Winter skincare: How to spot eczema and treat it

Eczema (dermatitis) is a rash that can appear anywhere on the body. It appears as inflamed, itchy, red, and very dry

Know why eczema flares up. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

The chilly season brings along a lot of troubles for our skin, and can even lead to eczema flares ups. “One of the major reasons it worsens during the winter season is because the skin can’t keep itself moisturised. Moreover, wearing too many layers of clothes along with the use of heaters can cause the skin to turn red and itchy,” said Dr Aakriti Mehra, dermatologist, cosmetologist, and trichologist at Skingenious, Colaba.

Below, she explains the skin condition, its triggers, and also shares how one can treat the same. Read on to know more. 

What is Eczema?

Eczema (dermatitis) is a rash that can appear anywhere on the body. It appears as inflamed, itchy, red, and very dry, explains Dr Mehra. “This happens to be the most common type is atopic dermatitis, which is usually a lifelong condition present since childhood. It is more commonly found in individuals who have a family history of atopy. Moreover, it is seen most commonly in skin flexures and can be triggered by multiple internal or external factors,” adds the dermatologist.

What are the causes?

The most common cause of atopic eczema is dry skin. People who suffer from this condition lack the ability to pull moisture into the upper layers of the skin and therefore various triggers can irritate the skin, in turn, exacerbating the condition, says Dr Mehra.

These triggers range from environmental factors such as dust, pollen, perfumes, or even food allergies such as nuts, vegetables, and even from seafood. However, stress happens to be a prominent reason along with sweating.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The major signs, as mentioned above, include dry, red, and itchy skin. However, it can also be associated with excessive sebum production, but according to Dr Mehra, “the chances are rare”. 

How can it be treated?

“The condition occurs because of a gene variation, and therefore there isn’t any cure available. However, it can be managed symptomatically with topical and oral medication as well as a few lifestyle modifications,” says the dermatologist. Other than that, one should ensure their skin is thoroughly moisturised, and avoid the triggers as much as possible. Here are other ways to avoid flaring up of the skincare issue.

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