Winter Care for Atopic Skin - Step To Health

Winter Care for Atopic Skin

Atopic skin causes itching, redness and welts that appear after scratching. Symptoms worsen in winter due to cold weather and lack of humidity in the environment.
Winter Care for Atopic Skin

Last update: 20 October, 2021

Having atopic skin actually means suffering from a disease called atopic dermatitis. It’s a chronic inflammatory issue that causes the skin to be dry, itchy, scaly, and tends to become irritated. But should we take special precautions for atopic skin in winter?

The truth is that people with atopic skin, who account for 20% of the child population and around 3% of the adult population, suffer a worsening in the winter months that can greatly affect their quality of life.

Itching and discomfort cause difficulty sleeping, leading to accumulated fatigue and frequent mood swings. This is a delicate situation. Therefore, in this article, we’ll give you some winter care tips that will come in handy if you have atopic skin.

What factors influence atopic skin?

During the winter months, people with atopic skin often suffer from an intensification of their symptoms. This is primarily caused by the cold, which makes the skin less moisturized and intensifies itching.

Itching leads to scratching, which is why skin lesions and flaking often occur. The same is true, according to data from the National Eczema Association, for the dryness of the environment, which is also a major factor in winter. Not only is it an issue in the open air, but the use of heaters makes the air less humid.

The lack of moisture in the skin, accompanied by lower production of sebum, transforms the skin into a more fragile and irritable tissue. It’s very important to take this into account, as certain care measures could help to strengthen the skin and alleviate the symptoms.

A person scratching their arm
Itching is one of the worst symptoms of atopic skin.

How can I treat atopic skin in winter?

The first step is undoubtedly to consult a dermatologist for an expert opinion. However, you can make small modifications to improve the symptoms; for example, you can look for ways to acclimatize the house to prevent the environment from being too dry.

It’s obvious that if it’s very cold outside, then it’ll probably be dry everywhere. Even so, if you use heating, you can use humidifiers. These are objects that allow you to maintain adequate humidity in the home environment.

In addition, you should also know that taking a shower with excessively hot water isn’t be appropriate. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends taking short showers about 10 minutes long with lukewarm water.

For hygiene, specialists also suggesting using special soaps or gels. In addition, they recommend the frequent application of creams or lotions to keep the skin moisturized.

Nowadays, there are specific products for people suffering from atopic skin. Your dermatologist can help you choose the best products for bathing and the particular treatment of your skin.

A person putting on face cream
Atopic dermatitis can be treated with moisturizing creams.

The importance of clothing

Although many people are unaware of it, certain fabrics can make atopic skin worse. The truth is that there’s a tendency to wear certain synthetic fabrics that keep the heat in better and reduce perspiration during the winter.

All these materials should be avoided, as should clothing that’s excessively close-fitting or contains labels or seams that rub against the skin. Some experts, such as the medical encyclopedia cited above, even recommend avoiding wool.

The ideal thing would be to wear clothes made of natural fabrics such as cotton, which are wide and don’t cause too much rubbing. Above all, it’s important to choose these fabrics for pajamas and sheets, since other fabrics could complicate the rest.

Moisturize the skin more in winter

Atopic skin often worsens in winter due to the cold and lack of moisture. It’s therefore advisable to keep your skin constantly moisturized and to choose the right fabrics to wear.

See your doctor for specific advice on which products to use. Whether you are showering, moisturizing your skin, or seeking relief from symptoms, you should use special products.

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