Winter is quickly approaching, which means it is time to get serious about making sure we are prepped for the colder weather.
While we are physically warm, we cannot ignore two conditions affected by the cold temperatures: psoriasis and eczema. The cold weather can aggravate both.
What is psoriasis?
It is a chronic skin condition characterized by well-defined patches of red, thick, and scaly skin. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints and fingernails.
The most common sites of skin lesions include the elbows, knees, scalp, buttocks, shins, and lower back.
Psoriasis happens when the production of new skin cells outpace the shed rate of old skin cells. Cold weather and the heat in your home can activate psoriasis flare-ups.
During the winter months, you can do the following to help control your psoriasis symptoms:
• Wear gloves
• Set your home heat on the lowest temperature because a heating system can dry the skin
• Use a humidifier to help put moisture back into the air
• To keep the water in your skin, moisturize right after the shower
• Drink plenty of water
What is eczema?
It is considered as an autoimmune phenomenon, and family history, asthma, and food allergies are a major risk factor.
The condition causes dry, red, and itchy areas of the skin and is typically diagnosed in childhood, but it can occur at any age. Eczema is complex and the severity can involve environmental factors. While there is no cure for eczema, there are effective treatments to manage it.
With the cold weather, moving between the cold temperatures outdoors into an overheated and dry home can certainly aggravate eczema symptoms.
In the winter, you want to focus on helping your skin adapt to the rapid weather changes in the winter environment.
During the winter months, you can do the following to help control your eczema symptoms:
• Moisturize twice a day and use a moisture-rich but perfume-free soap.
• For stubborn flare-ups, use a topical steroid that is only available by prescription from a doctor. You can also use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.
• Humidify dry air with a humidifier
• Remove wet clothing immediately (socks, gloves, etc.) from the snow and rain as the dampness can aggravate your eczema
If you are worried the cold weather is going to compromise your already sensitive skin or skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, contact WNY Dermatology today.