Winter weather can be harsh on your skin, and if you have eczema, winter can be an especially hard time of the year. Eczema is a common reaction to dry air and cold temperatures, which means winter can worsen your symptoms. The good news is that many treatment options are available to relieve the symptoms of eczema this winter so that you can still spend time outside with your family or friends. Here’s what to know about eczema and how Dr. David Baird can help.
1. Use a Humidifier
A humidifier will help create moisture in the air, which will reduce dryness in your home and thus help ease the symptoms of eczema. If you have a central heating system, it can cause the water in your skin to evaporate faster than normal and make your symptoms worse. Moisture prevents the skin from being dry and itchy, which will cause the skin to crack and scab over. Make sure to use distilled water for your humidifier because tap water has minerals that can harm your skin.
2. Use an Oil-Based Moisturizer
Moisturizing your skin with oil-based products daily can make all the difference. Oil helps keep the skin soft and supple, and it helps prevent your skin from cracking and scabbing as much. It does this by keeping the skin’s barrier moisturized so that it’s less likely to dry out. Look for products that contain coconut oil, for example, but keep pure coconut oil away from your face since it can clog pores.
3. Wear Clothes in Layers
Colder temperatures make your skin more sensitive to the elements, so make sure to be extra careful with your clothing. Wear warm clothes, but not those that are too thick or bulky. Wearing layers of clothing allows you to stay warmer without being too hot. You also want to avoid tight fabrics because they can leave your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable.
4. Try a Fungal Remedy
Eczema patients may be able to use certain types of medications and over-the-counter treatments to help relieve symptoms. A simple anti-fungal cream can be applied to the affected area to help relieve itching, burning, and stinging. Ingredients that are commonly found in anti-fungal creams include clotrimazole or miconazole. Make sure to consult your dermatologist for a recommendation.
5. Keep Your Hands Moisturized
Winter weather can dry out your hands, which causes cracking and more severe skin symptoms. Washing your hands is especially important during the winter months in order to prevent illness, so try to moisturize your hands every time you wash them. You can even look for moisturizers that are specific to eczema and contain vitamin E, humectants, and shea butter, for example.
6. Wear Gloves When Outside
Wearing gloves outside can prevent your skin from being exposed to cold, dry weather. Cold temperatures can dry out your hands and make them more susceptible to becoming rough and cracked. Wearing gloves that fit snugly will keep your hands warm and protect them from drying out.
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to treat your eczema during the winter months is by consulting a board-certified dermatologist. To meet with our team, contact Farmington Dermatology by calling or filling out our online contact form.