If you have eczema, you may be wondering: Is eczema seasonal?
Most people with eczema do notice that it changes depending on the weather and the moisture—or lack of it—in the air.
In this post, we explain the potential seasonal nature of eczema and how you can modify your skincare routine to help keep your skin looking its best no matter what the season is.
Is Eczema Seasonal?
The short answer is: it can be.
It’s not the same for everyone. But it is true that your eczema may act differently in the summer than it does in the winter.
That’s because the environment affects the skin, even if you don’t have eczema. In warmer, humid areas, there’s more moisture in the air, so the skin tends to stay more hydrated. It also experiences less stress as it doesn’t have to work so hard to keep the skin moisturized.
In cooler, drier areas, there’s less moisture in the air. That creates an imbalance between the air and the skin, and the skin tends to lose more moisture. It comes under stress as it tries to hold onto that moisture.
People with eczema have skin that is already stressed. The immune system mistakenly attacks certain areas of the skin, causing inflammation, irritation, and itchiness. The outer layer becomes compromised, and the skin has a harder time holding onto moisture.
Place this stressed-out skin in a cold, dry climate, and it will be more vulnerable to further damage. Expose this skin to the sun and it will have a harder time protecting itself from UV radiation. Slather this skin with sweat and it will become increasingly aggravated, worsening flare-ups.
Is My Eczema Seasonal?
Most likely, you will notice changes in your skin depending on the weather. It’s likely to feel more comfortable at certain times of year while flaring up more often at other times.
When those times occur depends on your skin. For many people, the cold, dry air of winter brings on more flare-ups. For others, it’s the warmer weather—including the sweating, exposure to sunlight, and even allergens—that create more problems.
And for some unlucky souls, all of these climate factors will affect their skin, leaving them with challenges year-round.
Which one are you? Ask yourself the following questions to find out:
Do you experience more flareups between November and February, or between June and August? Or are your flare-ups pretty consistent year-round?
When you travel to a different climate, does your skin have more trouble or does it seem happier? Is that climate warmer or cooler than your home climate?
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, do you notice that your skin seems to get worse when you’re also struggling with sneezing and watery eyes? What time of year is this most prevalent?
As you think about your answers to these questions, you should start to see what season is most difficult for your skin.
How to Cope with Winter Seasonal Eczema
If your skin struggles more in the wintertime, when the weather is colder, try these tips to reduce flare-ups:
Use a Humidifier
As the temperatures get colder, the air gets drier. That includes the air inside your home. Dry air saps skin of moisture, making it dry and increasing the risk of eczema flare-ups.
Using a humidifier in the house—particularly if you live in a dry climate—can help put moisture back into the air, which will relieve some of the stress on your skin. At the very least, put one in your bedroom so that your skin can relax overnight.
Step Up the Moisturization
Because your skin is battling dryness, it will need more moisturizer. You may need to apply more than twice a day depending on how dry the air is around you. Apply right after you get out of the bath or shower so you can lock in moisture while your skin is still damp.
Dermatologists regularly recommend CV Skinlabs. Both our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion work equally well in the summer and winter because they feed the skin what it needs to stay moisturized and healthy. They also have powerful antioxidants that will help protect the skin against environmental assaults.
Deeply Moisturize Where Needed
If you have areas of your skin that are really struggling with redness, swelling, chapping, and eczema patches, try our Restorative Skin Balm . This award-winning healing balm is one-hundred percent free of petrolatum and synthetic fragrances, yet it contains wound-healing and softening ingredients that will help your skin heal. It helps lock in moisture with a breathable occlusive barrier to support the skin’s healing process.
Use Gentle Cleansers
During the drier months, it’s critical to use a creamy, moisturizing cleanser on your face and the rest of your body. Many cleansers can rob skin of its natural moisture. If your skin feels dry and tight after cleansing, that cleanser is not the right one for you. Choose another that will help your skin feel comfortable after cleansing.
Then consider your laundry detergent as well. Do your clothes feel soft on your skin or harsh and prickly? An unscented fabric softener may help, but if you notice the chemicals irritate your skin, go for a more natural option to help your skin cope.
Protect Exposed Skin
Wintertime is unmerciful on exposed skin, particularly your hands and face. Cover up with gloves and scarves when you’re out in chilly, windy weather.
Stick With Natural Fabrics
We often pile on more clothes in winter, but that can lead to sweating, which can be irritating to eczemic skin. Choose quick-drying fabrics like lightweight, breathable cotton. Avoid thick cotton sweaters, though, if you tend to get warm and sweat. Dressing in layers that you can shed when inside also helps.
It’s equally important to stay hydrated in the summer and winter. But you’re more at risk for becoming dehydrated in winter because your thirst probably won’t work as well as it did in the summertime. Keep a water bottle with you always and get into the habit of drinking water throughout the day.
Keep Your Home Ventilated
It’s common to close up the house during the winter months, but failing to air out rooms can trap dust mites and mold in certain rooms. These are common eczema triggers. Regularly vacuum and dust the house, then on the nicer days, open the window for a short time just to freshen the air.
How to Cope with Summer Seasonal Eczema
If your skin struggles more in the summertime, when the weather is warmer, try the following tips to reduce flare-ups.
Stay Cool and Avoid Sweating
For summer-sensitive eczema sufferers, hot weather and sweat can cause flare-ups. So try to stay cool and minimize sweating. Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day. Stay in the shade when you are outdoors, and try to ensure that your indoor spaces are cool as the temperatures climb.
When you do sweat, take a towel with you to dry off immediately. Then change out of your wet clothing and take a cool shower as soon as you can. Wear loose, 100 percent cotton clothing to help control sweat.
This is a good idea for anyone, but if you suffer from eczema, it’s critical to keep our tissues hydrated from the inside out. Take a water bottle with you and sip regularly.
Consider an Air Purifier
If you think spring and summer allergens may be playing a role in your symptoms, consider buying an air purifier for your home. It can help remove dust, pollen, and other allergens from the air, which in turn, will help keep them away from your skin.
Moisturize to Restore the Skin’s Barrier
Eczema damages the skin’s outer barrier, which makes it more sensitive to environmental triggers. Dry skin also contributes to eczema flare-ups.
Moisturize daily with a quality moisturizer like our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion. Both have anti-inflammatory ingredients that help tame itch and redness, while deeply moisturizing with aloe, natural oils, and ceramides. Try Rescue & Relief Spray for face and body to moisturize, calm redness, and soothe and cool skin!
Do you notice a seasonal nature to your eczema?
Featured image courtesy Dominika Gregušová via Pexels.