The weather in Seattle can be very erratic. Some days it’s a combination of rainy, sunny, piercing cold and then dry. As I became acclimated to the weather, I learned new things about my body.
After living in Seattle for a month, I developed seasonal eczema. I got hives all over my body and the surface of my skin felt like it was burning.
We moved to Seattle in 2013. In 2014, I discovered that the cold weather affected my skin and made me flare up. According to the Weather Channel, the 2014 Winter was a record breaking coldest in Seattle in over a period of 3 years.
In this post, I documented how I treated my seasonal eczema. After seeing several doctors, I decided to try something else and it worked! It’s no fun when flare ups happen. If you’re experiencing something similar, I hope this guide will help treat your eczema woes!
What is Eczema?
Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. This commonly happens to babies and young children.
It’s important to know that Eczema is typically genetic and is NOT CONTAGIOUS. So it is nothing to be feared, just better understood.
I Didn’t Know It Was Eczema!
At first, I thought I had eaten something that caused me to break out in hives.
I went to the doctor and then to a dermatologist who prescribed me a generic antihistamine which alleviated the problems for a few hours, but the rashes on my entire body kept persisting.
I did an entire day’s regimen of antihistamines and hydrocortisone treatments, but my condition was not getting any better.
Here’s a photo of my gnarly cold weather eczema.
I then remembered that my family members are all affected by eczema. Eczema is your body’s reaction to an irritant which can include extreme weather differences. For years I lived in more humid climates that prevented my flare ups from happening.
My biggest concern with eczema was my particular skin condition known as mild ichthyosis, which is a harlequin shaped cracking of dry skin (see image below).
I felt the shame of having dry skin at a young age. Classmates would ask me what is wrong with my legs and all I could just tell them I have dry skin. I didn’t even know it was a form of eczema until much later in life.
After realizing that my eczema could get worse and that professional advice was not working, I began looking for alternative treatments for my eczema.
After lots of trial and error, I found a solution that treated my eczema and kept my seasonal eczema at bay.
How to Treat Seasonal Eczema
I live down the street from Whole Foods (now owned by Amazon). For many people, this grocery store may seem out of their budget because they may not be familiar with Whole Foods entire range of products. I remember seeing the price tag for a loaf of bread for $5.99! I was thinking, “Damn this bread better be amazing.”
Being one of the grocery stores within walking distance from our apartment and my yoga studio, I began to frequent here and found ways to hack Whole Food’s wide range of products.
I was browsing in their juice section and discovered their 365 Everyday Value line, the Whole Food’s organic line of products.
The line includes a wide range of products including food, beauty, household and more. I found their everyday skincare products and purchased Whole Foods Maximum Moisture Lotion (32 oz) for only $10.99! It was a great deal considering the bottle lasted me an entire year to use up.
I brought it home and used it daily, sometimes twice a day, and within two days my hives cleared 100%. Overnight, the itching and small reddish welts subsided almost immediately when I applied the lotion.
The product has a light scent that isn’t overwhelming and the product meets Whole Foods product guidelines so you know that it is safe for the environment and for your skin. The lotion applies smoothly and absorbs almost immediately. I have to apply lotion daily, but at least I found a cost-effective and simple treatment for my eczema during the winter season.
As the weather gets warmer and more humid, I tend to use less lotion.
The best time to apply the lotion is immediately after your shower while your skin is still hydrated and pores are open. After a shower, I get out and lightly pat my body down with a towel. I find that rubbing my skin with the towel irritates my eczema and can cause another flare up.
I then use a layer of lotion to lock up the moisture into my skin. In the winter, this tends to do the job to prevent my skin from breaking out.
I also combine the lotion with coconut oil as a night-time regimen. Coconut oil has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s also great for keeping your hair smooth and hydrated! It’s also a great alternative to other oils when cooking.
For me, the lotion and coconut oil regimen would be done only prior to bed. While I sleep, the blend penetrates my skin and keeps it moisturized throughout the day. Prior to bed, I use coconut oil and then top it with lotion for added protection.
The coconut oil emulsifies as soon as you rub it against your skin and absorbs almost immediately. This is why natural oils are great for dry skin. I also do it while I am sleeping so that I am not stuck with oily hands throughout the day.
Products that Treat Eczema
Here are the products I used to treat my season eczema.
- Everyone Lotion (from Whole Foods)
- VIVA Naturals Coconut Oil
- Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream
- Kamedis Eczema Therapy Wash
This is my treatment that has been very successful in keeping my seasonal eczema at bay. I have not had to change my diet or avoid any activities that I enjoy. This treatment treats very superficial eczema. I realize that there are many other degrees of eczema but this has been my way of resolving superficial, weather-induced eczema.
I had to take a 3-day yoga break, but after understanding and finding a method that works for eliminating my eczema, I returned to my regularly scheduled program stronger and more knowledgeable than ever.
If you’re suffering from a breakout of hives in the winter, consider using lotion and coconut oil to treat your breakout. If the issue persists, I recommend seeing a doctor or dermatologist for further analysis. Feel free to ask me any questions or leave any tips in the comments section! I’m always looking for unique ways to do common things.