Can Cold Showers Help My Eczema?

Throughout my life, I have always been told not to have my water too hot when showering. It can cause the skin to become red and itchy which can lead to a flare-up. I don't know if this is true {for me} because when I have experimented with less hot showers, even though I do not like doing so, the effect on my skin is no different. I have never noticed any positive benefits. However, now I am seeing some reports that cold showing may help people who suffer from eczema. This is exciting news if it is to be true.

Why was I skeptical about cold showers?

I am always suspicious when stumbling across quick fixes, so this struck me as a bit dangerous. When I stumble across certain “cures” or “magical health benefits” online, my first thought is always one of skepticism. Some can be too quick to self-diagnose and treat their ailments without fully researching or speaking with a health professional, which I always try to do.

On the other hand, it does not mean I totally ignore new treatments or anecdotal evidence that pop up online. The truth normally lies somewhere in the middle when doing the research. A combination of good medication that has been scientifically tested and gone through all the regulatory stages and natural remedies can be a perfectly safe way to treat our eczema. But as I say, I am careful about what I choose to put in or on my body.

So is cold water good for us eczema patients?

According to The Eczema Company, “Dermatologists believe that cold water is the better alternative as it won’t strip the skin of its natural moisture as hot water does. In addition, cold water can help calm itchy skin and help you overcome the sensation to scratch. Not to mention, a cold shower is great for increasing circulation and waking you up!”1

The important word in the above statement is ‘believe.’ And as all of us eczema cats know, there is a massive difference between belief and knowledge!

Could there be psychological benefits?

Dr. Tania Elliott, faculty at NYU Langone Health, told TODAY. “From a physiological standpoint, your nerves can’t transmit multiple sensations at the same time. So if you’re itchy and you’re cold at the same time, one of those two things is going to take over. Typically the cold sensation will override the itch.”2  In the same article, they rightly point out that people with cardiovascular/heart conditions should avoid taking cold showers.

Will I try cold showers for my skin?

Personally, I am not sure what to think. I do not think I can stomach taking a freezing cold shower but I think I will experiment. I plan to have my usual showers but I will avoid getting my face and hair wet. Then after, I will wash my face with freezing cold water in the basin. Let’s see. If I find the results to be absolutely staggering, I will be sure to write up another article saying so.

Has anyone had any experience with hot showers vs cold showers?

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