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It’s not quite winter anymore, but I wanted to post this great article anyway. After our podcast chat (Episode 4 & Episode 5) Ali White from allergymums.co.uk was very kind to write up her tops tips for dealing with severe eczema and some of the tips and tricks she uses to stay sane amidst the itch. Check it out! I know you’re going to find it useful! – Nina x

Tis the season to be itching…there ought to be a song for Eczema sufferers with those lyrics. It’s winter. So the air is dryer, the temperature colder and those of us with dry skin and eczema suffer more at this time of year.

I’ve been through all sorts with my skin. Eczema that cracks and bleeds, scalp beyond itchy, chronic urticaria due to a chemical allergy which meant my face was covered with a rash for years. Fortunately a dermatologist did patch testing which showed an allergy to Tocopheryl Acetate; which is in shampoo, deodorants, makeup, lipstick, sunscreen plus loads of other stuff. So the Urticaria is gone, but I’m still dealing with cracked, sore hands and legs that flare with such intense itching that they feel hot and impossible to ignore. The rest of the time they are just dry, red and itchy.

Skin conditions are something that remain tricky to treat. The current thinking is that Eczema is caused by a defect in the skin barrier, with the eczema being triggered by allergens such as dust, or foods, or animals. Scratching just releases more histamine, which makes the reaction worse. So you might feel initially better for scratching that itch, but it will be very temporary and you really are making a bad situation worse.

Tis the season to be itching…there ought to be a song for Eczema sufferers with those lyrics. It’s winter. So the air is dryer, the temperature colder and those of us with dry skin and eczema suffer more at this time of year.

I’ve been through all sorts with my skin. Eczema that cracks and bleeds, scalp beyond itchy, chronic urticaria due to a chemical allergy which meant my face was covered with a rash for years. Fortunately a dermatologist did patch testing which showed an allergy to Tocopheryl Acetate; which is in shampoo, deodorants, makeup, lipstick, sunscreen plus loads of other stuff. So the Urticaria is gone, but I’m still dealing with cracked, sore hands and legs that flare with such intense itching that they feel hot and impossible to ignore. The rest of the time they are just dry, red and itchy.

Skin conditions are something that remain tricky to treat. The current thinking is that Eczema is caused by a defect in the skin barrier, with the eczema being triggered by allergens such as dust, or foods, or animals. Scratching just releases more histamine, which makes the reaction worse. So you might feel initially better for scratching that itch, but it will be very temporary and you really are making a bad situation worse.

So…my eczema winter survival guide:

1

Drink loads of water. Really…not tea, coffee or sugary drinks. But water. If you’re well hydrated your skin has a better chance of being well hydrated.

2

Moisturise like crazy. I moisturise 3 times a day. Morning, night and midday. Moisturise morning and night regardless of whether you feel you need it. You need to keep your skin in good condition all the time. Yes…this is a drag but better than being itchy. Really…midday? Yes. Is it easy? No. I have moisturiser with me at all times and I lock myself in the toilet and moisture my arms and legs.

3

Choosing your moisturiser: The higher the oil content the better at locking in moisture a moisturiser is. Everyone is different and likes different textures of moisturisers so do experiment. You may need to change over time if you find a moisturiser is no longer working. Go back to your GP and try something different if what you’ve been prescribed doesn’t work.

4

Keep a diary to better understand triggers – animals, food, dust, shampoo etc. can all set off eczema.

5

Don’t use soap – it’s very drying. Use a soap alternative. Don’t spend a fortune in Boots – get it from your GP. Emollients like Epaderm may be greasy but they really do help.

Ali White

Ali White

Allergy sufferer, allergy mum and founder of allergy mums.co.uk

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