The cold, windy weather in winter can wreak havoc on your skin. If you’re feeling itchy this winter you may have eczema, a skin condition that causes dry skin. Eczema flare-ups are most common in winter due to the dry air combined with indoor heating systems which dry your skin even further.
Here are some simple tips to help you combat the symptoms through a long winter.
Avoid thick, itchy materials Winter may seem like the perfect time to grab your big woollen knits and layer up to beat the cold. However, certain fibres like wool and nylon can irritate your skin and cause eczema flare-ups. To avoid irritation, dress in breathable clothes such as cotton, and keep layers to a minimum.
Choose appropriate soaps The chemicals found in a lot of soaps can irritate your sensitive skin. When choosing a soap, try to find one that is fragrance, alcohol, and dye-free to avoid a flare-up.
Turn down the temperature in the shower While it may be tempting to crank up the water temperature on a freezing winter morning, the heat is almost guaranteed to dry your skin out. Instead, have a warm shower for a shorter time, and have them less frequently to help your skin stay moist. If you prefer a bath over a shower, also keep the temperature warm and find some moisturising additives, such as oatmeal, to soak in. When drying yourself after a bath or shower, use patting motions rather than rubbing, as rubbing may scratch your skin and cause further inflammation to your eczema.
Turn down your heating Just like your shower, the heating in your house can dry out your skin. Turn down the temperature to reduce the shock your skin experiences when going from inside to outside. Help reduce the effects of your heating by trying a humidifier. This will pump moisture back into the air and help your skin stay hydrated.
Watch what you eat Keep a diary of the food you eat to try and figure out what causes flare-ups. Foods such as broths, fish oils, bananas, and seeds contain beneficial nutrients and acids that will help contain your eczema.
Stay hydrated Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day can help to hydrate your skin. In winter, herbal teas are a great way to up your water intake and keep warm at the same time! Also, always carry skin cream wherever you go to ensure your skin stays hydrated.
Although these tips can help reduce the symptoms of eczema, getting it under control can be difficult. If you would like a long term solution, feel free to contact us today for an appointment.