Those Pesky Eczema Flare-Ups
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Salt-stained shoes, drinking hot coffee instead of cold brew, and misplaced gloves are a few of the many reasons that I hate winter. But, what I despise more than the season itself is that the transition from fall to winter always triggers my eczema.
I usually get flare-ups on my legs (particularly my thighs) on the form of red, raw, scaly patches. Many people endearingly refer to their eczema rashes as "alligator skin" and really, there's no better way to describe what my skin looks like. These patches aesthetically aren't great, but more importantly, the dry, cold hair makes them unbearably itchy.
Anyone who has eczema knows that scratching it is the worst thing you can possibly do because it can make the rash worse. Even though what sets off eczema flare-ups varies from person to person, the skin issue tends to run in families. While my eczema is seasonal, my sister struggled with it year round growing up. My mom used to put clean socks on her hands before bed to keep her from scratching her rashes in her sleep.
Instead, through a lot of trial and error, I've landed on a handful of products that I rely on when winter is coming, and my eczema is flaring up like crazy.
Photo: Albina Glisic/Shutterstock
Avéne Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream
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I usually judge body lotions based on their scent, but no fancy ones come near my skin during the winter. Fragrances can exacerbate eczema by causing more redness and inflammation, so Avéne's lotion is my go-to this time of year. A little bit goes a long way so one $30 bottle usually lasts me the entire season. What makes it a standout is that Avéne's formula doesn't just relive eczema symptoms, but works to repair and rehydrate skin. (Find out which skin conditions actually get worse with stress)
Dove DermaSeries Dry Skin Relief Gentle Cleansing Body Wash
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This body wash is fragrance-free and gentle enough to use when I'm dealing with eczema flare-ups. It cleanses skin, but doesn't strip it of any natural oils, which is crucial when you're dealing with extreme dryness to begin with.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intense Hydration Cream
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Oatmeal is a tried-and-true DIY for relieving itchiness from chicken pox, so it works wonders for relieving eczema, too. That's it's the hero ingredient in First Aid Beauty moisturizer that's specifically formulated for dry, irritated skin. On top of oatmeal, the non-greasy cream is also packed with ceramides, lipids that repair the skin's barrier and trap moisture in. Bonus: It also makes a great facial moisturizer for eczema-prone skin.
Photo: First Aid Beauty
Province Apothecary Healing Eczema Balm
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I treat Province Apothecary's balm like a spot treatment for my eczema. A little bit of the calendula and zinc mixture instantly soothes itchiness, swelling, and redness, It also has rosehip oil in it to prevent post-eczema flare-up scars.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
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There's nothing sexy about struggling with eczema, so it's fitting that an unattractive tub of Vaseline is excellent at healing dry patches. I like rubbing a bit of Vaseline on extremely bad flare-ups where my skin is raw and cracked. It seals in the moisture, and protects the rash from getting irritated. It's cheap, effective, and once you try it, and you'll understand why dermatologists always recommend it, and why your mom always had it stocked in your bathroom growing up.
This story was originally published on InStyle.com by Erin Lukas.