The weather in Seattle can be very erratic. Some days it’s a combination of rainy, sunny, piercing cold and then dry. As I became acclimated to the weather, I learned new things about my body.
After living in Seattle for a month, I developed seasonal eczema. I got hives all over my body and the surface of my skin felt like it was burning.
We moved to Seattle in 2013. In 2014, I discovered that the cold weather affected my skin and made me flare up. According to the Weather Channel, the 2014 Winter was a record breaking coldest in Seattle in over a period of 3 years.
In this post, I documented how I treated my seasonal eczema. After seeing several doctors, I decided to try something else and it worked! It’s no fun when flare ups happen. If you’re experiencing something similar, I hope this guide will help treat your eczema woes!
What is Eczema?
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. This commonly happens to babies and young children.
It’s important to know that Eczema is typically genetic and is NOT CONTAGIOUS. So it is nothing to be feared, just better understood.
I Didn’t Know It Was Eczema!
At first, I thought I had eaten something that caused me to break out in hives.
I went to the doctor and then to a dermatologist who prescribed me a generic antihistamine which alleviated the problems for a few hours, but the rashes on my entire body kept persisting.
I did an entire day’s regimen of antihistamines and hydrocortisone treatments, but my condition was not getting any better.
Here’s a photo of my gnarly cold weather eczema.
I then remembered that my family members are all affected by eczema. Eczema is your body’s reaction to an irritant which can include extreme weather differences. For years I lived in more humid climates that prevented my flare ups from happening.
My biggest concern with eczema was my particular skin condition known as mild ichthyosis, which is a harlequin shaped cracking of dry skin (see image below).
I felt the shame of having dry skin at a young age. Classmates would ask me what is wrong with my legs and all I could just tell them I have dry skin. I didn’t even know it was a form of eczema until much later in life.
After realizing that my eczema could get worse and that professional advice was not working, I began looking for alternative treatments for my eczema.
After lots of trial and error, I found a solution that treated my eczema and kept my seasonal eczema at bay.
How to Treat Seasonal Eczema
Luckily for most, seasonal eczema can be treated with a few over the counter methods.
Applying store bought lotion may do the trick! We use the 365 Everyday value lotion from Whole Foods (now owned by Amazon). It’s surprisingly affordable and comes in large quantities so that you can apply it all over your body without running out quickly.
Within two days my hives cleared by 100%. The itching and small reddish welts subsided almost overnight. I was mind blown!
The best time to apply the lotion is immediately after your shower while your skin is still hydrated and pores are open. After a shower, I get out and lightly pat my body down with a towel. I find that rubbing my skin with the towel irritates my eczema and can cause another flare up.
Use a layer of lotion to lock up the moisture onto your skin. This tends to do the job to prevent my skin from breaking out.
Use Oils to Moisturize
I combine the lotion with oil as a night-time regimen.
I typically use oil blends or just simple coconut oil. Coconut oil has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s also great for keeping your hair smooth and hydrated! It’s also a great alternative to other oils when cooking.
The coconut oil emulsifies as soon as you rub it against your skin and absorbs almost immediately. This is why natural oils are great for dry skin. I also do it while I am sleeping so that I am not stuck with oily hands throughout the day.
For me, the lotion plus coconut oil regimen would be done only prior to bed. While I sleep, the blend penetrates my skin and keeps it moisturized throughout the next day.
Use Vitamin E
Vitamin E will come as an oil, ointment (similar to petroleum oil), cream or lotion form. We prefer to use Vitamine E creams. Cococare makes luxurious Vitamin E creams that absorb quickly and work all day long. They’re also super affordable!
Products that Treat Eczema
Here are the products I used to treat my season eczema.
- Everyone Lotion (from Whole Foods)
- VIVA Naturals Coconut Oil
- Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream
- Kamedis Eczema Therapy Wash
- Cococare Vitamin E Cream
This is my treatment that has been very successful in keeping my seasonal eczema at bay. I have not had to change my diet or avoid any activities that I enjoy. This treatment treats very superficial eczema. I realize that there are many other degrees of eczema but this has been my way of resolving superficial, weather-induced eczema.
I had to take a 3-day yoga break, but after understanding and finding a method that works for eliminating my eczema, I returned to my regularly scheduled program stronger and more knowledgeable than ever.
If you’re suffering from a breakout of hives in the winter, consider using lotion and coconut oil to treat your breakout. If the issue persists, I recommend seeing a doctor or dermatologist for further analysis. Feel free to ask me any questions or leave any tips in the comments section! I’m always looking for unique ways to do common things.
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