One of the key principles of guideline-based management of your #eczema involves environmental trigger avoidance. Sounds simple enough, right? Some environmental triggers can be avoided, but many others, including the change of seasons, are harder to avoid. People with atopic dermatitis also have skin that is more sensitive to its environment. 

With winter on its way, the air is drier, leeching moisture from the upper layers of our skin. Indoor heating only exacerbates the problem, not to mention the added irritation from constantly washing hands as a result of #COVID. So, what can we do? 

1. Proactively maintain a healthy skin barrier
People with atopic dermatitis are often missing key elements to a skin barrier, including proteins and oils that help keep it healthy, so keeping skin ‘sealed’ with moisturizing creams and ointments, especially after bathing or exposure of skin to irritants, including harsh or changing weather and sweat or exercising, is key. 

2. Calm overactive skin inflammation locally
Applying treatments to calm skin inflammation locally is also known as topical treatment. Topical medications should be applied directly to red, rough, itchy skin on a regular basis.

3. Prevent immune overactivity in your skin long-term
When topical treatment is not enough, phototherapy (light or NBUVB) or systemic therapy (tablet/pill or injection) may be used to put atopic eczema into remission. These treatments prevent overactive immune responses that cause flares of itchy skin and inflammation in atopic dermatitis. 

If you are an adult or adolescent patient experiencing chronic atopic dermatitis in Quebec, you can be referred to the McGill University Hospital Network Center of Excellence for Atopic Dermatitis, a specialty clinic. To find out more, visit our ‘Clinic‘ link.