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Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life Mindful Health

Prepare Your Skin for Fall

October 11, 2017

Cold weather is fast approaching. How prepared is your skin? Dry winters and stress can contribute to inflamed skin conditions like eczema. Fortunately, you can protect your skin with the right Mindful steps.

Eczema is a skin inflammation condition that negatively affects the skin, making it dry, scaly, red, and swollen. The skin usually feels irritated and itchy. Eczema can appear nearly anywhere on the body, though typical cases are found on the face, neck, and inside the elbows and the knees. Different factors can trigger or worsen eczema conditions like pollen, food allergies, and certain chemicals in detergents or soaps.

Eczema flare-ups can also be caused by winter weather and stress. Cool, dry winter weather can leave you skin feeling itchy and dried out. And while stress doesn’t cause eczema, it can worsen your condition. Stress may cause us to feel anxious, flustered and itchy. And since it’s common for people to experience more stress in colder months, this may only worsen eczema symptoms.

Listed below are some Mindful suggestions for keeping your skin healthy and smooth this fall and winter:

  1. Get Lots of Sleep: Sleep is important for the health of your skin. If you do not get enough sleep it may lead you to stress. This increase in stress can cause you to feel irritable and itchy, thus worsening your eczema condition. And if the itchy feeling continues into the night you may have trouble sleeping. Fortunately, you can stop the cycle by meditating before bed to reduce stress and help you sleep.
  2. Create a Skincare Ritual: Keeping your skin clean and moisturized is important. Lower your stress and help your eczema by creating your own daily skincare ritual. Take time in the morning and at night to moisturize your body from head to toe. Do so while you’re still damp for your shower or bath. To help with your eczema use only mild soaps, lotions, and body butter as directed by your doctor.
  3. Wear the Right Clothes: Staying warm on cold days in important for protecting your skin against the elements. Consider wearing various layers, so if you get too warm you can readjust to cool down. Also be careful of the fabrics you wear. Wool and other scratchy fabrics may keep you warm, but they can also irritate you skin.
  4. Be Mindful of What You Eat: Being stressed can lead to bad eating habits (like consuming too much caffeine) that can aggravate your eczema. Consider eating foods full of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, which are thought to help with eczema. Some examples include: almonds, whole grain, salmon and tea (black or green)
  5. Water: Water is important for healthy skin. Consider taking relaxing baths using lukewarm water, as hot water can irritate the skin. Experts suggest using mild soap or soaking in finely ground oatmeal. During your bath time you can meditate, listen to music or read a relaxing book to lower stress and help your eczema. And forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water this fall and coming winter. You skin will thank you. 
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