Individuals, especially those who have eczema can experience itchiness or irritation of skin when changing out of clothes at night, when they first wake up from bed or when stepping in to a warm house after being of the cold and vice versa – due to the changes in temperature. It is recommended that those with eczema try to keep their skin temperatures constant as much as they can. Tips to do this include:
- Keeping a consistent room temperature
- Having several thinners sheets and blankets rather than one thick duvet – to be able to take off layers if needed
- Taking warm baths or showers – you should not use hot water as this can make you feel itchier
In countries that experience the winter climate, the humidity in the air lowers as it gets colder. Similarly, with colder temperatures individuals may want to turn on the radiators which can make the air even less humid and drier. While the Cayman Islands remain hot year-round, this is useful information for those who may wish to travel abroad over the holiday period. Still, in the Cayman Islands, we do use air-conditioning, in almost every building, which has also been shown to dry out skin. Therefore, this is important advice for those in Cayman with eczema even if you’re not travelling to winter climates this year.
If travelling to colder climates, make sure to pack some extra moisturizers with you to help soothe your skin from the harsh weather. Perhaps a thicker ointment to ensure if suitably protects your skin. Emollient ointment or petroleum jelly are also good things to use on your lips to keep them moisturized.
When choosing your clothing for the winter months, while scarves and gloves might be required, take care to choose clothing without wool as this can further irritate skin. Cotton is the best fabric choice with silk working particularly well to wear underneath your wool gloves.
With the colder weather comes more colds and flu infections. For those with eczema, they have a great proportion of staphylococcus aureus (a bacterium) on their skin. The National Eczema Association states that “any open skin makes them prone to infected eczema”. Therefore, it is important to prevent the transmission of staphylococcus aureus through frequently washing your hands and having tissues handy for when you cough or sneeze.
These tips are based on information from the National Eczema Association.
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