It’s predicted to be a colder-than-usual winter, and experts are cautioning people with eczema to prepare their skin for the worst.
Analysts, meteorologists, and even the Farmer’s Almanac are in agreement that the winter of 2014/2015 is going to be a doozy (that’s a technical term), with long and intense cold spells.
Some people experience eczema flare-ups because of allergies, but cold weather tends to make eczema more difficult to handle — especially if you already have dry skin.
Every time you move between the frigid outdoors and the warm, dry heat of the indoors, your skin barrier needs to regulate its temperature — and it’s a shock to the system. Icy blasts of wind can damage your skin and cause your natural barriers to break down.
Eczema symptoms can include intense itching, dry skin, scaling, inflammation and reddening of the skin, and even broken skin. More than 15 million Americans suffer from eczema, including 10 per cent of babies and children.
Unlike other skin conditions, like psoriasis, anyone can develop eczema — and some people may experience it only during the colder months.
If your child has eczema, here are a few of our tips for getting through the colder months:
- Keep them hydrated by encouraging them to drink lots of water
- Moisturize them with a thick, fragrance-free cream once a day — twice, if you feel they need it during the colder months
- Consider giving them a lukewarm bath every other day, and make sure to moisturize them immediately to lock in the moisture from their bath
- Make sure older children aren’t taking hot baths or showers, which can dry out their skin
- Keep your home a comfortable temperature (not too warm or too cold) with 45-55 per cent humidity
- Try organic cotton clothes to see if there’s an improvement (We recommend trying organic cotton underwear and PJs first, since that’s what kids wear the most)
- Explore the option of using oils to treat and prevent eczema
- Try using a humidifier in your child’s bedroom to keep the air from getting too dry
- Ask your doctor about using wet wraps to relieve itching and protect the skin
- Steer clear of clothing or bedding made from synthetic fabrics
- Make your own laundry detergent using bars of unscented soap, Borax, washing soda, and baking soda
H/T to Web MD