Skin Seasons – Living with eczema at it’s worst
As the seasons change, so does our skin. Eczema sufferers often notice nasty flare-ups during the spring and autumn months and it can pay to be more in-tune with mother nature in order to better mange this disorder.
For those leaving summer and entering winter, Fall is a difficult time where skin, which may have been behaving better with lots of fresh air and lighter clothing, suddenly turns red and itchy again.
Those exiting winter in the Southern hemisphere on the other hand, may be experiencing all the joys of Spring, with allergy levels at their highest as grasses and pollens bloom and pets shed their winter coats.
Overheating in both instances is often a problem. In the North we are beginning to wrap up to keep warm in garments that irritate, such as wool. While in the South, the steady increase in temperature induces perspiration in high risk areas behind the knees and inside the elbows.
No wonder eczema sufferers seem to have flare-ups at this time of year.
So what are some of the things we can do to help prepare our body’s immune system to deal with the change in season and reduce the over-inflammatory responses we have to allergens in the environment?
Here are the top 5 tips:
1. Watch your diet?
Comfort food in the winter can contain much more dairy, gluten and sugar. In the summer months we tend to go overboard with all the new fruit in season, such as strawberries and our dairy intake can increase in the form of ice-cream. Although diet is not always specifically linked to eczema flare-ups, if you do notice a change in your skin, have a look at what you ate in the previous 24 hours. All food is wonderful in moderation, but if we overdo it with a particular thing, we can burden our immune system by making it absorb the dietary overload.
2. Don’t get hot under the collar?
As the outside temperature dips in the winter it is very tempting to turn up the heat in our homes and offices. Going in and out of these environments can put a hypersensitive immune system under pressure. You don’t need to freeze, just be sensible with the central heating, especially in the bedroom.?Our body temperature naturally drops as we near bedtime, so it is tempting to pile on the blankets and turn up the heat. The ideal temperature for a bedroom is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 19 degrees Celsius.?In warmer climates, it is important that you don’t spend too much time in the sun. Although it’s important to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, too much exposure can be very damaging to your already stressed skin. Humidity and perspiration can make your rash more fiercely itchy, so be prepared to stay in the shade during the heat of the day and keep spritzing your skin to keep it hydrated.
3. Check your product
If you have noticed your eczema is getting worse, or you have more itchy, scaly skin, it might be the very product you are using each day to clean yourself. Your skin has a healthy pH balance of around 6.5. This means that it has it’s own protective barrier, but it is very delicate and if you use a soap that is not pH neutral, you may be upsetting this balance. ?You can test your soap with a pH kit at home – it has a scale from 1 (Acidic) to 14 (Alkaline) and if your soap tests higher than 7 or 8, it is probably stripping your skin and inflaming your condition.??In warmer months you may also wish to check the ingredients in the sunblock you use. If the product you are using contains alcohol it can dry the skin. You might wish to avoid product containing parabens, propylene or methylisothiazlinone as these can irritate sensitive skin.
Keep active even when it’s getting colder. Fresh air and exercise can be a big support to your immune system. In the summer, make the most of swimming in the sea – the salt water is very good for healing the skin. It can be embarrassing to expose your red, raw eczema as the short sleeves and short dresses come back, but it’s worth letting nature help you. In the winter, it’s difficult to maintain good hydration as we wrap ourselves up in layers and our skin becomes scaly and dry.?Using a humectant based skin care range can help. Humectants draw moisture out of the air into our skin and keep it hydrated. You should also maintain a good level of water intake, regardless of the weather.
5. Watch your stress levels
In either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, we are just around the corner from the silly season. Christmas is a time where stress levels soar and this is most noticeable in the largest organ we have – our skin. We can also overindulge in alcohol at this time, and this doesn’t help our immune system. So watch yourself, have fun and enjoy the festivities and at the same time, make time for you.
Lisa J Faith
Best Selling Author?Heal Yourself With Nutritional Therapy.
For more information on how you can stop the eczema itch and heal yourself with nutritional therapy, check out Lisa J Faith’s best selling book on Amazon: The eczema itch buster most skincare companies don’t want you to know about.