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Skin care for winter

The low humidity during winter can cause dry, irritated skin. When skin becomes dry and irritated, eczema can flare. Here are some tips to help your skin during winter:

1. Use a humidifier. With the heat on and the windows closed, the air inside can become very dry in the winter, making the dryness and itching of eczema even worse. Use a humidifier to place moisture in the air. If you don’t want to invest in an expensive humidifying system, smaller, relatively inexpensive humidifiers can be obtained at a local drug store. Placing two or three of these around your home will help to humidify the dry air. This can keep skin from drying and becoming cracked and itchy.

2. Switch to an oil-based moisturizer and moisturize frequently. The more oil a moisturizer contains the more effectively it protects against moisture loss.

3. Don't linger in the bath or shower: Healthy skin has a protective superficial layer called the stratum corneum -- essentially, a natural "lipid barrier," and as temperature and humidity drop, this natural barrier becomes vulnerable to damage. Be careful with prolonged bathing, especially with hot water, because the water will sap moisture from this superficial layer, leaving the skin drier, flakier and more susceptible to damage and irritation.

4. Before Going out:

·   Apply a heavy layer of moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to the face, hands, and any other skin that may be exposed. This will act as a barrier to help protect against the harsh elements and is especially important if you will be outside for any length of time.

·   Grab those gloves. Protecting hands from the cold air and low humidity plays an important role in preventing flare-ups. Make sure the gloves are made from material that does not irritate your skin

5. Dress in layers. The most common triggers of the scratch/itch cycle are sweating and overheating. Wearing layers allows you to remove clothing as needed to prevent overheating. Be sure to wear loose-fitting cotton fabrics next to your skin.

 


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