Fall is beautiful. There’s no getting around that. The turning leaves are nice. The crisp fall air is refreshing.
But, I still hate fall for one simple reason:
I have eczema. I’ve had noticeable symptoms for a few years now, and they seem to pick up in intensity in the fall. It will last throughout the winter, but for some reason, when it first hits in fall, it is like a bullet.
I have a spot on my face and also around my eyes that flares up. I also get it on my hands (more my right hand than my left), and along my wrists and the tops of my elbows.
It itches like crazy, and if the areas around my face get bad, it’s noticeable enough that I get self-conscious. It also really sucks because while the fall usually kicks in all of the areas at once, what happens after that is that one or two areas will clear up but another area will flare up, so until spring I’ve always got a rash and itch going on somewhere. *sigh*
I have found a few things that seem to help, though they never really make it fully ‘go away’.
I use Aveeno lotion, which seems to work best for moisturizing without further irritating the skin. Aveeno works best because it does not contain parabens, a chemical that is added to just about all skin and hair care products as a cheap preservative. It’s also irritating to many (like me) with sensitive skin.
I have topical medication that I use. This seems to help though it takes a few days to really kick in, and I don’t like to use it preventatively, so there’s always that window. Often, it’ll work, I’ll stop using it, and I’ll get another flare-up again. Other times, it can work for weeks. Two problems: It’s expensive and my insurance company will require that I go try other treatments before authorizing a prescription.
Sleeping. I’ve found that the more tired I get, the more my body seems to be prone. This is tough but I’ve been trying to add more hours of sleep to my schedule.
Hydration. I’ve found that keeping my skin moist not just from the outside (moisturizer) but also from the inside (by drinking water) seems to help.
We also switched our laundry detergent to the Kirkland brand that is dye-free and supposedly for sensitive skin. We’d previously gotten their ‘regular’ stuff. This will take a while to kick in, but maybe this will help?
Reducing the time and temperature of my shower. As the weather cools and you wake up to a colder house, it’s so tempting to take a long, hot shower. Unfortunately, this dries out your skin, so it’s best to resist temptation and take cooler, shorter showers. I know that if I turn down the temperature, making it shorter won’t be a problem as I won’t want to be in there as long!
Stress. I find that when I’m overworked or upset, I can almost feel it kick in. Reducing stress is tough with a job with frequent deadlines plus the daily grind with two toddlers, but still something to try to keep mindful of.
Chances are as you read this, I itch. And that is why I hate fall.