What is Eczema

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes red itchy patches to appear on the skin. It is a chronic condition that can vary from mild to severe. Eczema has no cure, but it can be treated. Symptoms of Eczema include:

  • Irritated red or grayish brown patches on the body
  • Itching
  • Small skin bumps
  • Crusting or fluid-filled bumps
  • Dry, cracked, swollen, and sensitive skin

Many factors can flare or aggravate symptoms of eczema, including cold weather. During the winter, to the cold air mixed with the heat of the indoors and wearing extra layers make it harder for the skin to maintain moisture. This aggravates the skin.  Of course, eczema can worsen based on many different factors. Here are a few to keep in mind this season: 

Hot baths and long hot showers

Some bath products claim to help eczema with special bath salts or mixtures that should be used in the tub. But, often, people tend to use these products in hot water. This is counter-intuitive, because spending long periods of time submerged in hot water dries out the skin, worsening eczema symptoms. Try using warm water instead of hot water, and limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower or bath.

Clothes, towels, and sheets

At almost all times, fabrics are rubbing up against our skins. So, it is important to keep in mind that certain fabrics can be causing your skin more harm than good. When dealing with eczema, softer fabrics like silk or cotton are better for the skin. Certain materials, like wool, should not be in direct contact with the skin. In the case of wool coats, the inside material should always be softer and more delicate than the outside.

When it comes to towels, they should be gentle on the skin, not rough. Avoid stiff or older towels. When using a towel, always pat the skin dry. Rubbing, especially on dry patches, can cause further damage.

Sheets should also be soft. Cotton and silk sheets (if you want to splurge) work best when dealing with eczema.


Scratching or picking at skin with dry patches or raised bumps causes aggravation,crusting, and swelling. Scratching can also cause fluids to develop under the skin and the spread of bacteria. Instead, skin should be properly treated to diminish irritation. Gentle, unscented soaps without dyes or alcohol should be used when bathing. Use thick moisturizers everyday. When dealing with flare-ups, use specialized ointments recommended to you by your doctor. These ointments may contain hydrocortisone or hydrocortisone acetate, which help with itching.  


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