Eczema & Winter

Eczema & Winter

There are many different forms of eczema with most having similar symptoms of red, itchy and inflamed skin. During the winter months eczema can become aggravated and more severe due to the combination of cold weather when outside and dry air when inside.

The main groups of eczema are:
Atopic (often associated with asthma and hay fever sufferers)
Irritant Contact (often associated with chemicals such as cleaning products)
Allergic Contact (often associated with a reaction to a substance)

The above forms of eczema while not caused by the cold weather can still present aggravated symptoms when exposed to the cold.  The main reason associated with eczema flare-ups is the drying of the skin during winter months. Low humidity in the air combined with extremely dry environments indoors, due to central heating means even people who don’t suffer from eczema suffer from dry skin.

The first tip for eczema sufferers during this period is clothing. Wrapping up properly, especially affected areas can decrease the change in temperature of the skin. One way to better the use of winter clothing is to put it on before you go outside. This makes sure that the heat from indoors is still maintained. Gloves, scarves and hats are most suitable as they protect areas heavily associated with eczema.

Another method is to regularly use creams such as moisturizing creams. One suggested cream is Vaseline as it adds a protective layer as well as nourishing the skin. If you have visited your GP regarding your eczema it is more than likely you already have a form of medication provided. Keeping on top of your medication or protective creams can decrease the chance of aggravated symptoms.

A suggested technique but not essential is to use a humidifier in your house. Most common heating equipment dries the air so a humidifier can counter this issue and prevent the drying of the skin. To further comfort ability at home always wear clothes that are soft such as synthetic clothes. This stops the aggravation of the material on the skin.

One way to improve on the drying of the skin is to make sure that you keep properly hydrated. During winter months it is common for people to drink hot drinks more than usual. It is advisable that you still drink plenty of water to make sure that the skin doesn’t become dehydrated, especially when indoors.

All of the above tips are just suggestions and should not be taken as medical advice. We advise that if your eczema is flaring up then you should always visit your GP who can provide you with the proper professional treatment and advice.

[1] “Strategies for Eczema Symptoms during winter”, Madeline Vann,
[2] “New Hope for an Eczema Cure – Plus 3 Ways to Soothe Dry Skin”, Allyson Fox,
[3] “What is eczema?”, Dr Victoria Lewis,