HVAC Systems and Eczema

When you suffer from eczema, your home can feel like your sanctuary. You don’t have to worry about any environmental or food-related eczema triggers, you have all of your moisturizers and medication at arm’s length. In your home, you basically have complete control over your environment. Almost. The one thing that most people have no control over in their home is their type of heating system. Sure, if you built your own house, you can pick a system that will hopefully leave some moisture in the air, but if you live in an apartment building or older home, odds are that you are stuck with the type of heating system that was installed when it was built. And this can be a problem for many eczema sufferers.

During the spring, fall, and winter, odds are that you’re running the heat in your home to keep it at a comfortable temperature. However, if the heat is run continuously, it will also dry all of the moisture out of the air, leaving your skin to dehydrate. Dry, hot air is really quite bad for eczema sufferers.

As for which in-home heating system is the best for eczema—well, the bad news is that they can all be pretty bad if they are abused. If you’re constantly leaving the heat on in your home, maintaining a continuously hot temperature, then you’re going to be drying the air no matter what the method. That being said, some are better than others. Systems that blow hot air into a space, such as a forced air furnace, do tend to dry the air out a bit more than other, gentler systems. A hot water heating system can control the temperature in your home at a gentler rate without eliminating all of the moisture. Electric heat can act pretty much the same, provided you don’t turn it up on high for extensive periods of time.

All of that being said, don’t worry. There are a number of steps you can take to fix the situation. The biggest one is to invest in a good humidifier. When put in your bedroom, humidifiers will keep the air moist throughout the night. When you combine this with applying an emollient and eczema clothing at bedtime, you will have much better results. Putting a humidifier in the room you spend the most time in can really help keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from drying out. Similarly, using eczema clothing, with an eczema cream can be a one-two punch. And also remember there are eczema sheets that can bring the itch down too.

So, if your heating system seems to be leeching the moisture from the air in your home, the best way to combat this is by reintroducing that moisture with a humidifier and applying moisturizers to the skin. Also, drinking water and staying hydrated can really help too!

You can get a smaller model for bedrooms, or larger models if you wish to use throughout the house. One word of a warning: humidifiers must be cleaned every two weeks or so, otherwise bacteria might start to grow in them. And that can cause a whole other set of headaches!

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