What Causes an Eczema Flare-Up in the Winter


Winter is a beautiful time of year; however, it might also be difficult for those who have eczema. Due to the cold temperatures, lack of humidity, and other lifestyle changes that accompany wintertime, many people experience a worsening of their eczema symptoms. Understanding why eczema flares up in the winter and taking preventive measures can help make this season more comfortable for those affected. This article explores various strategies for managing winter eczema flare-ups and preventing them from occurring in the first place. With these tips, you can keep your skin healthy during the cold months and enjoy a comfortable winter season!

What is eczema?

Eczema is a condition that causes skin inflammation, itchiness, and redness due to environmental or internal triggers. It can occur in people of all ages and is mostly seen on the face, neck, hands, arms, and legs. Eczema flare-ups are usually caused by irritants such as soaps, detergents, fabrics, cosmetics, and even extreme temperatures. In the wintertime, lower humidity levels can lead to dehydration of the skin which can cause it to become dry and cracked to try to protect itself. This can further aggravate existing eczema symptoms or trigger new ones. By understanding why causes eczema flare-ups in the winter and taking steps to prevent it, you can enjoy a comfortable season.

Why does eczema sometimes get worse in the winter?

Eczema can flare up in the winter for a variety of reasons. One of the major factors is the lower humidity levels, which leads to increased dryness and dehydration of the skin. This can cause cracks in the skin that irritate existing eczema symptoms or trigger new ones. Additionally, cold temperatures can cause skin irritation, as well as certain fabrics such as wool or synthetic fibers can trigger itching and burning. Finally, certain activities such as long baths or showers in hot water or using harsh soaps and detergents may also increase irritation and worsen eczema symptoms. By understanding why eczema sometimes gets worse in winter, you can take steps to prevent uncomfortable symptoms this season. By taking preventive measures, you can have a comfortable winter season.

Symptoms of Eczema Flare-Ups

When an eczema flare-up occurs, it is important to be aware of the symptoms to take proper action.

  • Dryness: Skin may be itchy, scaly, and/or red.
  • Cracking or blistering of the skin: The skin can become cracked and sore due to extreme dryness or irritation.
  • Inflammation: Swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area are signs of inflammation.
  • Burning sensation: Itching or burning sensations in the affected area can sometimes accompany eczema flare-ups.
  • Painful lesions: Open sores or lesions that may be painful when touched are common symptoms of an eczema flare-up.

How do you prevent eczema flare-ups in the winter?

To prevent eczema flare-ups during the winter, it is important to understand what triggers them.

  • Wear comfortable, breathable fabrics: Wearing cotton clothing instead of wool or synthetic fibers can help reduce irritation and itching.
  • Avoid long baths or showers with hot water and harsh soaps: Taking shorter baths or showers with lukewarm water and milder soaps can help avoid excessive dryness and irritation.
  • Use moisturizers regularly throughout the day: Keeping the skin hydrated is one of the most important steps in preventing eczema flare-ups during the winter season.
  • Reduce exposure to cold temperatures: Lowering your exposure to extreme temperatures can help minimize inflammation and discomfort related to winter eczema flare-ups.
  • Incorporate stress relief activities into your daily routine: Stress can have a significant impact on the severity of eczema symptoms. Practicing stress-relief techniques such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness activities can help manage internal factors that may contribute to flare-ups in the wintertime.

How do you treat winter eczema?

If you are experiencing a winter eczema flare-up, it is important to be aware of the best ways to treat your condition.

  • Wear comfortable, breathable fabrics: Avoiding abrasive materials such as wool can help reduce itching and discomfort.
  • Incorporate oral antihistamines into your routine: Oral antihistamines can help reduce itching and inflammation associated with eczema flare-ups.
  • Use humidifiers in your home: Installing a humidifier in your home can help keep the air moist and reduce the dryness associated with winter flare-ups.
  • Avoid triggers such as extreme temperatures and stress: Being mindful of potential triggers can help avoid sudden flare-ups.
  • Consider dietary changes to reduce inflammation: Inflammation is often linked to what we eat, so it may be helpful
  • Consult your doctor for topical prescriptions: For severe cases, a physician may prescribe creams or ointments to help manage symptoms of winter eczema.
  • Try natural remedies: Using natural ingredients such as aloe vera, honey, or coconut oil can provide relief and soothe inflammation associated with winter eczema flare-ups.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce eczema symptoms.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of your treatment: Tracking the progress of your treatments can help you determine what works best for you and develop a plan to manage winter eczema flare-ups.
  • Stay positive and be patient: Healing from eczema can take time, so being mindful of your progress can help keep you motivated.


Winter can be a hard time for those suffering from eczema, but with the right treatments and lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage winter flare-ups. By understanding triggers such as extreme temperatures and stress, incorporating moisturizers into your skincare routine, and trying natural remedies, you can reduce the severity of your symptoms. Of course, consulting a doctor is always recommended if you are experiencing severe inflammation or pain. With patience and perseverance, you can keep winter eczema under control and enjoy the season in comfort.

It is important to remember that everyone experiences eczema differently, so it is essential to find treatments that work best for you. With the right knowledge and a positive attitude, you can use these strategies to manage winter eczema flare-ups and enjoy your winter season. Take care!

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