Eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder that causes dry, itchy, and red rashes. It’s often made worse by environmental triggers like cold temperatures and dry air, as they can further dry out and irritate the skin. Using a humidifier can help keep a room from becoming too dry, which can, in turn, help soothe and moisturize eczema-prone skin and reduce flare-ups. What Causes Eczema? The exact cause of eczema is unknown, though experts believe it’s a combination of genetics and the environment. It’s well-known that eczema runs in families, especially those with other inflammatory conditions like asthma, food allergies, and hay fever. Doctors theorize that this is because people with eczema genetically lack certain skin proteins that help keep the skin moisturized and protect it from irritants in the environment. These irritants, called triggers, can cause eczema to flare up. Triggers can vary from person to person, but the most common include scratchy fabrics like wool, fragrances, and other harsh ingredients in detergents and skincare products, food allergies, extreme temperatures, and dry air. Eczema and Dry Air Have you noticed that your skin and lips get dry and can even crack in the wintertime? Winter air, or any dry air at all, can strip even the healthiest skin of necessary moisture. Eczema makes it hard for skin to hold onto moisture, so any environment that additionally removes moisture can make the symptoms of eczema, like dryness, rashes, redness, weeping sores, inflammation, and bumps, worse. That’s why people with eczema, especially children and babies, have more flare-ups in the winter or when the air is particularly dry. What Can Be Done? Since dry air can make eczema worse, a simple solution is using a humidifier to keep the air moist. You can also use a thermostat to keep your home at an even temperature, as both extreme heat and extreme cold can trigger a flare-up. Beyond avoiding dry air and extreme temperatures, the right skincare is key to relieving eczema symptoms and reducing flare-ups, especially in children. Bathe your child once per day. Keep bath time to 10 minutes or less to keep from drying out the skin, and be sure to use only warm water as hot water can also cause dryness. Pat skin dry with a soft, clean towel. Always cleanse your child’s skin with a gentle, non-soap cleanser. Many body washes and soaps on the market are made with harsh ingredients and fragrances that can dry out or irritate eczema-prone skin. Instead, use an eczema body wash like Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash. Pediatrician-developed for dry, sensitive, and eczema-prone skin, this gentle cleanser is made with 95% natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, Oatmeal Extract, and Licorice Root Extract to soothe and moisturize. Finally, moisturize skin immediately after bathing and at least twice per day. Early and frequent moisturizing has been shown to protect the skin barrier and decrease eczema flare-ups, so be sure to apply a gentle cream from head to toe to seal in moisture and help protect the skin from other irritants. Not just any cream will do. Use a baby eczema cream made without harsh dyes, fragrances, sulfates, and preservatives – like Happy Cappy Moisturizing Cream.