When the temperature drops and winter's blustery, brutal blows, that's when dry, itchy skin flares up! A child's skin is particularly vulnerable and sensitive. Nearly 10 million children have eczema in the United States alone. And while the direct cause is not known, low temps, dry central heating and low humidity indoors, can cause itchy irritation. Suffice to say it can be pretty uncomfortable for kids. (Heck, it's not so pleasant for grown-ups either!) To help navigate this itch-prone season, we reached out to Dr. Mamina Turegano, New Orleans Dermatologist, to share a few of her top tips with us to help us protect our kids’ skin this winter.
- Regulate room temps. Make sure the space where your child sleeps is not too hot. If your child is prone to eczema, dry heat will aggravate the skin and make eczema worse.
- Keep baths short. It’s fine to bathe your child every day, but keep bath time to no more than 5-7 minutes. Ensure that bath water is warm, not hot. Bathing habits are the most common reasons that we lose the natural moisture in our skin. The more water that you expose skin to, the drier skin gets. Hot water further dries out the skin. I recommend a BRIEF (5 minute), LUKEWARM shower or bath, only once a day.
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- Use a mild soap. Look for one with moisturizing cream and made for sensitive skin. I recommend avoiding soaps with fragrances or dyes. Proper skin care is extremely important inthose with eczema-prone skin and involves avoiding products (soaps, detergents, moisturizers, etc.) that have fragrances, dyes, and other potential allergens.
- Soak and smear. Pat yourself dry with a soft towel but don’t rub vigorously. Within one minute after patting skin dry, while it is still damp, apply moisturizers to lock in water that your skin absorbed during the shower. Moisturizers containing ceramides, such as EpiCeram, are better able to lock in the moisture. It is one of my favorite moisturizers because it contains ceramides in the same ratio that naturally exists in our skin.
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