How to get the itching and flare ups fully under control for fall and winter.
Steel yourself: We’re now entering the seasons when eczema rears its head. As anyone who’s got eczema or an eczema-prone kiddo will tell you, the cold weather outside, dry heat inside, and resulting parched skin are a perfect recipe for a flare up. And in fact, any sort of sudden weather or temperature changes can trigger eczema, which means autumn’s wild fluctuations between rain, wind, cold snaps, and warmth can exacerbate those itchy skin issues. But there’s good news, too: There are plenty of ways to eczema-proof your life, even under the trickiest of weather conditions.
Moisturize A lot. Dermatologists agree the best and most reliable way to keep skin from flaring is regular, assiduous head-to-toe moisture—even three or more times a day when it’s very dry. Your moisturizer should always be fragrance free and stripped of any potentially irritating ingredients, as eczema-prone skin is some of the most sensitive skin out there. Pipette Eczema Lotion employs gentle, super-moisturizing squalane and anti-inflammatory colloidal oatmeal to soothe itchiness and smooth out those tenacious rough patches. And as with all Pipette products, over 2,000 potentially irritating ingredients are banned from the formula, so it works for the whole family from age 0 on up.
2. Retire the scratchy wool sweaters. While a fuzzy autumn pullover might be cute and cozy, skin might not agree; the rough fibers can rub against skin and cause flare ups in eczema-prone skin. Instead, go for layers of a breathable fabric like cotton (we recommend organic). Breathable layers you can easily remove also reduce the risk of overheating, which can lead to a flare too.
3. Fill up the humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture back into dry air, and when the air’s humidity is higher, skin is better able to retain its moisture. Just make sure that you regularly clean your humidifier and use distilled water to fill it up; you don’t want to risk putting mold spores or allergens into the air.
4. Clean out your heater. The first few times your heating system comes to life for the fall, the dust that’s accumulated during your heater’s dormant months is pumped out into the air. That dust can include pollen, mold or other irritants that can worsen eczema, especially if you’re allergy-prone (and people with eczema are much more likely to have significant allergies). You can head this off by cleaning your heating system before you fire it up.
5. Drink more water. This is always a good rule to live by, but especially for anyone living with eczema. When your body is properly hydrated, that translates to more resilient skin (skin is your body’s largest organ, after all). If you’ve got a kid with eczema who resists drinking water, remember that our bodies get water from food, too; eating fruits and vegetables with high water content (cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, and strawberries, just to name a few) can be a clever way to sneak in extra hydration for your little one—as well as beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which help skin in the long run.
6. No long, hot baths. Relaxing though they may be after a chilly day, hot baths can actually dry out skin. Your better option is the eczema “soak & seal” treatment method: Take a bath in warm (not hot!) water for 5-10 minutes, using a fragrance-free, extra-gentle cleanser like Pipette Baby Shampoo & Wash instead of traditional soap. Then while skin is still slightly damp—aim for within 3 minutes of getting out of the tub—apply Eczema Lotion from head to toe to seal in the moisture.
7. Pat, don’t rub. Too vigorous a rub with a rough towel can set off the alarm bells in sensitive skin. After bathing, gently pat with a soft towel—it also allows skin to retain a little more of that much-needed moisture.
8. Don’t stress. There’s a real connection between stress and eczema flare ups, and fall is a time of year when anxiety levels can spike as kids return to school and the family preps for the pressures of the holidays. While “not stressing” is certainly easier said than done, there are concrete steps you can take to lower your stress hormone levels. Meditation has been shown to help people better cope with itchy flare ups, and something as simple as a few deep breaths can help both kids and adults reset and release some of that tension.
The information provided by Pipette is intended solely for educational purposes. The information is not to be used for medical diagnostic purposes and is not intended to serve as a recommendation for treatment and/or management of any medical/surgical condition. Most of all, this information should not be used in place of a physician or other qualified health provider. If you believe you or your child have a medical condition, please contact your physician immediately.