Managing your dry skin conditions this winter

10 December 2019

Eczema and psoriasis are dry skin conditions that cause skin to become inflamed, with itching, redness and sometimes cracked and bleeding areas of skin - the winter months can be some of the worst for sufferers of these conditions. 

Dr Christopher James Heaton, Consultant Dermatologist explains: "This is usually due to several factors. Firstly the reduced sun exposure increases both conditions to flare, this is because the sun in moderate amounts for people with psoriasis and eczema is mildly immunosupressant, keeping it at bay." 

This is why many sufferers seek out winter sun holidays.

He continues, "the other issue is the drying of the air once the heating goes on. This dry air causes irritation in the skin and causes skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare."

Follow these tips to treat your dry skin conditions this winter

  • Use a soap substitution (not 'pure' or 'kind to skin' products) but a formal soap-free alternative cleanser
  • Your cleanser should be supplemented by a regular emollient - a non-cosmetic moisturising treatment that helps to reduce water loss, covers the area with a protective film and relieves symptoms 
  • Remember that during severe flares ointments are better - ointments contain the most oil so they can be quite greasy, but are the most effective at keeping moisture in the skin
  • If necessary use topical steroids on a daily basis for two weeks then an alternate day basis for two weeks - again steroid ointments are much more effective than creams
  • Always remember to use the appropriate amounts as guided by fingertip units as these are used to define the most effective use of steroid treatment

Visit his profile to find out more about Dr Christopher James Heaton and how to book a consultation with him.


The content in this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional.

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