AD in Winter

Winter is the harshest season on most of our bodies. Winter’s ever-changing temperatures can be difficult for our bodies to adjust to and function in without adverse effects. Harsh temperatures, frequently changing temperatures, and drier days can have terrible effects on our skin. This is particularly so for those who already have sensitive skin or are already more prone to skin issues.

Winter eczema triggers

People who have atopic dermatitis often suffer the worst flare-ups and most damaging effects during winter months, especially on parts of their body that are more exposed to the harsh winter weather.

  • Indoor heating systems such as central air/heating systems, gasoline heat, or electric heaters may also contribute to dry skin/atopic dermatitis.
  • In winter many people also use humidifiers which can also significantly contribute to atopic dermatitis.
  • Electric blankets can also increase or worsen atopic dermatitis flare-ups.
  • Likewise, stress and anxiety can also be problematic for atopic dermatitis.
  • Frequent or quick changes in body temperature can also cause or contribute to atopic dermatitis flare-ups. For example, having a warm bath before going in the cold outdoors or wearing too many layers of clothing.
  • Another trigger may be putting on too many covers or blankets on their bed.

Winter eczema flare-up

Atopic dermatitis flare-ups in winter may look like dry, thick, cracked, or scaly skin. They may also appear to be small, raised bumps. When scratched or irritated, these small, raised bumps may scab over, bleed a bit, or leak fluid. It can also appear to be red, black, brown, or gray dry scaly patches. It can also look like dry skin, raw skin, or sensitive skin and may cause severe itching and scratching. It may feel uncomfortable, itchy, tight, or dry.

Winter eczema for kids

Atopic dermatitis may be particularly challenging in the winter for children, infants, and toddlers. Winter may cause their flare-ups to be much more frequent or much more severe. As parents, we tend to wrap our children in multiple layers and include hats, gloves, thick socks, etc. While all the warmth and layers may be great for keeping children warm in winter, they may also cause or contribute to atopic dermatitis flare-ups. Likewise, we like to make sure they are well covered at night by providing them with blankets and covers. Much like the aforementioned hats, gloves, coats and other layers, the blankets and covers may be great for their warmth but very harmful for their atopic dermatitis health.

Learning the patterns

When we have extremely sensitive skin and have atopic dermatitis flare-ups quite frequently, we may miss our actual triggers thereby missing what we can do to make our atopic dermatitis better. During winter especially. Pay close attention to all of the aforementioned triggers and contributing factors. Notice patterns and when flareups occur most frequently. Hone in on the issues and fix them! You have AD, but AD does not have you!

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