Do you suffer from Winter Itch? This is the time to take precautions.
It is most common in the elderly, caused by dry skin felt as a general itchiness.
It also often affects those with a history of eczema, allergies and even asthma.
The main cause is the weather on these colder months and putting our skin through temperature extremes – moving from freezing cold outside to the warmth of our homes, the temperature changes can dry out your skin.
How do I identify Winter Itch?
If your skin feels dry, particularly on the backs of hands, on the shins and legs in general , this could be the first sign.
This leads to itchiness which leads to a cycle of scratching, causing further irritation to already sensitive skin, possibly breaking the skin with the complications of infection.
So what can I do?
Five simple steps to combat ‘Winter Itch’
Start taking precautions now. Look at your home surroundings. Consider using a humidifier, a slight decrease in moisture content in the air can be the trigger to those with sensitive skin having a flare-up.
Indoors wear lighter clothing that has been laundered in a natural laundry detergent that has no irritants. Check the ingredients on your household laundry powder. Avoid fragrances, brighteners and fillers. Do not use Fabric conditioners.
Avoid all fragranced soaps, including deodorant soap. Use natural, high glycerin soap. Stay away from alcohol based hand sanitisers , soap and water does the same trick.
Take shorter baths and showers. Do not expose the skin to extreme water temperatures, and dry thoroughly, but gently y – Pat dry, don’t scrub dry.
Finally, moisturise regularly. This is vital because it helps to keep the skin barrier intact. Moisturise in all situations, before going out, and when returning into the warmer environment.
It is most important that you use a cream with no sensitisers to avoid introducing further irritants into the situation, use a moisturiser that can be applied regularly and, importantly, hygienically.
Often mild flare-ups turn into serious skin conditions simply through cross contamination from shared moisturising products. Problems often arise from some of the ‘tub types’ of moisturiser some don’t include the necessary preservatives to fight bacteria.
Be proactive in your skin care regime. Many people don’t realise that ‘Winter Itch’ is a form of eczema that can run in families. If your parents suffered from eczema it is very likely you will too, and so will your children.