Winter weather is harsh on delicate skin. Add in eczema and the effect on the skin becomes a lose-lose situation. Winter weather can cause severe eczema breakouts and while dermatologists can help, the best line of defense is prevention.
Eczema breakouts during winter months can cause skin irritation, itching, redness, swollen areas and even cracks and splits in the skin. Many who suffer from severe eczema have no idea they can help to prevent these occurrences.
Warm Water not Hot Water
During winter months, people suffering from eczema should never use hot water. This goes for both bathing and doing dishes. Eczema sufferers already have a deficient amount of natural oils on the skin. The hot water will only remove what oils are there and cause even more dryness and irritation.
Leave the Soap on the Shelf
Unless there are visible amounts of dirt on the skin, plain water will wash skin just fine. It is especially important to avoid irritating soaps such as bubble baths and fragrant bath washes. For sensitive areas that may need extra care, try using a fragrance free hypoallergenic soap. Otherwise, for the rest of the body, do not use soap on eczematic skin during winter months.
Bare Hands Only
Now that soap and hot water have been taken away, why not take away the washcloth and bath poofs as well. Eczema is only irritated more during winter months, by the act of skin rubbing. Wash cloths and bath poofs not only cause added irritation, but they rub off any essentials oils left on the skin with normal bathing. People with eczema need all the natural oils they can get, so washing should only be done with bare hands.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
If eczema sufferers have heard it once they have heard it a million times: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Dry skin, for someone with eczema, is a daily event. But, during winter months, the humidity is so low, that the skin dryness only increases. Adding a great moisturizer to a daily routine, multiple times a day, will help combat low humidity levels. All lotions with alpha hydroxyl acids should be avoided no matter the time of year. These acids are horrible on the skin of someone with eczema.
Clothing can also cause additional skin breakouts for someone with eczema. While during winter months we all will need to add layers, wool and other irritating and skin itching fabrics should be avoided at all costs. Cotton, washed in fragrance free detergent or no detergent at all, is the perfect solution for eczema during winter months.
Many eczema sufferers believe the heat of the summer months is worse on the skin than the winter months. This is the opposite of the real truth. During the summer months, people have a tendency to wear less clothing and moisturize more than during the winter months. Eczema loves to have air to heal, and during the winter that just does not happen. These simple steps will help to restore eczematic skin to a soft, supple condition and prevent further skin breakouts.
(Article originally published by RS Banks on Suite101.com)