What winter factors cause eczema flare-ups?
The weather is cold, the days are short, Christmas is fast approaching and 2021 is round the corner. All indications that winter is here! For eczema sufferers the winter season may be the most difficult time to manage skin care and to avoid flare ups. The question is what is it about winter that causes eczema flare ups and dry skin?
We all like to keep warm during the winter, however wearing the wrong type of clothing materials such as wool, synthetics and nylon are highly likely to irritate eczema. This is frustrating as at the same time, as we don’t want to be freezing when going outside.
Having a moisturiser that is too thin may cause the skin to dry out quickly throughout the day. On the flip side using a moisturiser or emollient cream which is too thick may cause blocked pores. Also in addition, clothing stains and damage to washing machine.
Conflicting temperatures of cold and heat
Cold weather causes are skin to dry and become dehydrated as the cold affects the skin barrier. Even people who do not have eczema may experience hand dryness meaning we are not alone. I love to be indoors with central heating on a cold winter’s night wrapped under my duvet. I’m sure we all like to do this? Issue is central heating is also an issue when it comes to eczema. Central heating dries out our skin and causes the air to become dry. Also going from extreme heat to extreme cold can also upset our skin due to shock of temperature change. Additional places to consider when thinking about heating include cars, office environments and shops.
We all have general life factors which causes stress. Whether it’s pressure from managers at work, family and relationships at home or caring for elderly relatives etc. I think for winter 2020/21 stress and anxiety will be a lot higher than normal. There are general thoughts of shopping and preparing for the festive season, which is standard for this time of year. However, on top of that we also have extra anxieties. For instance, deciding which relatives to visit or have around due to government guidelines and safety. Obviously nobody wants to catch COVID 19 and pass it onto others so there are anxieties about being more cautious.
Food and nutrition
As the weather gets colder, we are more likely to turn to warm comfort food rather than salads. This is natural, however too much sugary treats will affect eczema as well as the general allergens. (E.g. wheat, diary and eggs etc.) Drinking water is also important all year round, the more we keep ourselves hydrated then less likely our skin will dry out.
Lack of nutrients/supplements
This is also important. Due to limited hours of daylight and sun we are more likely to have low vitamin D in our bodies.
What is the solution?
Ok, so I’ve listed all the issues as to why eczema is likely to flare up during the winter, but the question is how do we manage this? What is the solution?
Tune into my next blog which will have all the answers!
Below are a few links I found while researching online. This is where I got some information from and may be useful for you: