When you live with eczema, you may dread the winter months because of the flare-ups you have to endure due to the cold weather. If so, try to avoid the following mistakes to lessen the symptoms of your eczema during a flare-up.
Taking a Hot Shower Every Day
After being outside in the cold, the first thing you may want to do is to take a long, hot shower to warm up your body and loosen your muscles. However, doing this frequently can worsen your eczema symptoms.
Although the steam and water may seem as though it is moisturizing your skin, the heat can strip away the oils that naturally keep your skin moist and supple. When these oils are removed, it leaves your patches of eczema dry and irritated.
During your flare-up, try not to shower more than a two or three days a week. If you do have to bathe more often, use cooler water and a soap that contains natural oils to replenish the skin and minimize the irritation.
Not Applying Moisturizer Frequently
Another mistake you want to avoid is neglecting to apply moisturizer to your skin frequently throughout the day. Even if you stay indoors most of the time, the dry heat can pull the moisture out, making your eczema flare-ups even worse.
Try to get into the habit of applying a moisturizer when you get up in the morning, after bathing, and periodically throughout the day. Use an additive-free moisturizer, as any added fragrances and coloring can also irritate your already-inflamed skin.
Going Outside without Covering Your Skin
Just as the indoor heat can strip away the moisture in your skin, the frigid air can also leave your skin dry and red. Especially if you have to be outside for more than a few minutes, do not go outside without fully covering your skin, especially the areas with eczema patches.
For example, never go outside without wearing a pair of gloves. Since eczema frequently affects the hands, you may be exposing your already-irritated skin to the cold that can cause drying and cracking. These cracks could then break open and cause you even more discomfort.
Avoiding the above mistakes while suffering from an eczema flare up during cold weather can help relieve some of your itchiness and redness. However, if your symptoms become unbearable, talk to your dermatologist about any treatment options available that can help soothe your irritated skin.