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Atopic eczema in winter
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK
The many variables that represent trigger factors for acute flare-ups of atopic eczema can be usefully listed as either unavoidable, or avoidable:
As a season, winter is a trigger factor that is, for most of us, "unavoidable".
But in winter there are measures that can be useful to consider, in order to be "pro-active". It may be especially important in cold weather to keep an eye out for "flare-ups", in order that treatment can be started promptly. Otherwise, there are several associated triggers that may be especially important to remember in winter:
- Dry skin:
Always number one! In winter, especially likely: use your emollient for often!
- Central Heating:
Notorious for skin drying - lowers the relative humidity.
- House dust mite:
Perhaps more problematic in winter, with closed windows and central heating: extra attention needed to vacuum cleaning and appropriate bed linen.
- Infectious diseases:
Common virus infections may increase vulnerability to eczema flare-up: get that ‘flu jab!
- Cold dry weather:
When out and about, extra moisturizer is needed to protect the skin!
Just as we do for other aspects of life - car, house, clothes, garden - we can take extra care as winter starts, in order that our skin stays in good shape.