Under the weather: Low temperatures can cause skin cells to shrink, researchers say
Ways in which the weather can affect our health
This week: Skin gets drier and eczema can worsen when it's cold
RESEARCH from the University of Copenhagen has found that skin cells literally shrink in cold weather. This causes a break in the skin's natural protective layer which triggers a fall in important hydrating protein called filaggrin.
On top of this, cold winds and central heating both sap water from winter skin. The combination means skin can be considerably drier in winter, causing dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis to flare up.
"Putting back the moisture that winter removes is key to keeping all skin healthy in winter so, moisturise regularly," says GP Dr Unnati Desai, GP.
"If you do have eczema, avoid long hot baths and use soap substitutes like aqueous cream in the shower. Also treat any flare-ups quickly with the steroid creams suggested by your doctor."
It might also help to avoid wool jumpers. "They can irritate the skin in ways that also aggravate eczema. Choose other fabrics instead," says Dr Desai.
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