enrolling for a clinical trial to help those with eczema. For more information please contact Heather at (843) 576-3384 or click here. To sign up for the study click here!