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It’s Eczema Season- How to Beat The Winter Itch It’s Eczema Season- How to Beat The Winter Itch
As the weather cools down and we move indoors and turn up the heat, the dry air can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. Here... It’s Eczema Season- How to Beat The Winter Itch

As the weather cools down and we move indoors and turn up the heat, the dry air can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. Here are a few tips to get your child through the winter more comfortably.


Applying a moisturizer helps to restore the barrier function of skin. Stick to an unscented product, and apply right after bath or shower time.

Avoid long, hot baths and showers

Keep these comfortably warm, and under 10 minutes. Use a gentle unscented wash for sensitive skin, such as Dove bar for sensitive skin. Body washes labeled “Baby” or “Kids” are often heavily scented and not the gentlest choice! Bars also have fewer preservatives than liquid washes. Only use soap on areas that need it- arms, legs, backs and tummies don’t need to be lathered up every day (unless they have been in the mud!).

Dress your child in soft, cotton clothing

Wool contains lanolin, a wool alcohol that can irritate sensitive skin, so is best avoided for kids with sensitive skin.

Diet is probably not the cause

The best scientific evidence to date suggests that diet rarely, if ever, plays a role in eczema or sensitive skin. So don’t worry about avoiding certain food groups. However, if there are foods that on repeated instances cause your child’s eczema to flare, it is only reasonable to avoid these.

Keep fingernails short

Eczema is sometimes called “the itch that rashes”- meaning that scratching worsens the rash. Short fingernails do the least damage so check these every few days.

For some eczema-prone children, these preventive measures are not enough. If this is the case, fear not- many children will outgrow their eczema by their teens. In the meantime, some prescription medications may be necessary. Speak to your doctor if this is the case for you.

This article is intended to provide general information and is not intended as a substitute for assessment and care from your doctor.

This article was written by our new resident Dermatologist, Dr. Alexandra Kuritzky.  She will be contributing professional articles on all-things dermatology.  Welcome Dr. Kuritzky!

What is a dermatologist?

There are a lot of “skin clinics” out there. Why chose a dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor with specialty training. After an undergraduate degree and medical school we spend 5 years in an accredited dermatology residency program, learning everything there is to know about skin health and disease. Like all specialist physicians in Canada, we pass a rigorous examination process to earn the designation “FRCPC”, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. This amounts to 12 or more years of post-secondary training.

Dermatology is an exciting field, in that we deal with the body’s largest and most visible organ. This means that a trained eye can make diagnoses by reading the skin, often without invasive testing. There is a tremendous amount of preventive health in what we do, from skin cancer prevention and early detection, to helping people age well, such that what they see in the mirror reflects how vibrant they feel on the inside.

As a medical and cosmetic dermatologist, I divide my time between general medical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology, and I am constantly reminded of how connected these two facets of my practice are. Unlike some medical conditions which patients can keep private, dermatologic disease is often in the public eye, thus presenting not just a health concern but an aesthetic concern as well. For the cosmetic consultation, the health of the individual and their skin always comes first, and we build upon this with our ability to rejuvenate and enhance.

Do all medical dermatologists perform cosmetic treatments?

Not necessarily. Most dermatologists will do some form of cosmetic treatments, such as removal of unwanted moles and skin tags, but not all perform the full range of injectable and laser procedures available. Similarly, not all cosmetic dermatologists have a full medical practice. This is the wonderful thing about our specialty- we treat such a wide range of conditions that we can each tailor our practice to our interests and skill set.

Stay tuned for more information about how to manage common skin problems and what is happening in the world of aesthetic medicine.


Image: Jav Con

Alexandra Kuritzky

Dr. Alex Kuritzky is a board-certified dermatologist with a medical and cosmetic practice at Pacific Dermaesthetics in Vancouver. She also attends at St. Paul’s Hospital and is a Clinical Instructor at UBC. She grew up on the North Shore and is grateful to be living here once more with her husband and two very well sun-protected boys. To connect with Alex, visit the Pacific Dermaesthetics website.

  • Anahita

    November 28, 2016 #1 Author

    I try to remember to drink more water. Since the weather is colder I crave more of hot beverages and less water and that can cause dryness in my skin than can easily turn to an eczema.


  • Dr. Alex Kuritzky

    November 29, 2016 #2 Author

    Thank you for your comment! I agree it’s important to drink water when you are thirsty, and to remind children to drink water as they don’t always ask for it. Thanks for reading!


  • loriag

    November 29, 2016 #3 Author

    Great article, I hate winter eczema.


  • Dr. Alex Kuritzky

    November 30, 2016 #4 Author

    Thank you for your comments!


  • Kelly

    December 1, 2016 #5 Author

    Great reminders here. My 7 year old has eczema since birth and it’s sometimes easy to forget the little things that make a big difference for her.


  • jan

    December 2, 2016 #6 Author

    I just developed a patch which I think is due to stress rather than winter! So difficult to obtain a dermatologist appointment though – not many in my area.


  • Kristina

    December 2, 2016 #7 Author

    Simple, but important tips!


  • Wanda Tracey

    December 3, 2016 #8 Author

    This is a good feature to read with lots of good information.I suffer with eczema and have tried many different things to help with it.It seems to flare up if something is bothering me.I try to drink a lot of water and extra fluids to help with it.


  • Rajbinder Kaur

    December 3, 2016 #9 Author

    During the winter months my hands and legs both suffer with eczema. Thanks for the helpful tips :)


  • Carole Dube

    December 18, 2016 #10 Author

    I have eczema, it’s really mild now. I have to be careful though and moisturise lots! Thank you for the tips!


  • Kristy Todd

    December 19, 2016 #11 Author

    Thanks for this post! We have a little one with bad eczema and with our crazy weather we weren’t sure the best steps!


  • Holly D

    December 19, 2016 #12 Author

    During the Winter is brutal for me. All great tips. My niece suffers from eczema, so I will pass this along to my brother to read as well!


  • Dr. Alex Kuritzky

    January 8, 2017 #13 Author

    Thank you all for reading!


  • Lynda Cook

    March 16, 2017 #14 Author

    I usually do not have a problem, but this year my skin is driving me crazy dry and itchy, grrr


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