Any weather change can affect eczema one way or another - but what makes things worse for you personally will depend on your own particular skin and your own particular sensitivities.
Why Does Weather Affect My Skin?
Eczema is a condition that affects the skin barrier function, where the epidermis - which acts as the body’s protective outer layer - doesn’t work as well as it should to keep out irritants, regulate moisture loss or protect against infection.
This means that your skin can get irritated by all kinds of environmental changes, whether the weather is hot, cold, windy or humid, because the epidermis isn’t able to control how it reacts to each different challenge.
What Problems Can Different Weather Cause?
- High pollen counts
- Insect bites
- Extreme dehydrating heat
- Sweat/prickly heat rash
- Sunlight (a trigger to some, but beneficial for others)
- Irritants on the skin (such as chlorine, salt water, sunblock & insect repellent)
- Air conditioning
- High humidity (increases eczema-triggering microbes and moulds)
- Windy weather
- Central heating
- Extreme cold
- Winter clothes
- Extreme changes of temperature (coming indoors to a heated house from the freezing cold and vice versa)
The trick to managing eczema in unpredictable or extreme weather is to take over the regulatory role of the skin barrier function. Basically, if your skin can’t moderate itself through changes of temperature and humidity, you need to do it yourself!
5 Top Tips for keeping cool through weather fluctuations:
- Wear layers of thin, natural fabrics so you can regulate your temperature easily and quickly, winter or summer.
- Wash allergens (dust, pollen, sweat, etc) off your skin quickly with warm (not hot) water.
- Regulate rooms with humidifiers, dehumidifiers, radiators or fans as appropriate, so they’re not too dry, too cold, too damp or too hot. You want to maintain a fairly constant temperature and humidity throughout the year.
- Practice long, slow, out-breaths if you’re getting hot and flustered to keep stress levels and core temperature down.
- Moisturise frequently! Emollients can provide protection from moisture loss.
Recommended products for weather fluctuations:
Balmonds Cooling Cream
with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax