Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a chronic, recurring condition with cycles of “flares” (active or new patches of eczema) and remissions. People with eczema usually have a sensitive immune system that responds to certain internal or external triggers by producing inflammation or "flare ups" which causes the red, itchy and painful skin symptoms common to most types of eczema.
Some people always seem to have some active areas, especially during fall and winter. Health organizations throughout the world have noted there is an "eczema season" where patients tend to experience flare ups. In fact, November is now recognized as Eczema Awareness Month in Canada, while it is October for the United States.
As the leaves change, so does the weather. This change to colder, less humid air, in addition to the use of heaters, can subject the body to sudden temperature changes, especially as we quickly travel between the indoors and outdoors. These changes in temperatures affect the integrity of our skin barrier, make our skin more prone to drying out.
Dry skin can easily become brittle, scaly, rough, or tight, which can lead to an eczema flare up. Remember to moisturize regularly with DermaMed All Purpose Balm. For children or adults with extra sensitive skin, use DermaMed Lotion or DermaMed Specialty Cream. Further protect your skin by wearing clothes in layers (so that layers can be removed in case you start to feel too warm), as well as fall/winter accessories to protect vulnerable areas such as your neck and hands. Avoid wool and other rough fabrics if possible.
Because your immune system can be affected by hormones, stress is also another common trigger. Stress from school or work around this time of year may worsen flare-ups, so make sure to practice self care and take some time out of your busy day to do something nice for yourself, such as reading a book or getting a relaxing massage!