How Top Skin Pros Combat Eczema and Dry Skin in the Winter

My parents have told me that I’ve struggled with eczema since I was a baby, but my first memory of the uncomfortable dryness and itchiness was on my arm, irritated by chalk from gymnastics practice or maybe a perfumed detergent. More recently, it’s made its way to my hands. I’m sure that my obsession with hand sanitizer hasn’t helped, and my eczema – which shows up as rough, dry, red, itchy and flaky patches – makes hand shaking or taking photos awkward during a flare up. 

Eczema is incredibly common. I’m learning that anxiety and stress can definitely trigger it, too. I’ve been noticing this more in recent years as my skin seems to thrive throughout the summer when I’m feeling more carefree. But as soon as the cold weather hits and the winter blues kick in, I’m always reminded that I’ll still need that prescription I thought I could throw out in July. I especially noticed the connection between stress and eczema after being involved in an accident in 2016. 

Eczema is the immune system’s response to irritants and allergens such as extreme temperatures, stress, sweat, detergents, coarse fabrics and more. I’ve been on a quest to reduce the inflammation in my body for years by doing yoga consistently and even trying other forms of movement such as salsa and pole dancing. Going back to the skin basics has been super important, too (which can be hard as a beauty editor and lover who tries many products frequently): using non-irritating, hydrating creams, body washes and cleansers. 

Additionally, in 2017 I tested out a gluten-free diet (didn’t last too long, I love bread too much!) and have since gone vegan. Although these lifestyle changes ​be it diet, stress reduction or meticulous skincare have significantly helped my eczema overall, with winter around the corner, I know there’s always more I can be doing to protect my skin against environmental aggressors. I also know there are many others like me who face similar struggles, whether it’s with chronic dry skin or eczema, so I turned to skincare experts Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton and esthetician-writer Shani Hillian to share their top tips to combat eczema and dry skin all winter and beyond.

“As soon as the cold weather hits and the winter blues kick in, I’m always reminded that I’ll still need that prescription I thought I could throw out in July.”

HOW TO TREAT ECZEMA

“The care for both dry skin and eczema are quite similar as the goal is to repair the skin barrier and protect it at all cost…”

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