If you're living with eczema, you know that it can be a real pain once the weather gets colder. But what can you do to mitigate your eczema symptoms during the winter months? Here are a few tips to help you out.
During the winter months, the air holds a lot less moisture because it's so cold. That means the air outside is incredibly dry. But the air inside your house can be just as dry if you're using forced air heating. Fortunately, investing in a good humidifier to use around the house is a great way to get some moisture back into the air. In turn, your skin will be able to retain more moisture while indoors and you may experience fewer eczema symptoms. Just make sure you're strategically placing it in a place where you tend to spend a lot of time, such as your living room or bedroom, so you can take full advantage of its benefits.
As part of the eczema treatment plan your dermatologist devises, you need to do your part to prevent eczema flare ups at home. A big part of that is skipping scalding hot showers and trying to shorten your time in the shower altogether. You may need to change up your routine a little bit to alleviate some of your eczema symptoms. Shorter showers and cooler water might seem like a big sacrifice, but it's one that comes with keeping your skin healthy. A long, steamy shower might feel really nice after a tiring day, but it's going to strip your skin of the natural oils and lubricants it needs to prevent your eczema from flaring up. Taking a long, hot shower is really only going to make those symptoms worse. Whether you're experiencing a flare up or you're actively trying to prevent one, keeping your shower a few degrees cooler and spending less time in the water is going to be one of the simplest steps you can take to protect yourself.
While it's possible to purchase a variety of over-the-counter eczema creams at your local pharmacy, a prescription-strength cream may be your best bet during the winter months. Whenever you're dealing with a skin condition like eczema, it's important to work with your dermatologist to determine exactly what your skin needs to retain moisture and heal during the winter months. In some cases, you may only need to use a prescription-strength eczema cream when the weather is cold and dry. If your dermatologist recommends this step, then it's definitely a good investment to make for your skin.
If at-home or over-the-counter eczema treatments aren't cutting it, it's likely that you'll need a corticosteroid treatment. Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments are typically prescribed by a dermatologist to help treat just that. These anti-inflammatory medications are applied directly to the skin and can help alleviate some of your eczema symptoms. That being said, sometimes topical treatments aren't an option. When this happens, there are systemic corticosteroids that your dermatologist can prescribe to be taken orally or to be administered via injection. If you're experiencing a severe flare up, systemic treatments may be more effective and take less time to alleviate symptoms.
Living with eczema during the winter can be a real challenge. If you need help treating your eczema and want to see a dermatologist, set up an appointment with SE Dermatology Specialists today.