10 ways to avoid an eczema flare-up in cold weather

As the mercury plummets, our skin needs protecting more than ever. Here’s how to prevent eczema flaring up this season...

As any eczema sufferer knows, life can be a constant battle to avoid certain triggers which are likely to cause itchy and unsightly flare-ups.

[Read more: 4 tips for living with eczema]

Cold weather can be a problem as it dries the skin out – and so does the central heating. But there are plenty of ways you can ease your eczema woes this winter…

1. Turn down the temperature in the shower

It can be all too tempting when it’s freezing outside to have the temperature of the water in your shower near scalding, but your skin certainly won’t thank you for it! Turn it down just a little and you will feel the benefits in no time.

2. Avoid itchy wool jumpers

Yes they are festive, but they are also seriously itchy, not ideal for already irritated skin! Stick to smooth fabrics such as soft cottons, nothing that is going to leave you looking red raw from itching all day.

[Read more: Eczema: What is it and how to treat it]

3. Get your bathroom routine right

Apply your emollient before AND after you shower. Locking moisture into your skin couldn’t be more important when you live with eczema. Applying a thin layer of emollient ahead of your shower will help to protect your skin from the drying water and applying it again when you get out will help to lock in moisture.

4. Watch what you eat

If you regularly experience eczema flare-ups, you will know all too well that food can often be the trigger. With all the festive and indulgent food lying around during the winter months, it can be all too easy to overindulge. Try keeping a food diary to track what is causing your eczema to pop up, then you can avoid these at all costs at the buffet table.

[Read more: Eczema: 7 foods that can help ease the itchy skin condition]

5. Soap is not your friend

A quick pit-stop in the bathroom each morning can often mean we get a little lazy with our routine. Most people who regularly experience problematic skin know that using soap in your morning shower can be extremely drying and make for uncomfortable skin.

A quick swap to a soap substitute will be much kinder and won’t take you any more time in the morning.

6. Carry your cream everywhere

If you’re great at applying your emollient during your skincare routine each day, but forget to take care of yourself as soon as you leave home, then this one is for you. When you’re running around in the cold weather, it can be easy for exposed areas such as your hands to get neglected. An easy to use mini cream such as Cetraben Cream in your handbag will help to avoid those SOS moments.

7. Central heating should be subtle and don’t sit by the fire

When it’s cold outside, cranking the heating up or getting cosy by the fire seems only natural. Whilst we don’t think you should be cold at home, extreme changes in temperature from outside to inside and drying central heating can leave you more prone to a flare-up. Try not to keep the house as toasty as an oven and your skin will be much happier.

8. Wrap up when you go out

Don’t forget those exposed areas when you’re outside in the biting wind, hands and cheeks can all feel the full force of the elements.

Treat yourselves to some new gloves and a scarf to help protect vulnerable skin and don’t forget to regularly apply your emollient to these areas. Try Weleda’s Calendula Weather Protection Cream to keep cheeks protected.

9. Avoid stress where you can

We know it’s hard, but stress can really induce an eczema flare-up – things like stressful crowds during your Christmas shopping are easily avoidable by planning ahead or, even better, making the most of online shopping (any excuse).

10. Avoid sparkly make-up during the festive season

During Christmas, it can be tempting to overload on the party season make-up. Glittery eyeshadows can leave flecks of make-up in cracked or sensitive skin, making it even more irritated.

Heavily pigmented colour can also often cause a reaction in eczema sufferers. Keep it simple with your make-up look and you won’t be avoiding eyeshadow for weeks following the Christmas party.

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