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5 Tips for Preventing an Eczema Flare-up This Winter

It’s January and winter’s here in Washington, bringing with it the cold winter weather that wreaks havoc on your skin. And if you’re one of the almost 32 million Americans living with eczema, the winter months can mean added discomfort from additional outbreaks. 

Eczema, or dermatitis, is a type of skin irritation that can flare up at different times. There’s no cure for this skin condition, but at Petrin Dermatology in Redmond, Washington, Dr. James Petrin and our compassionate care team help you find relief with preventive care and anti-inflammatory products. 

We’ve curated this helpful guide with our top five tips for preventing an eczema flare-up this winter. 

1. Moisturize regularly

When you have eczema, regular moisturizing is important. And in the cold, dry winter months, it’s an essential part of preventing flare-ups. Moisturize at least twice a day with a prescription cream from Dr. Petrin or an oil- or shea-based lotion. It’s best to use hypoallergenic moisturizers and keeping travel-size lotions in convenient locations, like your car glove box or desk drawer, will make reapplication after handwashing easy.

2. Use an air humidifier

Nothing dries out skin faster than cold, dry winter air. Whether you’re outdoors in the dry, cold air or inside by the hot but dry fire, your skin loses extra moisture all winter long. And when your skin loses moisture, it gets itchy and dry. These conditions can trigger an eczema flare-up. Take preventive steps with a humidifier to add moisture back into the air to stop your skin from drying out. 

3. Keep your skin covered

Going inside and outside exposes your skin to big differences in temperature and humidity. These varying conditions can irritate your skin, causing eczema to flare. When you head outdoors, keep your skin covered, especially your hands and face. Choose gloves and scarves made from cotton instead of wool to avoid unnecessary itching. 

4. Avoid irritants

Eczema flare-ups are frequently triggered by materials or products that make contact with your skin. Keeping track of flare-ups can help you determine your unique sensitivities. Use mild or hypoallergenic skin care products that are fragrance and chemical free, and switch to unscented soaps and detergents. Wear vinyl gloves when washing dishing to keep hands dry and to avoid unnecessary exposure to detergents. Finally, choose natural, breathable fabrics and materials, like cotton.

5. Talk to your doctor

Even people who don’t have eczema experience itchy, dry skin during the winter months. If you have eczema, it can be hard to stay ahead of irritated skin. Dr. Petrin evaluates any flare-ups, checks for infection, and can prescribe topical medications to help stop itching and prevent the patches from spreading. 

Learn more about preventing eczema flare-ups this winter

Eczema is a chronic skin condition with no permanent cure. But at Petrin Dermatology, we can help you get through the winter months flare-up free. If you’re battling dry, itchy skin, contact our Redmond office by calling to schedule an appointment or booking online today!

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