Spring Skincare Tips for Common Conditions
It might be time to spring clean your skincare routine. Changing weather patterns and warmer days could cause irritation for patients with conditions like eczema or acne.
Yale New Haven Hospital-affiliated dermatologist Jeffrey Cohen, MD, Director of the Interdisciplinary Psoriasis Treatment Program at Yale School of Medicine, explained how to spot signs of trouble and when to seek help.
Eczema is a disruption of the skin barrier resulting in inflammation of the skin. While some people deal with eczema year-round, others have flare-ups caused by environmental triggers. One potential trigger? Excess pollen in the air.
Dr. Cohen recommends anyone struggling with eczema to use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to keep the skin barrier intact. While it is tempting to scratch eczema prone skin, it will only make it worse. If gentle, moisturizing products are not helping, seek out help from a dermatologist who can prescribe topical treatments, medications or injection medications.
High pollen counts can also cause issues for patients prone to hives. However, if you think you have hives exacerbated by the weather, Dr. Cohen recommends meeting with a dermatologist first before jumping to conclusions.
“As with many, many skin conditions, sometimes people come in and they think they know what they have but it turns out they have something different,” Dr. Cohen said.
What looks like a hive to one person may actually be something else. It’s important for patients with any sort of skin reaction to be seen by a doctor who can make a proper diagnosis.
While protection from the sun is important year-round, it can be easy to forget SPF after months of cloudy days and winter storms. Those first few warm days can serve as a good reminder to wear sunscreen. Look for products with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher, and wear a hat and sun protective clothing when spending a prolonged period outside.
Patients with acne prone skin may experience more breakouts in the spring as warmer weather leads to increased sweating. Heavy moisturizers that soothe dry skin in the winter can irritate acne prone skin just a few weeks later.
To alleviate breakouts, look for skincare products labeled as non-comedogenic, formulated not to clog pores. In addition, products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide may help.
“The most important thing is gentle skincare and a lot of times with acne, less is more,” Dr. Cohen said.
Anyone struggling with acne may benefit from a visit to a dermatologist. Prescription-strength treatments can be more effective than anything available at the pharmacy.