Red and itchy skin from eczema often causes physical discomfort, and flare ups can be distressing especially during winter when the air is cold and dry. Your eczema dermatologist will educate you on how to treat your symptoms based on your triggers and type of eczema. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an overarching term for a group of conditions that affect the skin. These conditions make the skin red, itchy, inflamed and irritated. According to the National Eczema Association, several types of eczema exist affecting millions of people in the United States. These types include:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Dyshidrotic eczema
- Nummular eczema
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis
The two most common types of eczema are atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis; these can appear on any part of the body, especially the hands, feet, face, torso, and elbows. Learn more about each type of eczema here.
What are Some Causes for Flare Ups?
The easiest way to manage flare ups is by knowing your triggers, and your eczema dermatologist will help you identify them. Eczema can be easily triggered by a number of factors. The most typical triggers are:
- Irritants like metals, soaps, fragrances, wool, and chemical irritants found in personal care products and household cleaners
- Physical factors like stress, sweat, hormones, hot baths/showers, and excessive scratching
- Allergens from pollen, pet dander, mold, and cigarette smoke
- Climate change, extremely hot or cold weather, and changes in humidity
Knowing and avoiding your specific triggers will help you manage your eczema easier and keep symptoms at bay. However, sometimes it is impossible to avoid triggers, especially climate change and weather.
How Can My Eczema Dermatologist Help with Flare Ups During Winter?
The change in climate and humidity levels that comes with winter is a common trigger for people with eczema. Your provider will discuss with you your treatment options based on your condition and whether your eczema is affected by winter weather. Here are a few basic methods that are used to both avoid and treat eczema flare ups:
- Bathe with lukewarm water and immediately apply a “greasy” moisturizer
- Over the Counter remedies like gentle cleansers, mild steroids, and moisturizers
- Prescription treatments like topical steroids, and in some cases immunosuppressant medications
These methods are suggested year round, but should definitely be taken seriously during winter when your symptoms can become worse.
Talk with your eczema dermatologist to identify your type and make a plan of action to treat your form of eczema. Contact Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center to schedule an appointment to get started!