While most of us spend the cold days of winter trying to stay warm and beat the blues, people who suffer from eczema have a whole other set of challenges. The falling temperatures, along with cold, dry air outside and heated, dry air inside, can dehydrate skin and cause painful flare-ups meaning winter can be one of the most difficult time of year for eczema sufferers.
While eczema will never go away, much of the skin dryness brought on by cold, dry air can be successfully managed.
Here are the do’s and don’ts to help eczema sufferers “weather” the winter months.
Moisturizers play a key role in relieving eczema’s dry, itchy skin. For best results:
DO moisturize damp skin within three minutes of getting out of a bath or shower.
DO drink plenty of water to help keep the skin well hydrated.
DO use a humidifier to help avoid the dryness that usually results at this time of year.
DON'T sit close to radiators or other heat sources
DO dress warmly and in layers when you go outside
DO wear a scarf and gloves to protect sensitive face and hand areas
DON'T wear wool or other rough fabrics that can irritate skin
For thousands of eczema sufferers, “winter blues” or other emotional factors may trigger flare-ups and make symptoms worse. In fact, studies show reducing stress and having a positive outlook are among the best strategies for managing eczema. So take time to unwind and de-stress - whether you have eczema or not, a positive outlook will help you ward off the cold, grey days of winter and chase those blues away.