If you’ve ever dealt with eczema, you know how uncomfortable this skin condition can be. Formally called atopic dermatitis, the condition causes red and itchy skin in people of all ages. Eczema can affect sufferers year-round, but it’s particularly insidious during winter months.
By limiting your exposure to certain risk factors, you can increase the chances of having healthy skin all year long. Here is information about the prevention, treatments and steps to take if you’re dealing with this uncomfortable condition.
What Causes Eczema?
According to the Mayo Clinic, eczema is caused by a gene variation that limits your skin’s ability to protect against bacteria, irritants and allergens. This deficiency makes your skin more susceptible to environmental factors. Eczema poses the greatest risk if you have a family history of the condition, bad hay fever and allergies. The condition is more common in children.
Skin Problems During Winter
Many people see frequent flare-ups in the cold months. Why? Low humidity dries and irritates skin. If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, unfortunately, the cold air and windy weather can cause your skin to become dry and cracked. Even indoors, dry conditions can irritate your skin and worsen the problem.
When Should I See a Doctor?
You should see a doctor, or send your family member to a doctor, if discomfort causes trouble sleeping, problems concentrating or prohibits daily activities. Eczema can also cause skin infections, which can be identified by their red streaks, yellow scabs and pus. Extended irritation, despite the use of moisturizer and other deterrents, also means it’s time to see a dermatologist. Doctors like those at Georgia Dermatology Partners can provide diagnostic prevention and treatment strategies.
Managing Eczema in the Winter
A dermatologist can give you expert advice on the best treatment for your condition. According to the National Eczema Association, some common treatments and prevention measures have also been shown to help ease the condition in the wintertime. Consider purchasing a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
Apply sunscreen whenever you go outside, and dress in layers. Frequent sweating and overheating cycles can provoke itchiness and irritation. Wear gloves to protect from the wind and shed your wet clothes as soon as you can. Finding the appropriate moisturizers can help, too. Ask your dermatologist about the best oil-based moisturizers to help with your condition.
When you need help managing this condition (or any skin problem), contact Georgia Dermatology Partners today and let their expert physicians help you feel better.