The epidermis is a tough outer layer of skin that constantly sheds and renews itself. This outermost layer of skin provides a barrier against infection and environmental pathogens. It also regulates the amount of water released through the skin.
In patients with eczema, the epidermis doesn’t work as well as it should. This makes the skin vulnerable to irritation, because the outer layer of skin isn’t able to provide as much protection as it should. Additionally, the skin is prone to losing moisture, which can cause more problems.
The colder temperatures and dry air of winter, therefore, can be a challenge for eczema patients. Here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center, Dr. Ulrike Ziegner helps patients manage eczema in the winter and all year long. In this blog, Dr. Ziegner has put together some tips to help you take care of your skin this winter.
Avoid drastic temperature changes
Sudden drastic temperature changes are a problem for people with sensitive skin. When the skin is exposed to major temperature changes, it can become dry and itchy quickly and trigger an eczema flare-up.
During the winter months, the skin can be exposed to drastic temperature changes from the warm indoor air and cold outdoor air. Abrupt changes can irritate the skin and cause eczema symptoms.
To help avoid eczema flare-ups, keep your skin protected by wearing gloves and a scarf. Furthermore, dress in layers.
Keep your skin hydrated
Because the epidermis doesn’t work right in people with eczema, retaining moisture is often a problem. The inability to retain moisture can leave your skin dry, flaky, and cracked. Furthermore, your skin may ooze and feel irritated. This can be especially true during the winter months.
To combat this, use a moisturizer that is safe for sensitive skin. Applying a moisturizer several times a day can protect your skin from the dry winter air and help you retain moisture and reduce irritation.
Keep your skin dry
It’s equally important to keep your skin dry. If it rains or your skin becomes damp in any way, try to dry your skin as soon as possible. Leaving your skin wet can cause irritation and trigger a flare-up.
Stay on top of food sensitivities
Patients with food hypersensitivities and food allergies are more prone to eczema. Some of the main culprits — milk, eggs, nuts, and shellfish — can trigger flare-ups and worsen eczema symptoms. If you know or suspect that you are sensitive to certain foods, do your best to avoid them. One way to find out you may have a problem with certain foods is to get tested by an allergist like Dr. Ziegner.
Stick to your care plan
A good care plan won’t work unless you stick to it. This means using prescribed medications and ointments to treat your eczema as directed and taking special care to protect your skin.
Eczema doesn’t have to make your life miserable this winter. For expert eczema care, book an appointment today with Riviera Allergy Medical Center (310) 792 9050