What Should You Be Using In Your Skin Care Routine?

Take my quiz and get personalized recommendations from a
licensed esthetician!

Skin Care Quiz

10 Winter Eczema Skincare Risks and Tips: A Guest Post by MarcieMom of EczemaBlues.com

How to Prevent Eczema in the SummertimeWinter is finally in full swing and I, for one, am loving it! But the cold weather can also bring with it some discomfort, especially for those who have eczema. Today I am excited to bring you this guest post from Mei, also known as MarcieMom of EczemaBlues.com, who also shared her expert advice for preventing and soothing eczema in both Summertime, and during Back to School. For those of you who are new to my blog, I would like to give you a quick introduction to Mei: after living with eczema herself, Mei gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who started suffering with severe eczema at only 2 weeks of age. Getting her baby back to a comfortable place was Mei’s biggest mission, and a driving force behind her blog, Eczema Blues. Mei is an expert on all things eczema, and I am so excited to have her posting here on my site for a third time. Thank you so much, Mei!

10 Winter Eczema Skincare Risks and Tips: A Guest Post by MarcieMom of EczemaBlues.com

10 Winter Eczema Skincare Risks and Tips- A Guest Post by MarcieMom of EczemaBlues.com

Winter can be a harsh time for those with eczema – the dry weather on one hand strips moisture from the skin (exacerbating eczema skin which is inherently dry) and cold weather leads to more time spent indoors which may increase exposure to indoor allergens. Here are ten common ‘risk areas’ for those with eczema skin during winter, and tips to tackle them.

#1 Low humidity: Cold and dry winter air has reduced humidity, which can potentially strip moisture from the skin, should it fall below 50% relative humidity. A brief look at the humidity in various US states show that the states with humidity below 50 are Arizona, Nevada and about 20 states have humidity in the range of 50s in the afternoon. Dry skin may feel itchy, and may be more exposed to irritants and allergens.

Tip: Use a humidifier indoors, but be sure to keep the humidity in the range of 50. Moisturize often, as moisturizers act as an added layer of protection against irritants. You may want to use a cream or an ointment instead of lotion (from a trusted brand) for a longer-lasting effect. If trying out a new brand, be sure to test on a small patch of skin first.

#2 Indoor heating: Heating systems are turned on to combat the cold weather, which often leads to dry indoor air. Moreover should the air ventilation system not be serviced, it may lead to excess trapped dust mites, mold and pollen indoors. A running fireplace can also dry out the skin.

Tip: Clean your air system regularly - it pays to service it instead of spending more money on skin consultations and treatments. Moisturize both when outdoors and indoors.

#3 Humidifier: The ‘answer’ to dry air is to increase moisture in a room via a humidifier. However, the use of humidifier brings about its own issues, namely creating a humid environment that fosters the growth of dust mites and mold.

Tip: Get a humidifier with a humidity reading and one that will self-adjust to your set humidity.

#4 Temperature changes: Being cold outdoors and moving into warm indoors, or temperature changes during the day, may trigger eczema flare-ups for some.

Tip: Wear protective clothing and layers that can be easily taken off to minimize temperature changes. Wear gloves for the hands as well, selecting fabric that do not ‘scratch’ your skin and cause itching/irritation.

#5 Sun: The cold weather does not mean that the UV exposure is less than summer months. The skin is still exposed to harmful UVA and UVA rays. Light therapy is used for eczema treatment, but excessive exposure to broad-band UV rays can worsen eczema flares. Activities during winter such as skiing are subject to high UV exposure, as it is at a higher altitude and snow reflects the UV rays.

Tip: Wear sun protection. Apply ten minutes after moisturizing, but 15 to 20 minutes before going in direct sun.

#6 Sweat: We sweat a lot more during summer, but this does not mean that we do not sweat during winter. Wearing warm clothing for long durations, sometimes indoors with heating, can cause sweating and trap the sweat on the skin. The sweat itself, or the sweat residue left on the skin, can trigger eczema flares.

Tip: Dress via layering so that it is easy to take off. After sweating, try to wipe off the sweat and moisturize clean skin after.

#7 Winter foods: Winter is a season where you try different seasonal foods, or visit someone’s home, or eat a celebratory meal. While you are familiar with the foods that you eat daily, you may not be familiar with foods that you come into contact with at someone else’s home. There is therefore a higher risk of food allergies and sensitivities, and these may present themselves as eczema or skin rash.

Tip: Inform your host of your food allergies and look out for (and avoid) foods that are closely related to those that you are allergic to.

#8 Winter wear: Similar to foods that you may only come into contact with during winter, clothing is another area to take note of. Winter clothing, such as those made of wool, may irritate the skin. For new clothing bought for the season, it is best to wash them first to get rid of residual chemicals that can irritate skin.

Tip: Choose cotton or soft fabric that does not irritate the skin. Wash new clothing using hypoallergenic detergent and a longer washing cycle to avoid residual chemical and detergent. Also avoid softener and detergents that contain perfume or dye.

#9 Hot shower: It is tempting to use hot water for showers during winter months, but hot showers strip moisture from the skin and can further aggravate eczema. Do not stay too long under the shower as continual washing breaks down the skin barrier, particularly for eczema skin which is defective.

Tip: Avoid hot showers and showers longer than ten minutes. Avoid soap and instead use a gentle cleanser or a bath oil. Moisturize immediately after showering to seal the moisture.

#10 Winter bug: Getting a bacterial or viral infection can also worsen eczema, in particular infections accompanied by fever can trigger eczema flare-ups.

Tip: Have a balanced lifestyle, with nutritious food, good sleep and exercise. Keep away from others who are down with infections and maintain good hygiene practices. If your eczema flares when your temperature rises, take medication to bring the fever down promptly.

Winter is a special season where we celebrate with family and friends, end the year and start a new year. Take extra care of your skin during this time by avoiding the common risk areas for eczema triggers.

This article is contributed by Mei, also known as MarcieMom of EczemaBlues.com. Mei has co-authored the book Living with Eczema: Mom Asks, Doc Answers with her eczema child’s doctor Professor Hugo van Bever and illustrated a children book ‘A to Z Animals are not Scratching!

Image Provided by Mei of EczemaBlues Image Provided by Mei or EczemaBlues

featured in
about me
woman owned small business

Are You Taking the Right Steps to Care for Your Skin?

Take the Quiz
side form

Skincare Secrets!

10-step guide for healthy, beautiful skin after kids.

100% privacy. I will never spam you!