Should You Use a Humidifier If You Have Eczema?

Eczema is a skin infection that causes swollen, itchy, dry, and uneven patches of skin. In some of the conditions, blisters can also be seen as the after-effects of eczema. There is no cure for eczema, but there are various effective treatments to manage it. Eczema can worsen during the winter months as the itchy, painful red spots typically increase, leaving behind dry, scaly skin that requires moisture. Hence, a humidifier for dry skin can help you to soothe and moisturise the skin and lessen the discomfort of eczema.

How does a Humidifier help?

Since you need to calm your dry skin, humidifiers are really helpful for eczema. They come to the aid as they increase moisturise levels in the environment by discharging water vapour into the air. This moisture in the air is helpful for your skin along with a cream or lotion given by your doctor as a relief to the dry skin. If you keep a humidifier in an area where you spend most of your time, it will give your skin a soothing effect. But it is very important to clean and remove limescale and other debris from the humidifier or it might irritate the skin of the people suffering from eczema.

The ideal water to use in humidifiers for eczema is distilled water (soft water). This is because the sodium and minerals in hard water can damage the internal mechanism of humidifiers, especially ultrasonic humidifiers. Hence distilled water is recommended. Hard water can be utilised in the other types, such as evaporative and steam models. The main features to look for before buying humidifiers for dry skin are :

  • should have warm and cool mist capability
  • a silent ultrasonic mechanism
  • a large tank so you don't have to continuously refill it
  • excellent output for a large room

There are two types of humidifiers: Warm-Mist and Cool-Mist. Warm-mist humidifiers have a burning risk, hence it is recommended to buy a cool-mist humidifier for eczema patients. Cool-mist humidifiers work by vaporising water into the air like an invisible mist through a nozzle. These humidifiers typically use a built-in fan to force water into the air, but other ultrasonic humidifiers do not work like that. Water droplets are created by ultrasonic vibrations in these humidifiers. These units are quieter than ones with a fan. It is recommended to have a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent for eczema-prone skin.

Humidifiers are a great resource for treating eczema issues. They replenish the moisture in the air, allowing your skin to breathe more easily. Humidifiers do help a lot, but they shouldn't be your only way to treat eczema. A humidifier can be used along with moisturising on a regular basis, using medicated skin products, and taking short showers. Although there is no scientific evidence that humidifiers help persons with eczema, most people have found it useful. You can consult PHI Clinic if you are looking for a personalised consultation from skin experts.

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