Winter Eczema Causes & Flare ups
As the winter months start to arrive in Los Angeles, we’ll also start to see many skin conditions due to the decrease in temperature and humidity. One of the most common skin conditions we see here at Dr. Brian Mekelburg Dermatology in Los Angeles is eczema. October is eczema awareness month and we want to discuss this increasingly common skin condition that affects millions of adults and children each day.
Eczema for Babies and Adults
You suddenly notice a dry, scaly, red patch on your baby. It may be itchy and irritated, sometimes bothersome to your child. Or you may have noticed something similar on your own body; face, neck, and hands. Most likely, it’s a form of eczema. This skin condition is usually diagnosed in babies and toddlers but can affect adults later in life too. While eczema causes and symptoms can vary from person to person, most babies and adults will experience dry, sensitive skin that may itch, causing pain and discomfort, possibly leading to infection.
There are three types of eczema for babies, toddlers, and adults.
- Atopic dermatitis– the most common eczema type. Can be long lasting with period flareups.
- Contact dermatitis– the most chronic form of eczema in toddlers. Caused by contact with a particular substance causing a red, itchy rash. Soaps, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances are common elements that cause contact dermatitis.
- Seborrheic dermatitis– eczema on scalp. Often known as cradle cap in infants, and adults it can cause dandruff and psoriasis. Seborrheic dermatitis can also be found on oily areas of the body, including the face, nose, and chest.
Tips for Controlling Eczema
Unfortunately, there is no eczema cure, but the good news is there are many actions you can take to help manage your eczema. Knowing what triggers your eczema causes can help you avoid future flareups.
Controlling eczema on face and body – Taking short warm baths and showers can help alleviate itching and pain. Make sure to moisturize within minutes after getting out to lock it in the skin.
Controlling eczema on hands – First, try figuring out what is causing it; a substance, soap, etc., and then avoid it or wear gloves if you need to use it. If you believe there is a certain substance causing your flareups, Dr. Brian Mekelburg can do a patch test to confirm. To control your flareups, make sure to use mild soap when washing your hands in warm water (not hot). Moisturize with thick ointment and avoid antibacterial sanitizers. These contain alcohol which can dry out your skin, making your hand eczema worse.
Controlling Eczema in Children
Whether your baby has eczema, or you have an eczema toddler, flareups can be difficult to manage but can improve with good skin care. Make sure to give your child short warm (not hot) baths a few times a week and use fragrance-free cleansers. Immediately follow with any prescription medications given for eczema, followed by a moisturizer. We suggest using a thick ointment moisturizer, like petroleum based. Wash their clothes in mild detergent for sensitive skin, and always make sure temperature and humidity levels in your house are comfortable.
Living with eczema can be an ongoing challenge. Luckily, eczema is not contagious, and it can be controlled. If you’ve been dealing with eczema and need additional help with controlling your flareups, give Dr. Brian Mekelburg dermatology in Los Angeles a call. We can easily help determine what kind of eczema you have and provide you with the best medication and tips to help keep your eczema under control. Call us today at 301-659-9075.