Many people suffer from mild eczema in their bodies during the winter period. This is also called winter eczema. This is because the air is not only a lot colder but also much drier. Your body heat will cause the moisture from your skin to evaporate faster, leaving your skin very sensitive, explains GP Edwin de Vaal.
What is eczema?
Eczema is an umbrella term for several variants of this skin condition. The most common variant of this is atopic eczema. This is when an allergic reaction occurs on the skin. For many people, this is a chronic condition that develops in childhood. With the help of medication, they can reduce the symptoms. You also have seborrheic eczema, a variant that occurs on the scalp.
In winter, anyone can suffer from this so-called winter eczema. Even people who normally don’t suffer from eczema at all. Both eczema and winter eczema manifest themselves through dry, red spots on the skin that are very itchy and irritating. If you suffer from it for a long time and/or scratch these places, wounds can occur.
How do you deal with winter eczema?
The first tip from Edwin de Vaal is not to shower too often. Three times a week is enough to keep yourself clean. Also, make sure that you do not shower too hot and for too long. A maximum of 38 degrees is more than enough and prevents your skin from being damaged.
In addition, it is important to choose shower oil instead of shower foam. Oil helps to restore the fat layer of the skin, so that water evaporates less quickly. Soap removes this fat layer. This can make your winter eczema worse.
Finally, it is also important to take good care of your skin after showering. Do not use body lotion for this. These are mainly water-based and take away the protective layer of fat from your skin. Instead, use a fatty ointment. You can use normal Vaseline for this, but you can also buy a special skin ointment at the pharmacy. You don’t need a prescription for this.
Do I have to go to the doctor?
If you suffer from winter eczema, this is not a reason to visit your doctor. It is not harmful and not contagious. However, it can be very annoying. It is only necessary to see a doctor or dermatologist when the itching and irritation become unbearable. In that case, there is often more to it than mild winter eczema.
Where chronic eczema can sometimes only be treated with the help of a dermatologist, winter eczema can easily be treated yourself with the right means and measures.
If your eczema persists, it can also be a result of circumstances other than just the weather. Eczema can arise for several other reasons. Stress, genetics, and outside irritants can also contribute to sensitive skin. In this case, it is wise to contact the doctor to look at the possible cause and appropriate eczema treatment.