Dealing with dry winter skin?
“Itchy dry skin is a common condition that I treat during the cold winter months. If you are dealing with skin eruptions or rashes, a wide array of treatment options are available to make you more comfortable”
-Georgann A. Poulos, M.D.
Dry Skin or Xerosis
Dry skin or xerosis can be very bothersome this time of year when the humidity is low. During the winter months environmental insults take their toll on the skin. Medications such a water pills or cholesterol lowering drugs can contribute to skin dryness. It is very important to bathe with a gentle soap and lukewarm water. Applying a moisturizer immediately after bathing is also helpful.
Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a common skin condition that affects 28 million Americans annually. In addition, 10 to 20% of children under the age of ten are also affected. It is characterized by red patches of skin that may have scales and/or crust. Often there is intense itchiness followed by scratching. Eczema often occurs on the face, eyelids, neck and inner sides of the elbows and knees. While there is no cure for eczema, most cases can be controlled with a personalized treatment plan. The goals of treatment are to keep the skin moist, reduce inflammation, properly treat infection, and treat the itch associated with the rash. Effective treatment often requires a multi-faceted approach that includes proper bathing techniques, good skin care and trigger avoidance.
Dr. Poulos’ Approach
My goal is to make my patients more comfortable and relieve the symptoms as quickly as possible. As a preventative measure, if you are prone to eczema, you should bathe in lukewarm water and use over-the-counter moisturizers that contain ceramides. I will sometimes prescribe topical corticosteroids and topical immuno-modulators to reduce inflammation during the flares. In more severe cases, oral medications that alter the immune system may be prescribed. If the eczema or atopic dermatitis appears unusual or does not respond to treatment, sometimes a small skin biopsy is taken to confirm the diagnosis and rule out more serious mimickers of the condition. If you are suffering from dry winter skin, call our office at 440.792.4802 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Poulos.