It's that time of year! The climate has made way for cooler temperatures. My summer clothes and light jackets have officially been replaced by warm, comfy sweaters and big coats.
My love for winter
On one hand, I love the winter because of the holiday celebrations and I will be spending more time with my loved ones. I also enjoy this season because it gives me a chance to cover up my eczema to its fullness. I don’t have to work so hard to hide my eczema from others. Not to mention, I can wear outfits that actually match the season. (Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants to cover my eczema in 90-degree weather doesn’t really match up).
My eczema’s not-so-much love for winter
On the other hand, my eczema is not too big of a fan of the winter time. The coldness tends to create chaos and unexpected, uncontrollable flares. From drier skin to moisturizing more often, to spending money on creams and oils to keep up with the dryness, winter can worsen my eczema.
Managing my eczema during winter
As the seasons begin to change, so does our skin, what we wear, eat, and do. Although I can’t control the seasons, I can take action steps to better manage my eczema so that it’s less likely to be affected by the climate changes.
With over 26 years of living with eczema, here are some tips I have gathered to support you in handling your eczema during these cooler months.
With less humidity in the air, our skin tends to evaporate more moisture than normal. First, focus on hydrating from the inside out with plenty of water, soups, smoothies, herbal teas and anything that soothes you. Then, lock in the moisture from the outside with a suitable emollient on the skin that is free of additives to prevent moisture loss.
During the winter months, we tend to crave comfort foods (or at least I do). This includes eating fresh out-of-the-oven pizzas, cookies, pies, ice cream…you name it! Be sure to stay consistent with a diet plan that will not trigger your body and eczema. When you are hungry for comfort food, have a healthy back-up plan. For example, home-made cookies, apples with peanut butter, non-dairy ice cream, and so forth.
Use certain fabrics
Cold weather calls for warm clothes. Apparel that is too warm, tight, rough and heavy can make you sweat and cause a flare-up. Fabrics such as wool or synthetic fibers can also increase itchiness and discomfort. Find and use cotton garments that will keep you warm in the winter and wear loose items that will not rub against your skin.
The cooler temperature means staying indoors and avoiding the cold. While spending time inside means you’ll be staying warm, it also means you’ll be hanging out with dust mites. With heaters running and bulky bedding, dust tends to creep its way into our spaces without permission. Wash your bedding more often in hot water and vacuum more frequently to decrease the collection of dust.
Adjust temperature in increments
As temperatures drop, it becomes tempting to turn up the heat indoors. Note that moving between different extremes of temperatures (hot to cold, cold to hot) can add stress to the immune system. This, in turn, can trigger your eczema and create unexpected flares. If you want to turn on the heat, slowly increase the temperature, giving time for your body to adjust. You can also wear layers of clothing to support you in adjusting with the temperature. When it gets warmer or colder, remove or add a piece of clothing.
How do you manage your eczema during the winter? Drop a comment below and share with us!
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