Is your skin condition worse by season?

Skin is the body’s largest organ and during the winter months it has to contend with the wind, the cold and frequent temperature changes between heated homes and the cold outdoors. It is at this time of the year our skin can need additional support. Here are our top tips for maintaining healthy skin in the winter.

Moisturizers

Moisturisers should be a staple of the winter routine. You may need to increase either frequency or intensity of the moisturiser during winter, potentially moving from a lotion to an ointment. Make sure you steer away from moisturisers with either perfume or lanolin as both can be significant triggers for dry skin conditions and may do more harm than good1.

It’s not just moisturisers that should be responsible for the keeping the skin hydrated, use bath oils and soap alternatives that are designed to keep the skin hydrated.

Temperature

Whilst we all love the notion of wrapping up next to an open fire during the festive period this can actually be detrimental to the skin as the heat can dry the skin out and trigger scratching, try to keep your skin at a constant temperature without too much hot-cold-hot changes. This can be done by wearing multiple layers rather than one thick layer, as layers can be removed one by one to keep a comfortable temperature. The same principle can be applied with bed covers at night 

Humidity

Humidity actually drops in the winter. Despite the grey days and rain, humidity tends to stay low. That combined with the heating indoors going up in doors can cause the skin to dry out. This will be why you probably want to start moisturising more often.

Clothing

One of the perceived benefits of winter is the chance to wear big woollen clothes and wrapping up warm. Just make sure you seek out cotton clothing and accessories rather than wool. These are far less likely to itch and trigger scratching. Women with eczema on their legs should shop around for cotton tights. And those with a chromate allergy should, avoid leather gloves and hats, or wear a pair of silk gloves underneath the leather ones.

As already mentioned, try to wear several layers of cotton clothing rather than one heavy layer of warm clothing so you are better able to adjust your body temperature to suit you.

References

National Eczema Society. Emollients. [internet] (cited 31 January 2019). Available from http://www.eczema.org/emollients