EVERY SEASON BRINGS ITS OWN SKIN CONCERNS AND WINTER'S CLAIM IS DRYNESS. WHEN THE TEMPERATURES DROP, OUR SKIN IS MORE PRONE TO EXCESSIVE DRYNESS AND EVEN SEASONAL CONDITIONS LIKE ECZEMA. WE GOT THE DETAILS FROM NEW YORK DERMATOLOGIST, DR. JESSICA WEISER ON WHAT EXACTLY SEASONAL ECZEMA IS AND HOW TO PREVENT THIS INEVITABLE DRYNESS.
What is seasonal eczema and how does it differ from regular eczema?
Regular eczema or atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition causing a defect in the skin’s barrier repair making the skin very sensitive to itching, redness, dryness and irritation. This form of eczema is typically genetic and appears within the first year of life. Seasonal eczema or dermatitis often happens later in life without any genetic dispositions. The temporary excessive dryness may occur due to the lack of humidity in the air, cold outdoor temperatures and dry indoor heat.
How does the fall and winter affect it?
When the seasons transition into fall and winter, humidity levels decrease which means there is little or no moisture in the air. Additionally, the cooler outdoor temperatures and dry indoor heat can increase skin’s susceptibility to irritation and inflammation.
Is there anything one can do to prevent it?
The first thing to do in preventing flare-ups is to minimize your exposure to irritants by switching to milder skincare and laundry products. To restore our skins’ barrier functions, applying liberal emollient oils, creams or ointments will help in maintaining moisture. Simple things like wearing gloves and warm clothing will protect skin from further damage.
Once someone has it, what actions can they take to help relieve it?
All of the preventative measures above can also treat already existing eczema flare-ups. Gentle fabrics like cotton worn directly on skin can provide relief and comfort. Also, consider taking out any perfumed products from your daily routine to avoid increased irritation.
Anything else you would like to add?
If skin is warm to touch, painful, swollen or scabbed then it is important to consult with your dermatologist to ensure that the skin has not become secondarily infected. The comprised skin barrier caused by eczema can lead to bacterial and sometimes even viral infections. If skin is not responsive to any treatments, consult a dermatologist for an accurate evaluation.