​Winter Humidity and Eczema – Tips for Adding Moisture to Your Home.

​Winter Humidity and Eczema – Tips for Adding Moisture to Your Home.

Julie Kelemen - Guest Writer for AD RescueWear

Adding Humidity to Your Home Can Really Help Eczema.

Back in the days before most people used machines to dry their laundry, winter brought a necessity for hanging clothes to dry indoors, often on lines strung across the basement. A nice side effect of doing this provided an essential component of relief for eczema sufferers: Moisture from those clothes wafted into the air and through the house as blessed humidity.

Today, dryers simply churn all that moisture out into the atmosphere. You can see it any Saturday morning in January – all that clean steam rising from houses' nether region vents. That means the moisture is not going into homes. It needs to be replaced lest dry, cracked skin and lips and even furniture and woodwork result.

Humidity is a major factor for eczema sufferers to consider this month as furnaces blast it from our homes. Likewise, the shock of frequent movement between warm and cold environments is also hard on sensitive skin. Many modern homes now have humidifiers built into their HVAC systems. Is yours working correctly? There are other ways to introduce and maintain humidity. Most are low or no cost.

First, buy a humidity gauge if you don't own one. Many indoor thermometers already have a humidity gauge on them. Ideal indoor humidity during winter should be 45-55 percent. Mission Allergy is a great on-line store with up-to-date humidity gauges. Visit them at http://www.missionallergy.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=92&ParentCat=73.

If you live in a home with no bathroom exhaust fan (or even if you do) consider keeping the bathroom door open when someone bathes or showers so steam can travel into other areas of the house. Privacy concerns? Use a folding screen placed in front of the open door.

If you use an automatic dishwasher, prop it open a few inches once the last rinse cycle finishes. This allows dishes to air dry, which again allows more moisture into your home.

Houseplants can help, provided they're properly potted, watered, and disease free. Winter provides an ideal time to get any droopy ones back in good shape by removing dead or dying leaves, stalks, etc. Black thumb? Buy houseplants known for their virtual indestructability and easy care – philodendron, wandering Jew, cactus, mother-in-law's tongue.

Dust off and run that tabletop decorative fountain you may have stashed away in the garage or basement. Not only will it help humidify the environment, but the sound of steadily trickling water often has a calming effect. Some say falling water emits negative ions that have health benefits. Just be sure to regularly change the water (preferably with distilled), and keep the device clean and clear of mold.

Use your tea kettle and stove more and the microwave less. When you heat something in the microwave, remove it, and close the door, all that moisture gets trapped inside. Using a kettle to heat the water for instant hot chocolate means continuous moisture gets into the air even long after it's boiled and been turned off.

Consider purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom. Keep in mind that humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Bedroom humidifiers are great for keeping dry cracked skin and lips moisturized during the winter. Vicks is a great brand that is reasonably priced and you can purchase at Mission Allergy. Mission Allergy is owned by an allergist so we feel confident at AD RescueWear to recommend their products to you. You can view their humidifiers at http://www.missionallergy.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=73.

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