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For many, the beginning of the winter season means hauling out the sweaters from the back of the closet, drinking pumpkin spice lattes until your body physically rejects pumpkin spice, and planning a slew of closely spaced holiday parties. However, for eczema suffers winter usually means a flare of itchy skin and being grateful that the weather allows you to comfortably wear concealing clothing to cover your breakout. These tips and tricks will ensure that the best time of the year does not always fill you with rash-related fear.
First things first, see your dermatologist. If you want to get rid of your eczema, this should be your first stop. Topical cream is oftentimes the best way to sooth and reduce eczema, even if it does not completely eliminate it. If your eczema is especially bad, dermatologists can write prescriptions for more heavy duty cream that will almost definitely save your skin.
“My dermatologist gave me medication,” said senior Emily Seoane. “But my eczema still always flares up during winter.”
If you are like Emily, whatever medication you have been recommended or prescribed just is not doing the trick, then onto step two: hydration. Eczema worsens in the winter because of the low humidity and being around open fires and central heating will further irritate skin. While it is pretty easy for most to save the chestnut roasting for another year, central heating is pretty hard to avoid. So instead focus on keeping eczema patches, or eczema prone patches, moisturized. Glossier’s balm.com will achieve this end, but any small travel-sized lotion or balm will also get the job done.
Lastly, invest in a humidifier. Freezing to death, while an effective way of curbing further eczema altogether, is not desirable in the long term. Humidifiers provide a best of both worlds solution; adding moisture to the air, preventing skin dryness, and thus helping reduce and soothe eczema while allowing you to stay warm.
Winter does not necessarily mean five months of miserable itching while everyone else is rosy cheeked and only concerned with festivities. While you will probably always battle eczema at one point or another, these strategies can keep the actual battling to a minimum and have you focusing on enjoying this warm winter season.