For most people, eczema has a tendency to flare up during the winter months when the air, and therefore your skin, is dry. However, there are things you can do on a daily basis to keep your flare ups under control. Don’t let your skin make you afraid to enjoy life and participate in your favorite activities this winter. Here are a few tips to ease your dry, chapped, and irritated skin.
Protect and Cover
Protection is imperative this time of year. Do not allow cold and/or wet air to come in contact with your skin. Wear gloves and/or scarves, cover your neck and cheeks, use a hat to protect your scalp and ears, etc. if you will be outside for any length of time. Damp clothing irritates eczema, so remove anything that has gotten wet after being out in the snow or rain. When cleaning the house with chemicals or when washing dishes by hand, wear plastic gloves that are long enough to cover past your wrists. When cooking and cleaning, hands go through a constant wet and dry state, which is also very irritating. Be sure to keep skin covered.
Make moisturizing a daily part of your routine. Apply it first thing in the morning and again at the end of the day. It is also important to apply lotion or cream after a bath or shower to lock in the moisture you may lose. Purchase lotions which are dye, fragrance, and steroid free to avoid irritants or additives which you may be allergic to. Ingredients such as ceramide can reinforce the skin’s protective barrier layer and natural oatmeal added to lotions and bath soaps can soothe your eczema.
Use a Humidifier
Just as you add moisture to your skin, it is important to add it to your home. During winter months, running the furnace constantly means drying out the air. Going in and out of doors from cold and wet to dry and warm can damage skin and make eczema even worse. Keep indoor temperatures neither too cold nor too warm. If nothing else, be sure to run the humidifier in the bedroom at night. Lotions and creams work best when they can lock hydration into the skin from the humid air.
Use Sunscreen To Prevent Damage
Despite nonstop warnings from the medical community for the need to wear sunscreen every day, most people don’t follow this advice. But remember, winter rays can be just as damaging as the summer sun. Whether you will be sitting outside all afternoon or just walking to the mailbox, using a sunscreen with SPF 30 every day is imperative.
Irritants To Be Avoided
Be aware of things like certain foods, pet dander, rough fabrics, laundry detergents, and dryer sheets that can trigger eczema. Dress in soft, comfortable clothing, remove tags from necklines and seams and wash with fragrance-free soap.
Following these steps throughout the winter months can ease the pain and irritation of your eczema, leaving your skin smoother and softer.