Winter brought itching – that’s how you defeat it


FOR HALF A YEAR, most of us may forget about our skin. But when winter comes, it starts to tighten and itch. Doubt arises: is this
atopy?

– Most winter drought is other than atopy. When you freeze and start heating your houses, the water evaporates from the skin more sharply than in summer, a dermatologist Kari Saarinen says.

Atopy is a long-term skin condition whose root cause is found in the abnormal structure of the skin. The skin seems to leak when the water
anti-evaporation fats, ceramides, are too low or break down too quickly.

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– Water travels too fast between cell spaces and evaporates from the surface layers of the skin into the air. As if a bad mortar had been placed on a brick wall made of skin cells, Saarinen describes.

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Stress is triggered by an adult.

One in five Finns has an atopic rash. In general, the disease is sometimes easier, sometimes worse. Variation is caused by so
life situation as well as the seasons.

Atopy can break out again after a break or for the very first time as an adult. Often the background is a stressful life situation. Typically, a dermatologist’s appointment is made when a young person is preparing for student exams or a loved one has died.

Sometimes the reason for the recurrence of atopy is career choice. Many years have gone quite well, but taking for example
as a barber or hairdresser raises an unbearable rash on your hands.

– If you have suffered from a rash or pollen allergy as a child, the work should not be exposed to dirt, chemicals or watering, Saarinen
notes.

Already middle age is felt in the skin

Age also increases skin dryness. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and its natural fats are reduced. Subcutaneous fat is lost, especially from the face, hands and feet.

The changes begin as early as middle age but the pace is accelerating around the age of 70. A dermatologist often comes in early winter when the legs are itchy so that it is difficult not to scratch them. The skin of the legs is thin and there is little protective layer of fat in them.

Drought is common in women and men alike.

The situation for men is often complicated by the fact that they have no experience in skin care.

– But yes, men also learn to use fat when a doctor prescribes it, Saarinen says.

Get fit even with cortisone

Lubrication should not be forgotten even when the skin is not itchy. Treated skin is able to resist inflammation.

It is difficult to give a one-size-fits-all recommendation for a good cream. For basic creams, you can first try a medium-fat one, and then switch to a more greasy or lighter one if necessary.

According to studies and the experiences of Saarinen’s patients, one ingredient is also useful.

Urea added to the cream binds moisture particularly well to the skin. Other humectants include glycerol and glycol.

When the skin starts to shrink, it already has inflammation.

It is not necessary to wait for it to become pregnant, but to apply the medicated cream immediately. The most familiar help for an itchy rash is hydrocortisone. According to the dermatologist, it is feared in vain.

– Cortisone is said to thin the skin. However, during my nearly 40 years of medical career, I have not seen any skin thinned by hydrocortisone, Saarinen says.

Mild and moderate hydrocortisons available from a pharmacy without a prescription are sufficient for most.

They are also safe when used as directed on the package. The general guideline is 1-2 times a day for a couple of weeks. Lubrication is continued for a few more days after the itching is relieved so that the inflammation does not recur.

If necessary, your doctor may prescribe a stronger cortisone ointment or tablet medication. The doctor’s toolkit has been around for years too
tacrol and pimecrolimus ointments. They are also used to treat thin areas of skin, such as around the eyes.

The latest entrant is dupilumab, a biological drug for severe atopic dermatitis. It received a marketing authorization in 2018. ◆

This article has appeared in Good Health magazine. As a subscriber, you can read all numbers free of charge from the digilehdet.fi service


Source: Hyvä Terveys by www.hyvaterveys.fi.

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