Updated: Jun 20, 2019
The cold, dry winter air along with hot showers and winter clothing can all lead to increased chances of developing dry skin, eczema and dermatitis. Follow the 6 Tips below to minimise triggers and reduce your chances of flareups.
1. Moisturise more often
We know what you're thinking... "Duh, we already know we have to moisturise!" But we don't just mean moisturise like you normally would, you need to moisturise at least twice as much in winter and with a thicker cream. Ideally the product you use will also include a moisture lock barrier that will help keep your skin hydrated longer. A great option is the Intensive Krem or you can use any thick moisturiser that you trust and love. Just make sure it doesn't contain any chemicals that can trigger your eczema.
2. Avoid rapid temperature changes
Being extremely hot can be just as bad as extremely cold. It is easy to expose yourself to extreme and rapid temperature changes in winter. Moving from a nice warm room to the cold outside, or washing your cold hands in hot water. All these and more can trigger a response in your skin which can lead to over drying and cracking.
Do not expose sensitive areas, such as the hands, to the cold. Wear gloves, scarfs, beanies and anything else you need to protect your skin
Wear layers of clothing so that you can easily adjust to the heat by taking off layers and to the cold by adding layers
Do not wash cold hands in hot water
3. Wear multiple light layers of eczema friendly clothing
Wearing multiple layers of light clothing instead of one heavy layer of clothing will give you the power to adjust to the different temperatures throughout the day. Overheating can be just as bad for eczema as being cold. Walking into a warm room you have the power to reduce the layers and then add them back on before leaving into the cold winter air.
Just as important is the type of clothing you wear. Synthetic clothing can be harsh on the skin and trigger eczema and scratching which can lead to infection. Make sure you know which fabrics work for you. Generally 100% cotton or 100% hemp clothing are safe to use for people with sensitive and eczema prone skin. Pure Cotton Comfort clothing have some good options. However, everyone is different and has different triggers, experiment with different materials and see what works best for you. If you have your heart set on a beautiful top or a pair of pants, you can still wear them, just make sure to wear and eczema friendly barrier of clothing underneath.
4. Avoid hot baths and showers
A nice hot shower or relaxing bath can be so tempting after a long winter day. However, it is also one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Hot water can dry out the skin further especially if you soak in it for an extended period of time, this can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause flareups. Luke warm water is best for people that suffer from dry, sensitive or eczema prone skin.
Make sure to avoid using products that contain soap, parabens, preservatives or fragrances as these can dry out the skin further and can trigger eczema and dermatitis. A great soap free wash that also contains NO preservatives, fragrances, parabens or harsh chemicals is the Krem Body Wash.
5. Use a humidifier
A major eczema trigger in winter is the dry air. Use a humidifier at home to add moisture to the air. There are humidifiers to suit all price points, you can get them from your local pharmacy or even Target. Currently MPC is having a sale on humidifiers, you can find some good quality ones for a great price.
6. Get some Vitamin D
Your skin naturally produces Vitamin D when you come into contact with the sun. Vitamin D is responsible for a lot of things like keeping us smiling and repairing skin. During winter it is a lot harder to get your recommended dose of Vitamin D. You can use a supplement during winter to keep your levels up (speak to your doctor first).
Be weary that your skin can still burn in winter, especially if you have sensitive skin, so make sure you always wear sunscreen. Sun burnt skin can dry out the skin and cause eczema.
Happy and healthy winter skin is not just a myth. Follow the steps above and you'll be sure to notice improvements.