How Does Cold Weather and Climate Affect Eczema?
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become irritated and inflamed. It affects approximately 10 to 20 percent of babies and roughly 3 percent of adults. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, but proper treatment can control it. All types of eczema, whether it be atopic dermatitis, hand eczema or contact dermatitis, can cause redness, itching and inflammation in the skin.
Change In The Weather
“The cold weather and decreased moisture in the air dehydrates the skin, making it more sensitive to irritants in the environment,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, board certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. “For patients with eczema prone skin, this can be a problem.” Moving between the cold outdoors and a hot and dry home or work can further aggravate symptoms.
Cool Down The Irritation
Many eczema patients note that specific triggers can exacerbate their skin disease. It is important to learn what your triggers are, and then try to avoid them, especially during cool weather when the skin is so sensitive. Some of the triggers are detergents, soaps, and disinfectants. Allergic contact dermatitis is more common in individuals with atopic dermatitis, and can experience flare after exposed to allergens. You should eliminate products with fragrance from your daily routine. Instead, find unscented and mild cosmetics that do not contain additives or chemicals.
“It would be nice, but unfortunately we can’t write a prescription for the beach,” says Dr. Hanson. “But there are other ways to restore moisture to the skin in the winter.” You can treat your eczema by moisturizing your skin daily, and using a humidifier to help your skin adapt to the changes in the environment. Another good tip is to bathe in lukewarm or room-temperature water, because hot water can further dehydrate the skin and cause a flare-up. Your dermatologist can also advise on using topical steroids and recommend other treatments like phototherapy to manage your disease during cooler trying times.
For more information on managing your eczema and to help gain control of your skin disease, please contact us today.