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Offered by Dawn Dycus, M.D.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful… for your skin! Colder temperatures outside mean lack of moisture in the air. While this may turn normal skin dry, for those with eczema it produces significant flare ups.

Eczema is a condition that causes dry, rough, scaly/flaky patches of skin. These dry patches become itchy, and often become irritated and red. Skin breakdown and bleeding can occur from scratching the patches. The most frequent places for eczema include elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles, but eczema patches can develop anywhere on the body.

While there is no cure for eczema, it can be managed effectively. Some helpful tips for managing eczema include:

  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The best moisturizers are thick lubricants that come in a tub. Apply to the whole body at least once a day, but better yet apply 2-3 times daily.
  • Avoid dyes or fragrances in any skin products you use. This includes skin creams/ointments, shampoo, soap or body wash, and detergents.
  • Always apply skin creams/ointments after a bath. Pat the skin dry gently, then head straight for the moisturizer.
  • Reduce bathing to every other day if possible. Make sure the bath or shower water is warm, but not too hot.
  • Avoid anything that causes the skin to itch, such as overheating or coarse fabrics such as wool.

Along with these tips, there are several additional treatments for eczema, both over-the-counter and prescription. If you try the above measures at home without significant improvement in 1-2 weeks, contact your doctor’s office. They may discuss additional treatments with you or have you schedule an appointment. For more information, please visit our website at

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