Papering Over the Cracks

We are rapidly heading into the colder seasons, and our challenges in managing our conditions will need to change. We focus on preventing excessive sweating, taking cool showers, and keeping the air filtrated and our bodies well hydrated in the warmer months. Now that there has been a huge change in the temperature, certainly here in the UK, the challenge is about keeping the skin warm, moist and the prevention of cracked and bleeding skin is of the utmost importance.

Changing weather and changing flares

I can feel my skin starting to change. In the mornings, it feels tighter and dry. It is a signal that the weather and air conditions have changed. It is also a sign that I need to liberally apply more of my moisturizers before and after showers. It is a well-known fact that in these cooler temperatures, people are more susceptible to coughs, sinus problems, flu, and of course, asthma which is another condition I have to manage. Ordinarily, the most vulnerable are the elderly and the young. According to our Editorial Team, research studies have identified several factors related to climate and weather that can act as eczema triggers, including cold seasons, changing weather, a sudden fall in temperature, and geographical regions that lack sun (exposure to UV light generally improves atopic dermatitis).

What can you do?

Get a flu jab – People with certain health conditions are at high risk of suffering the effects of flu, so if you haven't had your flu jab yet, ask at your GP practice. I notice that when I have flu, my eczema is exacerbated.

Keep warm - When going out, wear the appropriate clothing and ideally cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or, in the current COVID era, a mask will help. Moisturize your skin, too, as this could prevent the skin from getting cracked and dry.

Breathe through your nose - The nose is a great filtration system. By breathing through your nose, it regulates the temperature of the air, and you take in more oxygen which can enable the body to heal more effectively.

Try to stay indoors when exercising - It is important to keep fit and healthy. Again, it is about avoiding the cold air from getting into direct contact with your skin.

Drink plenty of fluids - And perhaps a warm drink before bed. Lemon or red teas are great. They can help open up the airways.

Seasonal eczema is constant battle

Although eczema is a constant battle, we all really need to work hard to stay on top of this condition. It is easy to let things slide. I occasionally do and then curse myself, knowing that I could have been that little more proactive, so I am not saying this is a straightforward and easy thing to do. It is hard work. But we have to remember why we do all these things. We want to live a fuller and better quality of life, and in doing so, we have to put the effort in. Good luck, people.

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