At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, we understand how hard it can…
Are you struggling to calm your winter eczema? This time of year, the chilly temperatures, harsh winter winds, and torturous dry air can wreak havoc on the skin, especially for those who have eczema. The winter weather can aggravate eczema patches and increase the frequency of flare-ups, causing discomfort and irritation that may interfere with daily life.
If you’re ready to soothe your skin and mitigate eczema symptoms, follow our dermatologist’s top tips for improving winter eczema!
Dermatologist’s Tips for Improving Winter Eczema
Eczema is a common problem, especially in the winter, but there are certain steps you can take to reduce the red, itchy, flaky, and inflamed skin that characterizes eczema. If you’d like to learn more about this common skin condition, read our eczema guide here.
1. Avoid Harsh Skin Care and Personal Care Products
For many, harsh chemicals in soap, cleansers, shampoos, and detergents can further irritate the skin and aggravate eczema. It’s important to look for moisturizing skin care and personal care products that are free of harmful fragrances, dyes, and alcohols.
2. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
No matter your skin type, moisturizing during the winter is a must, but this is especially true for those who have eczema (as well as winter psoriasis!), as they tend to have skin on the drier side. We recommend choosing thicker moisturizers and applying directly after showering or bathing when your skin is still slightly damp.
Additionally, creams with hydrocortisone or hydrocortisone acetate may help those with especially painful and itchy eczema patches. If you need help choosing the right moisturizer for your winter eczema, consult with a board-certified provider, who may prescribe you a stronger moisturizer to alleviate your uncomfortable eczema symptoms.
3. Stay Clear of Hot Baths and Showers
Extreme temperatures, like steaming hot water in a bath or shower, can cause the skin to dry out, exacerbating eczema and discomfort. While it may be tempting to relax and warm up in a long, hot shower or bath, we recommend sticking to shorter, warm-water baths and showers.
Furthermore, after bathing, ensure you don’t aggressively rub the skin with a towel, which can scratch eczema patches and make them worse. Instead, pat your skin dry. And, as mentioned above, make sure you moisturize with a thick cream afterwards to optimally hydrate and moisturize the skin.
4. Supplement with Vitamin D
Did you know that a study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital showed that taking vitamin D supplements in the winter may improve eczema flare ups?
So, not only are vitamin D supplements important for optimal health during the winter, as there is less sun exposure this time of year, they can also help alleviate winter eczema symptoms for a more comfortable winter season.
5. Protect Exposed Skin
Dramatic temperature changes, like going from a warm home into the brisk outdoor air, can seriously impact the skin and trigger winter eczema flare ups. This is why it’s important to cover up and protect your skin from the harsh winter weather.
At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, our board-certified dermatologists often find that winter eczema shows up on the hands and face, which are frequently exposed to the cold, dry outdoor air. When going outside, ensure you protect your skin with long sleeves, thick gloves, a warm hat, and maybe even a face mask, depending on where you’re located and the severity of the winter weather.
6. Revisit Your Eczema Treatment Plan
Sometimes the best winter eczema remedy is to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a modified eczema treatment plan!
If you feel as though your eczema is getting worse and worse with every winter season that rolls around, consult with your doctor to better understand your skin condition and receive a personalized eczema treatment plan.
Personalized Dermatology Solutions in Wilmington, North Carolina
Contact the Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington for all of your eczema and general dermatology needs, as well as Mohs surgery and cosmetic treatments. Since 2001, Skin Surgery Center’s fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons and board-certified dermatologists have provided patients with exceptional treatment outcomes. Our professional staff is ready to provide you with the thoughtful, competent care that you deserve in our state-of-the-art facilities. Book your appointment today.