Dealing with Eczema in the Winter 23

Dealing with Eczema in the Winter is a paid collaboration with Neutral 0%.

One of the things that we find so difficult when dealing with eczema is change. Just when you think you have it under control something changes and you have to start again with the management.  We have found hormones a challenge this year for Maxi but we always find the change in the weather and seasons a real challenge.

Just as we have got the summer regime cracked the Autumn and Winter is upon us and we have to change things up as the colder air and central heating triggers Maxi’s eczema. Once you add in winter bugs we seem to be back to square one!

Over the years we have learned what works for us and sometimes, what used to work doesn’t and what didn’t work might!  So it can be something of trial and error.  I do find that his skin is much better if he keeps on top of it rather than reacting to the changes. One of the main issues is the way the skin reacts to the sudden changes of temperature from inside to outside and vice versa.

Dealing with Eczema in the Winter

Keep the air humid. Central heating seems to have a big impact on Maxi’s skin so he has a micro mist humidifier in his bedroom.

Maxi is a sporty child and plays football, which means that he can get pretty muddy and also very cold and even wind burnt.  We try to prevent this as much as possible by ensuring he wears under layers. This reduces the amount of bare skin open to the elements. He also doesn’t use any harsh product to wash (we avoid all products containing SLS, SLA and parabens).

Layers on the bed are better than one thick duvet, as the layers can then be peeled off one by one. We also try to make sure that we have cotton sheets closest to the skin.

We try to avoid extremes in temperatures, so no red hot baths and showers or sitting in front of the fire or radiator.  If you come to our home you will find quilts and blankets in every room as we would rather keep the air temperature lower and snuggle under a layer on the sofa than cause issues with the boy’s skin.

When it is freezing hats, scarves and gloves are needed but we avoid those made from wool, which can scratch and increase itching. The same with any raised seams and loose threads as they can rub against the skin. We encourage the boys to wear several layers of cotton clothing rather than one heavy layer of warm clothing so they can just remove a layer at a time to regulate their temperature.  I always make sure that I wash and air winter clothing and blankets etc before the boys use them as they have been stored since last winter.  We have been using  Neutral 0% for nearly 7 months and swear by it.  It is gentle on skin and fabric but tough on dirt. I have just washed all of the winter scarfs, gloves etc with it in preparation for the coming cold snap.

Even healthy skin needs more moisturiser in the winter, so we make sure that the boys consistently apply theirs (Sometimes this might be known as nagging in our house)! You may need a heavier moisturiser in the winter.  Also, we pay extra attention to the areas exposed to the elements, so face, hands etc. We certainly do not stop the sunscreen just because it is winter.

Managing Winter Eczema Flare-ups

Even though we are careful, sometimes the eczema does flare up despite our best efforts, sometimes due to a change in the weather, overheating or even a change in diet.  Then we resort to steroid based treatment.  We currently have a fantastic practice nurse at the GP surgery, who specialises in eczema and she has been brilliant.  She informed us that yes sometimes steroid creams can thin the skin but only when used excessively over years and it is better to use them as prescribed until the flare is gone than to apply too little and prolong the application.

We make sure we apply the steroid treatment and leave it a good 10 minutes before we apply any other product.  We have also learned to use tight PJ’s too, this also prevents scratching.  We use cotton bedding and wash with Neutral 0% too.

Do your children suffer and if so, what products do you use?

23 thoughts on “Dealing with Eczema in the Winter

  • Vic

    It’s all very trial and error, isnt it?!

    With Li’l Mister we had to use steroid creams during flare ups and are often found coating him in emollients. First we tried diprobase but cetraben seems to work better. In the bath he uses the E45 foaming body wash (remember the Cybermummy goodie bags?) but we’ve also done halos & horns.

    For my psoriasis it’s multiple applications of either simple derma or cetraben each day. When the flares get really bad I use a prescribed ointment, dovobet, which is a combination of a steroid and vitamin D as psoriasis reacts to vit D and sunlight. I’ve just started light therapy to help clear the worst as well because the moment I stop using the dovobet the plaques reappear within days.

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Vic » The E45 stuff is no good for Maxi, it made his much worse! I wish there was more products that foamed so he could have a bubble bath every now and again without suffering

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Oh Mammy » Oh no, that must be horrible. I do hope that you find something that makes a long term differnce

  • Mirka Moore

    I have to tell my friend (whose 6 months old baby struggles with ecsma)about your post, and am sure that some of these could work for her baby too. Thanks for the tips 😉 Mirka

  • Hannah@HomeBaked

    We control eczema with diet and now only really see flare ups during Easter, Christmas etc when there’s more sugar and additives in what we eat.

    I think a lot of what’s on the market to treat eczema is outrageously bad – containing ingredients that are known to flare up the condition they’re meant to cure such as lanolin in E45 creams.
    I like your approach – removing parabens can solve so many health problems.

    I also think that stress can contribute to eczema in a big way. As a child with (then) undiagnosed autism I was very stressed out and covered in eczema.

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Hannah@HomeBaked » We keep a food diary for both of the boys and there doesn’t seem to be any link with theirs and diet, but Maxi’s get much much worse when his chest condition gets bad. So maybe the stressed or ill issue does make a difference.

  • LauraCYMFT

    My 2 both had baby eczema although Miss C still has eczema now at the age of 2. We were using diprobase, steroid creams and oilatum in the bath. We were using hydrocortizone but it just wasn’t helping so the DR gave us another cream that was a bit stronger and it cleared her skin right up. I noticed her skin started to flare up again as soon as I started using diprobase on her again so I’ve stopped using it and her skin is almost clear. It’s such a shame for them, I remember her waking screaming cause she was so itchy!
    Cetraben is one of the products my stepdad recommends (though he may be slightly biased as they are one of his clients!) but I think as soon as you find something that works with them then you don’t want to chance changing it!

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      LauraCYMFT » I agree on the sticking with what works. One of the eye openers for me is not to be scared of the steroid scream

  • Make do mum

    K has had eczema since she was a baby, our GP only recommended aqueous cream and some oilatum type stuff for the bath along with hydrocortisone (which I use as little as possible because of the steroids although it does work). On holiday it cleared up completely, maybe because she was running about naked most of the time!
    My friend swears by Burts Bees hand cream for her toddler but I haven’t tried it yet.

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Make do mum » I think that sun makes a real difference with Psoriasis, so maybe there is a link.

  • Vanessa

    Ooooh I am so grateful that when Little Moo gets flare ups they are nothing as severe as what you describe. I can generally put it down to the dry air / central heating in winter when she gets worse. Mostly on her tummy and back, and almost always behind her knees. We’ve had Diprobase prescribed (both the emollient and the cream as well as the bath oil). The oily emollient seems to work wonders for the bits behind her knees, and the cream is best for the rest of her body. Ocassioanlly we’ll also swap to using Doublebase which is more like a gel-lotion. It’s brilliant.
    I also discovered that the Buriti Baby Body Butter from The Bodyshop works miracles (but of course that’s not available on prescription and will set you back about £12 or thereabouts).

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Vanessa » Maxi gets much worse when he has issues with his chest. I think it is about what works best got you.

  • Tanya (Bump2Basics)

    We use a mix of organic non-paraben based products and those that contain them in our house, probably because I grew up with many of the non-organic paraben containing brands and we have not suffered to date. Saying that, my husband has had some sensitive patches crop up near his eyes that he ususally treats with vaseline or a hydrocortisone ointment prescribed by the doctor; we thought this was stress related, but perhaps it might be product related too? Having LLC has made me think more carefully about what products I introduce, and while we are not totally SLS/SLA/paraben free your post is very informative and good food for thought. I will point my friend in your direction as her little one sometimes has eczema flair ups.

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Tanya (Bump2Basics) » I think the fact that I tend to suffer with sensitive skin made me very aware of parabens and SLA’s and very cautious with the children.

  • would like to be a yummy mummy

    Very helpful post and great to see what works for you. One of the ranges I have found to help is the Burts Bees baby. Have been lucky enough to receive some fantastic products to trial today though, so watch my page on whether they work!

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      would like to be a yummy mummy » Can not wait to see what you were sent and how they work for you

  • Jenny Mortimer

    Both my boys suffer with eczema, i found that the creams dont always work, but the lotion in their bath is a must. I also swapped their clothes to Organic and Bamboo cotton clothing – which helps their skin breathe and noticed a difference straight away. I was so impressed it inspired me to set up my own business stocking the clothing so i could share my success with others. 🙂

    • Mum in the Madhouse

      Jenny Mortimer » I agree on the cotton and babboo clothing. I must ake a look a your site

  • test1234

    Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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