Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic or recurrent inflammatory skin disease that usually begins in the first few years of life but can present in adulthood as well. Symptoms of eczema can include patches of skin that are red or brownish; itchy skin, especially at night; and dry cracked or scaly skin. If you suffer from eczema, dry air can aggravate your skin. Unlike normal skin, eczematous skin has a damaged skin barrier, making it more difficult for the skin to retain water. This leads to chronic dry, itchy skin which can lead to more frequent eczema flare-ups. During the winter months, when the air is particularly dry, eczema can acutely worsen.
Here are a few tips on how to keep eczematous flare-ups under control this winter, so you don’t need to worry about too much itching or irritation!
Moisturizers are probably the most effective way to help keep your skin fresh and moist during the cold winter months. Using moisturizers daily will help keep your skin healthy and keep flare-ups at a minimum. Certain brands of moisturizers are better than others. We prefer unscented brands like Vanicream, Cerave, Cetaphil or Eucerin. Moisturizers should be applied to the affected skin at least once daily and the best time to apply is right after a bath or shower to damp skin.
Use Laundry Products That Don’t Contain Dyes Or Fragrances
Make sure you use laundry products without heavy dyes or fragrances. Laundry products that contain dye or fragrance can irritate sensitive skin. We recommend using non-color-bleached detergents like Dreft or All Free & Clear as they offer a milder and less irritating effect than other detergents.
Use Air Purifiers To Keep The Air Clean
Dry air and indoor airborne allergens can affect those suffering from eczema. Airborne allergens like pet dander and dust mite have been shown to exacerbate eczema by penetrating the skin barrier and activating an immune response. Air purifiers (HEPA filters) have been proven to reduce indoor aeroallergen exposure and can help those with sensitive skin.
Separate Your Laundry The Right Way
If you’re a fan of using fabric softeners on your clothing, you may want to rethink the way you do laundry. Fabric softeners can cause a buildup of soap residue on your laundry, which can cause allergic reactions or eczema flare-ups. Instead, either line dry all your clothing or wash them with cold water and a gentle detergent.
Eczema can have lots of different triggers and can be a challenging condition to deal with. If you’ve been struggling with eczema and can’t seem to find relief please visit Bernstein Group Inc. for more information about your eczema and schedule an appointment today!