The cold temperatures and dry air of winter causes a lot of people to have dry, itchy skin. For the more than 31 million people in the United States who have eczema and have dry, itchy skin all year long, winter can be especially brutal.
Eczema is an umbrella term for skin conditions that result in dry, itchy, discolored, and inflamed skin. For some, the symptoms can be unbearable, causing sleeplessness and chronic, daily itching. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce flare-ups and nonstop itching in the dry winter months.
Here are 5 eczema-fighting tips from our experts at Advanced Allergy & Asthma.
1. Moisturize your skin
It’s important to keep your skin hydrated with moisturizer all year round, but it’s especially important in winter. You may need to use moisturizer more frequently. Also, you should consider changing your moisturizer to a heavier one in the winter. Look for oil-based products or moisturizers with shea butter. Lastly, buy travel-sized hand moisturizers to keep in your purse and car to reapply often.
2. Use a humidifier
Using a humidifier in your home can help combat winter dryness. A humidifier helps keep your skin moist so that it doesn’t get dried out or irritated.
3. Keep your skin dry
After tromping around in the snow, be sure to change out of wet clothes. Take off your gloves, socks, and jackets as soon as you get into a dry place. Wet clothes can irritate your skin and cause an eczema flare-up.
4. Dress properly
Dressing properly means several things. It’s important to cover exposed, eczema-prone skin on your body. This means wearing a hat, gloves, and scarf whenever you venture outside. It also means to dress in layers. When your body experiences extreme changes in temperature, such as moving from the cold outside into a warm, heated home, it can lead to an eczema flare-up. Dressing in cozy layers can help your body stay at a comfortable temperature outside and inside.
5. Avoid irritants
Eczema is often triggered by materials or products we use on our bodies. Try using mild skin care products without perfumes or fragrances or lots of chemicals. Switch to chemical-free unscented lotions, detergents, and soaps. Also, be careful of wool which can irritate the skin. Stick to cotton and other soft fabrics.
If you experience chronic, recurrent flare-ups, the allergy specialists at Advanced Allergy & Asthma can help you find relief and stop scratching by prescribing medicated creams, allergy medicine, or immunotherapy. The Advanced Allergy team works closely with you to identify your eczema triggers and develop an effective treatment plan.
If you have eczema, call our office in Ogden, Utah, to learn out how you can find relief from itchy, dry flare-ups this winter and all year round.