Top Three Reasons for Eczema in the Winter Months

When it comes to the winter months, one of the most common complaints (besides the cold weather), is that of winter eczema. No matter your skin history, I am sure you can agree that you go through a few more moisturizer bottles in the winter than you do in the summer.

For some, the increased use of moisturizer is good enough to soothe the skin throughout the winter months, while many others (and maybe even you), have eczema flare-ups which go far beyond the average winter dryness.


What is Eczema?

Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition that may appear in both children and adults. Although eczema is more common in children, 1 in 5 adults are also battling the discomfort of the condition. Also known as dermatitis, patients battling eczema may find their skin to be itchy, inflamed, red, and rashy, which are typically expressed through irregular flare-ups. 


Although eczema seems like a straightforward condition, there are different types of eczema that result in different treatment plans. Seeking medical attention when you first experience signs of eczema is the best way to find a treatment plan suitable for you, as skin care physicians such as Dr. Shehla Ebrahim are well versed in identifying where your eczema is stemming from, and what treatment protocol you should follow. 

Curious about the different types of eczema? Click HERE for a detailed breakdown. 


Effects of Environment/ Temperature on Eczema in Winter

When it comes to eczema in winter, there are a few contributing factors that may be playing a role. 

  • Change in skin temperature is a huge contributing factor for eczema in winter (winter dermatitis), as the skin is in a constant state of adjustment. Not only from the change in seasons but also from being in the intense cold (i.e waiting for the bus) to cozying up in your heated home. This constant change in temperature irritates the skin (more commonly the face and the hands), which makes those areas especially prone to dermatitis. 
  • Low levels of humidity (due to heating) is an additional cause of winter eczema (winter dermatitis) flare-ups. Heated areas tend to be extremely dry, stripping your skin of natural moisture which leads to flare-ups. 
  • Increased layers of clothing (and their materials) can also play a huge factor in terms of winter eczema flare-ups. When you increase the number of layers you are wearing, along with heavy materials such as wool, it gives little room for your skin to breathe, which is a crucial component of skin health.


Things You Can do to Battle Winter Eczema (Winter Dermatitis)

So we covered the top 3 environment-based reasons why you may be prone to winter eczema flare-ups, and you are now wondering what you can do to improve your skin’s health and limit flare-ups this winter. 

  • Seeing a skin care physician is the first and most important step to battling winter eczema, as topical medication can help alleviate eczema symptoms altogether. 
  • Investing in a gentle moisturizer is the second step you can take to limit flare-ups this winter. Not only will the moisturizer replenish your skin from lost moisture due to indoor heating, but it will also soothe areas that are exposed to extreme temperature changes such as your face and hands. 
  • Investing in a humidifier is the third step you can take to regenerate moisture in your living space. When you invest in a humidifier please ensure that you follow appropriate cleaning measures so that your air stays clean.
  • Invest in clothing and bedding that are soft and breathable. Prioritize materials that are gentle on the skin such as silk and cotton, and refrain from wearing wool directly on your skin. 


When to See a Doctor 

When it comes to eczema and its unpredictability, it’s important to speak to a skin care physician as soon as you are experiencing symptoms. Upon consulting with skin care physician, Dr. Shehla Ebrahim, she will be able to identify the source of your eczema and create a topical eczema treatment plan to reverse symptoms, making your day-to-day life more comfortable. 

If you have been experiencing skin flare-ups with the following characteristics:

  • Itchy
  • Inflamed
  • Red
  • Rashy

Reclaim your skin health today and seek eczema treatment by booking a consultation HERE.