If you are one of the 12 million people in the UK who suffer from eczema, you will know that winter can be a particularly difficult time for those with sensitive skin. As the weather closes in and the central heating comes on, skin can become even more dry, itchy and cracked than usual.
How Can I Manage My Eczema?
There is no one treatment for eczema, but there are several ways of managing the condition and reducing its appearance and irritation. Moisturising treatments called emollients can reduce flaky dryness – this is especially important in the winter, when the air indoors and outside is much dryer than it is during the summer. These are available from pharmacists or your GP. You can also ask your GP about steroids and antihistamines that can help to reduce itchiness.
For a steroid-free option, consider a skin peel. Chemical peels can help to resolve eczema flare-ups by removing rough spots and itchy patches without irritating the sensitive under-layer of your skin. There are various options for skin peels, and a good dermatologist will be able to help identify the best one for your skin.
Keep an eye on what you eat. Allergens can cause flare-ups, and it could be that you are unknowingly sensitive to a particular type of food which exacerbates your eczema. Consider keeping a food diary to spot any food-eczema patterns.
Don’t scratch! It’s easier said than done, but scratching affected skin can worsen the situation and even create a bigger lesion. Keeping your nails short will make it more difficult to scratch and will help to reduce the risk of infection from bacteria under your nails. Similarly, avoid using exfoliators or highly perfumed soap on sensitive skin, as these can trigger eczema.
Be gentle on your skin. Wearing natural materials such as cotton and silk, using non-irritant moisturisers and cleansers and jumping into a warm shower can all soothe sensitive skin and help to reduce itchiness or flare-ups.« Back