The weather is cooling down. The cozy sweaters are coming out. You’ve ordered your first pumpkin spice latte. Halloween and Thanksgiving prep are in full swing. Your eczema? Well, that’s flaring up, too.
Professionals in the medical field have dubbed autumn as “eczema season.” It’s no coincidence National Eczema Month happens every October in the United States. Many people with eczema-prone skin report flare-ups during these cool weather months.
Is Eczema Seasonal? What Causes Eczema to Flare in Fall
Eczema flare-ups can occur any time of the year, and any type of temperature or weather change can trigger eczema. The fall creates the perfect storm for eczema flare-ups, though. With cold air outside and dry heat from running the heater indoors, the skin can become extra dry and cracked. Dramatic changes between warm and cold days back-to-back and wind add to skin troubles.
How to Enjoy Fall Without the Flare-Ups
Having eczema in the fall doesn’t need to mean missing out on fun autumn activities. To help manage seasonal flares, follow these tips for eczema:
1. Use a Humidifier Indoors
In the warmer months, humidity and eczema aren’t a great pair. But as the weather cools, your skin needs more moisture—and that’s where a humidifier can help. Turning on the heat in your home creates dry air. By using a humidifier, you can add moisture back into the air and help your skin retain its much-needed water content. When using a humidifier, clean it regularly and use distilled water to fill it. Filling the air with allergens or mold spores could do more harm than good, especially because people with eczema are prone to allergies.
2. Avoid Overdressing and Itchy Fabrics
The temperatures outside can fluctuate a lot in the fall. In the morning, you may need a chunky sweater and a jacket — but by mid-afternoon, you could be sweating! Overdressing and heating up in your clothing can cause sweat that triggers eczema. Avoid increasing your body temperature by wearing breathable clothes and opt for layers so you can take them off if needed.
Choosing sweaters made of itchy fabrics such as wool can also trigger eczema. Opt out of wool sweaters and clothing made from synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, and choose loose-fitting clothes made from cotton, linen, bamboo, hemp or silk instead.
3. Skip Hot Showers
Jumping in a steamy shower after a day out in the cold sounds refreshing. But taking long, hot showers raises your body temperature, dries out your skin, and contributes to itch. So instead of a steaming hot bath or shower, choose a brief, luke-warm shower.
4. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Moisturizing helps maintain a healthy skin barrier, which is critical to keeping eczema under control. Applying your lotion immediately after bathing or a shower is most effective, because it helps to lock water into the skin. However, depending on how dry your skin is, you may want to apply lotion in the morning and night and throughout the day.
When choosing a moisturizer, look for minimal formulations and ensure your moisturizer is fragrance free. Products with fragrances can contribute to eczema flare-ups, which makes moisturizing counterproductive.
5. Minimize Stress
While fall can be a time of slowing down and reflecting on the year, it can also be filled with the stress of holiday prep. Because researchers have found a link between stress and eczema flares, minimizing stress may help improve your eczema symptoms. Meditation in particular has been found to be a helpful tool to reduce itching. However you relieve stress — whether by getting outside, going to therapy, or spending time with loved ones — do more of that this time of year.
Try Gladskin This Season
An imbalance in the skin’s microbiome leads to eczema itch and discomfort. Gladskin Eczema Cream with Micreobalance® is clinically proven to reduce eczema symptoms. Micreobalance®, our patented endolysin, restores balance to the skin microbiome to support the skin’s natural healing process. Learn more.
Overcoming Seasonal Eczema Flare-Ups
Cooler weather doesn’t have to equal itchy, uncomfortable skin. Cold weather months are more challenging for eczema-prone skin, but by wearing layers, avoiding scratchy and synthetic fabrics, running a humidifier indoors, reducing stress, and moisturizing, you can enjoy happier, healthier skin no matter the weather outside.