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I find that winter makes my eczema worse. What can I do to keep it under better control?

Many people find that the cold winter months can exacerbate their eczema. Here are some measures you can take to reduce the impact.

  • Wear cotton gloves when you are outside, underneath your ordinary gloves or mittens
  • If you want to wear a woolly jumper, try wearing cotton or silk clothing underneath so that the jumper does not come into direct contact with your skin. Avoid woolly scarves around your neck as they can make you itch.
  • Wear loose, thin layers of clothing so that items can be added or removed according to temperature.
  • Apply emollient ointment or Vaseline to lips to stop them from drying out.
  • Apply your preferred emollient, especially to exposed areas such as your face, neck and hands, before going outside.
  • If you find that your skin is drier in winter, you could change your emollient cream to an ointment.
  • Avoid extremes of temperatures, such as getting out of a bath and going into a cold room.
  • Do not have your central heating on too high, as sweating can aggravate eczema.

Is there a mosquito repellent suitable for people with eczema?

Unfortunately, all mosquito repellents applied to the skin can cause some irritation. This is especially true of liquid repellents, which are alcohol-based and can sting. Test any repellent on your own forearm first and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.

Some people have found that ankle and wrist bands, which are impregnated with DEET, cause fewer problems. However, long cotton sleeve tops, trousers and socks, especially at night, will provide the most protection.

A mosquito net at night or a repellent that you plug into an electrical socket are also beneficial in warding off the mosquito.