Humidifiers are used to control the moisture of the air in your home. The best humidifiers don’t just help you protect your home; they help support your overall wellbeing, promoting healthy skin.
There is a lot of debate about the health benefits of humidifiers, and many people ask if a humidifier helps with eczema. In this guide, we will help explain what eczema is and the impact humidifiers can have.
Eczema Explained: What Is It & Treatments
Eczema is one of those conditions that can be difficult to define. It’s an overarching term for a number of different conditions which cause your skin to become dry, irritated, red, and sometimes flaky.
15-20% of children will suffer from eczema, and 1-3% of adults, so it’s more common than you think.
Eczema can be pretty bad, and certain conditions can trigger it and cause it to flare up. If you’re a sufferer, then you know you need to manage your condition closely, or it can have some dangerous consequences. There’s no cure, but here are some sensible steps to take:
It can take some time to work out what your triggers are, and it may be different for everyone. For some people, it can be certain substances in the air, foods they consume, or even the current season. Cold, dry winters and harsh, warm summers are especially impactful on the skin.
For others, it can be a pair of gloves or a watch strap. The best thing you can do is note them all down and avoid them as much as possible.
Bath & Moisture Regularly
Dry skin is not just a symptom of eczema but can also be a trigger. By bathing and moisturizing your skin regularly, you can help manage it properly and keep it in the right condition.
Many of the major brands now produce specialized eczema or eczema-friendly soaps, so you’ll do well to look for those.
Over-The-Counter Or Prescription Medicine
For severe or widespread eczema, you may have medicine prescribed by a doctor to help you manage it.
There are also several different over-the-counter medicines you can get without a prescription, which will help soothe your skin and prevent outbreaks. Lotions or ointments are common, but be sure to read the instructions carefully and apply them correctly.
Eczema will impact your skin a lot, and you need to be careful to guard against infections. If you start to see any redness, soreness or puss around the rash, then you should consult a doctor.
Remember not to scratch at your skin and try to avoid clothing or accessories that might irritate it.
Will A Humidifier Help with Eczema?
Humidifiers can help eczema sufferers a great deal because they help you take care of your skin. They are a real benefit to eczema sufferers in two ways:
1. Providing Moisture
When you’re in your home, windows closed and heating on, then the air can become very dry. This can be really detrimental to your skin and dry it out. This can cause your eczema to flare up and can make existing rashes really sore and dry.
There are many different types of humidifiers, but they all have one goal: to get moisture into the air. They work to regulate the air in your home, and this gives your skin everything you need to protect it from an eczema flare-up.
You’ll generally want the relative moisture level in your home to be between 40 and 60%. This helps to protect your skin but doesn’t put too much moisture into the air, which can cause mold or mildew to grow.
Humidifiers provide sustained moisture, and if you set it up correctly, it will help more than any lotion or ointment. They’ll even help relieve eczema and congestion for babies and children, removing the need for any specialized medicines which could have side effects.
2. Preventing Infections
The air around you contains any number of pollutants or other contaminants. These can irritate healthy skin, but if you have eczema, it can cause a massive flare-up. Or, it can cause your rash to become infected and make it so much worse.
Humidifiers help to keep the air around you clean and limit the number of contaminants by regulating the moisture levels. They also help to keep your skin healthy so that it’s more resistant to infections in the first place. This is particularly useful for those who suffer with eye eczema that’s really prone to infections.
There’s a wide variety of different humidifiers available on the market, and each of them will have a slightly different impact on your eczema. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Warm mist humidifiers work by releasing warm, evaporated air into your home. This creates a mist that travels around your home, adding moisture to the atmosphere.
Warm mist humidifiers will help you manage your eczema, but there is a risk that the warm air can burn your damaged skin. Use these with care.
Cool mist humidifiers work similarly, but the air is cooled before it’s released into the air. This results in a cool, invisible mist being released into the air. This is great for those with eczema and helps you protect your skin. It’s one of the best options if you have eczema.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibrations to force the water into smaller droplets, and then a built-in fan releases them into the air. These are a good way to regulate the moisture levels in a room, but because the water isn’t boiled, it isn’t always as clean.
This makes it more likely that the damaged skin could become infected.
Vaporizers are a great option for eczema sufferers because they boil the water completely before it’s released into the air. This makes it completely clean and helps to provide vital moisture to your skin.
For eczema sufferers, it’s important that the air is as clean as possible. Whatever humidifier you use, make sure to use distilled water rather than tap water to prevent the risk of infection.
How Does Winter Affect Eczema?
Eczema is a lot worse in Winter for most people. There are a few key reasons why:
Winter is obviously the coldest time of year, and the change in temperature can impact your skin. This can make your skin much dryer, more sensitive, and even itchy if you don’t wrap up warm. Winter will also force you to be inside more which makes having the right humidifier even more important.
Even though it may be wetter in Winter, the humidity levels generally drop, meaning it’s much dryer conditions for your skin. This dries out your skin and makes it more likely to trigger eczema outbreaks or irritate it.
You’ll need to apply moisturizers more liberally in the winter months, so your skin has enough protection against the conditions. Remember to moisturize your lips too, and find a moisturizer that’s sensitive enough or eczema friendly.
When you think of winter, you think of thick, woolen clothing. This will help to keep you warm, but the rough materials can be a nightmare on your skin. You should always look for soft clothing and take note of what your skin finds irritating.
Cold, flu, and other viruses are much more common in Winter. For those with eczema, these can be even worse and impact your skin very negatively. You’ll need to be conscious about who you spend time around and avoid anyone with visible symptoms of an infection.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
What are the various types of eczema?
There are 7 main types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, stasis dermatitis. Each of these is slightly different, and you can read more about them here.
What is the root cause of eczema?
Eczema is caused by an overactive immune system which leads to an inflammation in your skin. This is what causes sore, red rashes to appear on your body.
Why is eczema worse at night?
Cortisol is one of the best ways to combat eczema. During the day, your body naturally produces it, but at night the levels of cortisol in your body drops, which is why eczema can be worse during the night.
Does dehumidifier help with eczema?
Dehumidifiers can make eczema worse because it extracts the moisture from your skin. This makes it more likely your eczema will be triggered and can make the symptoms worse.
Does humidity make eczema worse?
Too much or too little humidity can make your eczema worse. Regulating it and keeping it in the sweet spot is what’s best and why humidifiers are so useful for those who suffer from eczema.
Eczema isn’t fun, and if you have it, you need to be proactive to manage your condition. The air around you can help protect you or harm you, so it’s important to be aware of it and try to control the environment in your home.
Humidifiers are handy tools to help you do this, and a real asset for those with eczema. They help to keep the moisture in your skin and to protect you from infections.
Hopefully, this article has given you some helpful information about the benefits of humidifiers and helped you understand if one might be useful for you.
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