Winter is here and while the season is full of fun and good times, it is often a tricky time of the year for one’s skin. For those with a tendency to have eczema it is even worse. In the winter months here in Hampton Roads the humidity falls. If you add in the further dryness that is caused as we turn up the thermostats in our homes, it is no wonder our skin dries out. And why does that matter? The most common cause of itchiness is seen in people whose skin is too dry. We call it “the winter itch” just for that reason.
Here are some suggestions to combat this common annoyance:
1. Limit hot showers. Better to use warm water when bathing.
2. Moisturize the skin twice daily…morning and night. Creams are more effective moisturizers than lotions, so they are preferred, but anything is better than nothing. Just use it! Applying moisturizer immediately after bathing helps hold some moisture in the skin.
3. Wear rubber gloves when doing dishes and be sure to dry hands completely after washing them.
4. Get a humidifier for your home. Too expensive? Get a freestanding unit for your bedroom. At least during the 7 or 8 hours that you are sleeping your skin will be in an environment where it is losing less moisture.
5. Use mild soaps. Now is not the time for harsh soap products. Orient around products that are preferentially made for sensitive skin.
Let us know if these simple steps don’t remedy the problem. EVMS Dermatology can help make you more comfortable. We want you to enjoy winter, not scratch through it.