Dry skin in Winter

For people with eczema and psoriasis, winter can be a challenging few months to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups1,2.

Skin can become dry, red and irritated by things like a drop in temperature, central heating, wind, and low humidity3. Cold air tightens the skin’s pores and reduces blood circulation4, this reduces the naturally occurring oil known as sebum, which acts as a protective layer and traps moisture next to the skin5. These seasonal changes can be enough to cause increased flare-ups for those with dry skin conditions6. Problematic areas of the body may be the hands and face that are exposed to the elements.

Here we share our tips for the things you can do during this time to minimize flare-ups and keep your skin as comfortable as possible:

Listen to your skin and adapt your routine
Depending on your skin’s needs you may need to:

  • Apply your emollient more regularly to keep your skin moisturised and your symptoms in check
  • We’d recommend using a soap substitute, like EPIMAX® ExCetra Cream (all year round) so you don’t strip your skin’s natural, protective barrier
  • Consider adding a new product into your usual routine that may deliver a bigger hydration boost, like a gel or ointment if you usually use a cream formulation

Tips to help manage your symptoms

  • Wear gloves when you are outside to help protect your hands from the cold
  • Turn the heating down when you are indoors and put on extra layers of clothing
  • Limit your exposure to hot and dry environments like air-conditioned rooms or cars, or rooms containing open fires or wood burning stoves as they can further dry out the skin
  • Drink plenty of water during the day to help keep your skin hydrated
  • Think about the fabric you wear; some people find fabrics like silk to be less irritating on the skin7
  • Avoid taking hot baths and showers, hot water strips the natural oils from the skin
  • Adding more omega 3 and 6 to your diet in winter8

Everyone’s skin is different, which means that the product that works for you is unique to you. It’s important that you find a product that works for you, your symptoms and that fits around your lifestyle. Visit our product page to find a winter skincare moisturiser.

Our product range

Slide EPIMAX® Original Cream Your everyday emollient to keep your skin hydrated and comfortable. Apply on-the-go to gently relieve your dry skin symptoms and lock in moisture. Slide EPIMAX® Oatmeal Cream Smooth into dry and sensitive skin. The colloidal oatmeal moisturises to protect against irritants, leaving the skin feeling soft and comfortable. Slide EPIMAX® ExCetra Cream Ideal for use as a soap substitute or moisturiser. It has a high lipid content to help retain moisture in the skin. Slide EPIMAX® Isomol Gel The hydro-gel formula means that you’ll get all the comfort of a cream, balanced with the more intensive relief that an ointment gives. Slide EPIMAX® Ointment Apply to very dry skin as an overnight treatment or during the day, for intensive relief, or whenever needed for extra hydration. Slide EPIMAX® Paraffin-free Ointment Ideal if you have a skin sensitivity to paraffin. This ointment provides intensive, long-lasting relief for very dry skin.

Top tips for baby skin care

I’m a parent, what can I do to help my child with a dry skin condition?

You should always consult your GP or health visitor if you have any concerns about the health of your baby or child or think they may have a dry skin condition.

In the UK, eczema affects up to 20% of children and up to 3% of adults1. Psoriasis affects between 2% and 3% of the UK population (an estimate of up to 1.8 million people)2. Approximately 4% of all skin conditions diagnosed in children under 16 are attributed to psoriasis3.

How do I know if my baby or child has a dry skin condition?4

Babies often get red, scaly skin known as eczema. The symptoms are patches of red, dry and itchy skin on the face or behind the ears, and in the creases of the neck knees and elbows. With psoriasis, there may be plaques on the skin that are red, itchy and sore, with white or silvery scales. It can occur anywhere on the body, but psoriasis on the palms and soles, or in areas where skin touches skin is usually a different type2.

How can I help to soothe the dry skin condition?

Remember to consult a doctor or health care professional for advice on the treatment and management of your child’s skin condition. We’ve collated some information from the NHS below that may help:

Eczema4

  • Apply an unperfumed moisturiser (also known as an emollient) to the affected areas by smoothing into the skin several times a day for example, when you feed or change your baby to keep the skin hydrated
  • Avoid using soap, baby bath and bubble bath as these can dry or irritate the skin. Instead use a soap substitute that will help to keep the skin moisturised and won’t strip the skin’s natural barrier
  • Try to keep your child’s bedroom as cool as possible, as if they get hot then this can make their eczema worse
  • Try to identify and avoid anything that may be irritating their skin, such as soap powder, animals and chemical sprays

Psoriasis3

  • There are many different treatments available for psoriasis, it is best to speak with your doctor about the right one for your baby
  • Keep the skin comfortable by using an emollient to regularly moisturise it

For more information please visit the Education Epicentre.

References

  1. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/370220
  2. https://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/psoriasis-and-treatments/
  3. http://www.pcds.org.uk/clinical-guidance/psoriasis-in-children
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/eczema-in-children/