Is My Eczema Worse in the Winter?
While our four Skin Care Research locations can’t claim the extreme winters of Green Bay, Wisconsin or Acadia, Maine, we’re still chillin’ in our Boca Raton, Miami, Hollywood (Florida), and Dallas locations to a degree. The heat is on, even if the outdoor temperatures aren’t below zero.
So, the question begs: Does eczema become worse in the winter?
Let’s get into that question in this last blog of 2020.
It is true that many people with eczema do experience flare-ups during the winter months. This isn’t universal, and other sufferers have worse flare-ups in the summer, but there are issues that can cause more flare-ups in the wintertime. Here’s why.
The main problem with winter and eczema is a combination of changing temperatures and dry air. We go from outdoor cold to indoor heat, and our skin tends to feel the extremes. Also, winter air is drier, particularly indoor heated air, and that’s a bad thing for eczema.
Here are a couple things to do to help cope.
Sudden temperature changes
When eczema skin experiences big changes in temperatures it starts to feel dry and itchy. This happens to people who don’t even have eczema. You may not have felt the sudden change in temperature, but your skin did and it’s reacting.
So, try and maintain an even skin temperature as much as possible, avoiding the hot-cold-hot-cold cycle. Keep each room at a constant, comfortable temperature (not too hot). Dress in layers, so you can shed or gain a layer to help moderate your temperature. Same with your bed linens. You can peel one off if you start to feel warm; that’s impossible with a single thick comforter. Avoid hot baths, and don’t sit close to the fire or a radiator. Heat can trigger scratching.
Winter air is less humid, except maybe in Seattle. Dry air extracts moisture from the skin and this makes your eczema worse. As the temperature drops, so does the air humidity in most cases. This is surely true in South Florida and Dallas.
A humidifier can help your eczema in the winter. Humidifiers are designed to put moisture back in the air. There isn’t any research that says this directly helps eczema sufferers, but many people find them to be helpful.
We wear more clothing in winter, and if some of these pieces are made from wool, they can scratch your skin, which increases itching. Rough seams on heavy clothing can have the same effect. If possible, wear several layers of cotton or fleece materials, as they don’t have any wool and, as mentioned above, you can shed or add as needed.
Bottom line? Winter is likely to make your atopic dermatitis worse. But there are steps you can take to mitigate some of these factors.
But if you’re having trouble with winter eczema, sign up for one of our Skin Care Research clinical trials today. Call (561) 948-3116. With affordable treatment options and paid compensation, all you have to lose is that winter itchy atopic dermatitis skin.