Fibro Daily

Caring for Cold Weather Skin Complaints

Fibro Daily February 19, 2015

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People with Fibromyalgia often suffer from skin-related conditions. Many of these conditions are exacerbated by cold weather, especially when the temp dips as low as they have in recent weeks.

Fibro Daily has put together some helpful info on two common Fibromyalgia-related skin conditions. Hopefully, they will help you put your winter-ravaged Fibro skin on ice. (Click here for the sound effect to that awful joke.)

    Allodynia

Allodynia is defined as the following:

Tender skin (allodynia) may be a direct result of a dysfunction in the brain’s central nervous system. Fibromyalgia prevents the brain from reading pain signals correctly, and this may cause the skin to feel sore or tender to the touch.

—from FibromyalgiaSymptoms.org

First of all, smart clothing choices play a big role in easing allodynia pain. Wearing natural, non-irritating fabrics offers relief. The design of the your clothes shouldn’t be restrictive, either. Keep your clothing loose and free.

Staying warm also helps reduce the pain of allodynia. When layering against the cold, you want to follow the above advice on clothing. Use natural fibers and non-irritating styles to layer your body in free flowing fabrics.

Another good tip: before leaving the house on cold days, take a warm bath. Swimming in a warm pool helps, too, though I can honestly say I don’t have access to a heated pool on most days!

All kidding aside, both warm and hot water feels luxurious, but keep in mind that higher water temps dry out the skin so avoid using them on a constant, extended basis because dry skin will also cause discomfort with this condition. When you do use warmer water, take care to moisturize a bit more.

And on that note let’s look at another common Fibro-related skin condition…

    Dry Skin

This is really important: make sure your dry skin is not caused by an underlying condition. If dry skin is a new condition symptom, visit the doctor for a check-up before treating it on your own. Also, ask your doctor about eczema. It tends to flare during extreme weather and stress, and will require special treatment.

Now…

Dry skin can occur any time of year, but cold weather increases the frequency of it.

One major precaution that helps prevent dry skin is pretty basic: keep exposed skin covered when outside in the cold. This means cover your face with a scarf, your head and ears with a hat (or ear muffs), and wearing gloves or mittens. Protect your lips with a chapstick.

Keep these areas moisturized throughout the day. You may have to experiment with moisturizers. People react differently to different brands. Depending on the smell and ingredients, some people love one brand and can’t stand another. Even worse, some people may experience allergic reactions. if you are highly sensitive that way, ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a good moisturizer.

Another vital point: avoiding hot water. This is difficult if you also suffer from allodynia and prefer to treat it with hot water. Yet spending long amounts of time in hot water dries out the skin, especially if it’s done on regular basis. So keep your showers short and don’t spend too long soaking up to water. Afterward, pat your skin dry and moisturize well.

Also, consider changing your soap to something specially formulated for dry skin or eczema.

Check out some other great tips for dealing with dry skin by clicking here.

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