Eczema can be a year-round torment for the 1.6 million adults affected in the UK, but winter causes particular misery. So how can you avoid it – or treat it if you have it?
Winter can be grim: coughs, cold, flu and the general sense of malaise brought on by dark nights, too much food and not enough exercise. And to add to the misery, as the temperature plunges and the heating goes on, normally reliable and trouble-free skin can start to itch, flake and drive a person to distraction. Welcome to the onset of winter eczema. About 1.6 million adults in the UK live with eczema, many since childhood. It can be a year-round torment or flare up in the cold months. A recent Allergy UK survey of adults with eczema found that 88% say it has an impact on their daily lives, 58% say it affects personal relationships and 73% claim that their social life suffers. But despite the scale of the problem, adult eczema remains an underfunded, under-recognised and undertreated condition that can cause profound distress.