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Caring for your skin this winter

Handcream

In winter harsh weather conditions can worsen the symptoms of eczema. If you’re living with this condition, here are some ways you could help your skin through the winter months:

Hydration: 

As the weather changes you might want to consider adjusting your skin care routine.

You could try using an emollient to keep your skin hydrated. These are treatments which cover the skin with a protective film to trap in moisture.

There are lots of different types of emollients such as lotions, creams, ointments, bath and shower oils, and soap substitutes. Pharmacies are the best place to find them.

In general, it’s recommended that very dry skin is treated with an ointment, moderately dry with a cream and slightly dry with a lotion. However, you may find you need to sample a few products to find the one that works best for you. 

Applying emollients:

Keep reapplying your emollient throughout the day to maximise hydration. They should be applied at least twice a day and three to four times for someone with very dry skin.

Here are some tips for applying emollients:

  1. Before applying, hands should be washed to avoid cross-infection
  2. Keep fingernails short to reduce the chance of accidently scratching your skin
  3. Apply gently in the direction of hair growth to avoid aggravating hair follicles
  4. Try not to rub up and down, or continuously, as this can generate heat and aggravate itching

Hand washing, bathing and showering:

Soap and perfumed products can dry the skin out, so it’s best to avoid products these.

Emollients can also be used for washing and after washing. When using one after washing, gently pat your skin dry, leaving it slightly moist, before applying your product.

Soft, loose sleepwear:

Wear natural fibres such as cotton – avoid synthetic fabrics which might irritate.

Persistent symptoms?

Visit your local pharmacy or arrange an appointment with your GP.

For further information and advice visit our Eczema and Dermatitis page or download our Atopic Dermatitis / Eczema and Eczema in Children Factsheets.

We’re currently working with Sanofi on some fantastic atopic dermatitis tools which will be available to you in the New Year. Keep an eye out for them on our website, by signing up to our newsletter or by signing up for our tailored information emails.

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