Winter is here! You reach for a cup of hot chocolate and curl up to the fireplace as the temperature continues to drop outside. That warm, cozy sweater you’ve been excited about wearing for the winter season is rubbing your skin raw – triggering an unpleasant itch and irritation. With continued scratching, you find your skin begins to develop a rash. You believe you just have dry skin, but in some cases, you have a condition called eczema. Eczema can be an embarrassing and frustrating issue. Those dry, itchy patches of skin seem only to worsen when cold, windy weather hits, leaving your skin even more inflamed and sensitive. Eczema is a common skin condition affecting over 31 million Americans yearly. Don’t suffer through the chilly winter with blotches or blisters; there are steps you can take to ease the irritation and tenderness.
So, What Is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic skin condition, defined by itching, red, irritated skin. This skin condition occurs due to loss of moisture in the skin; while genetics can play a role in who develops eczema, it is commonly associated with seasonal allergies and hay fever. It can be exacerbated by contact with environmental irritants or allergens.
Symptoms of Eczema
- Dry, itchy and scaly skin
- Red rash on the elbows, knees, or nape of the neck
- Rough, thickened skin on the neck, face, and around the eyes
- Associated skin infections
How Do I Treat Eczema & Dry Skin?
For the winter season specifically, there are some tips and tricks you can try at home:
- Moisturize Often. If you take long, hot showers, you probably know how dry your skin feels afterward. Throw in some cold, dry air on top of that, and you will be itching and peeling in no time. Thoroughly moisturizing on a daily basis can do wonders for your skin. Liberally apply a thick moisturizing cream or ointment to your body twice a day. Petroleum jelly is a cheap but effective option.
- Avoid Irritants and Allergens. Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea as to what irritates your skin – do your best to avoid triggers. Wash your clothing with a detergent designed for sensitive skin. Choose soaps for sensitive skin. Avoid any perfume or chemicals that may aggravate eczema.
- Humidifier. You may have noticed how the heater in your home can quickly dry out the air. The heat can do the same to your skin. Keep your environment free of dry air, with the use of a humidifier. However, be cautious not to allow the skin to sweat and overheat which may contribute to itching.
- Visit your Dermatologist. Often if you have not been able to control eczema at home, your dermatologist may suggest a prescription-strength topical medication eases the inflammation and itching.
Winter is here for another two months– seek the opinion of a board-certified dermatologist today and rid your itch today. Call Dr. Daneeque Woolfolk and schedule an appointment.
Daneeque Woolfolk, MD is a board-certified Dermatologist in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Woolfolk’s practice, Blackburn Woolfolk Dermatology, PLLC provides the highest standard of care in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, and continually introduces the latest advances in treatment. Dr. Woolfolk has been named 2017 Top10MD an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed within the United States. Contact Dr. Woolfolk today or call (214)630-5256.