How Can the Weather Affect Your Eczema?
Throughout the US, there are millions of individuals of all ages suffering from eczema – and with each coming year, millions more will be afflicted with the condition. Eczema is skin condition in which the patient will experience itchy, severely inflamed skin patches – often along creases and folded areas on the body. Eczema has a number of different causes, most commonly brought on my stress (both physical and mental) and the presence of irritants making contact with the skin. While eczema is treatable, for most sufferers it will often return due to different triggers – infections, allergens, skin irritants, and certain skincare products are the most common. However, while these are the most known triggers for eczema, one of the most severe is also the least known – the weather. According to Rye dermatologist, Dr. Eric Treiber, the changing of seasons and the different weather conditions it brings about can cause the most severe of eczema breakouts. And those patients living in areas in which they experience, an explicit change of seasons are far more susceptible to repeated bouts of eczema. Here are some important facts to help you better understand how exactly the weather may be affecting your skin, and what can be done about it.
In certain parts of the country, like New York, where Rye dermatologist, Dr. Eric Treiber is based, each and every year a few things are certain – it will snow in the winter and be unbearably cold, and the summers will be hot and humid. Of course, the spring and fall do provide a pleasant respite from these clearly opposing ends of the spectrum but when it comes to skincare, they can bear a big part of the burden as well. During the spring and summer months, as the temperatures begin to increase the air will get very hot and in certain areas, humidity levels will rise. With this rise in heat and humidity, we naturally begin to sweat – with sweating comes flare ups of atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema. In contrast, during the winter months, as the air becomes more frigid and temperatures dip below freezing – we will often experience dry skin. While dry skin might be a normal part of life for most, that can be fixed with a bit of moisturizer, according to Rye dermatologist, Dr. Eric Treiber, those with more eczema-prone skin, have trouble holding in moisture. This will lead to brittle, scaly skin characteristic of eczema.
Having eczema isn’t usually a big enough to uproot you and your family but living in certain parts of the country can definitely benefit you and control some of your skincare issues. Some patients tend to have success in the southwest of the US, while it might be hot, the air is fairly dry and lacks too much humidity. And therefore, some skin conditions won’t be as bothersome. For those who suffer from overly dry skin however, other, more temperature areas may prove better for you. Of course, moving to an entire new part of the country simply isn’t an option for the vast majority of us, meaning we must learn to cope with the conditions of our home state. For those with issues in the hot summer months, a few tips might help stave off those eczema breakouts. According to Rye dermatologist, Dr. Eric Treiber, thick moisturizers and greasy topicals simply won’t work in the hot weather. Instead switch to lighter lotions and even aloe creams, as opposed to thicker cream moisturizers. Also, pay attention to the type of soap you use – certain antibacterial soaps can be too strong, killing off useful bacteria. Try a gentle light soap, with a built-in moisturizer – and be sure to rinse off with cold water after any exposure to other irritants. In addition, stick to looser, more breathable clothing and fabrics like cotton – this will help reduce irritation of the skin. The best thing you can do overall is to stay cool, try to keep your home or work air conditioned or at least use a fan – if possible, limit the humidity levels to 50 percent.
For those dealing with the cold weather however, it is a different story. In a colder, dry climate ti is important to moisturize as much as possible – twice a day or more. Use petroleum jelly and thicker, topical moisturizers with built in fatty acids. And in the event dry skin and rashes do strike, try hydrocortisone cream – both OTC and prescription strength. When it comes to you and your environment it is vital to avoid irritants at all costs. According to Rye dermatologist, Dr. Eric Treiber, avoid fabrics like wool as they will lead to constant breakouts – try softer, skin-friendly cotton layers. You may want to invest in a humidifier, to add some humidity if you feel the air being overly dry. Also, try fragrance-free soaps, with built in moisturizers.
One of the best tips for your skin overall, no matter what the temperature might be, is to wear protective sunscreen – SPF 30. For more information on eczema treatment, contact Treiber Dermatology today.