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The winter misery.

Inflamed, itchy and irritating dry skin and eczema can be uncomfortable at any time of the year, but much worse in winter.

Now, a new report commissioned by the dry skin expert E45, says 73% of adults with dry skin say they notice a dramatic worsening of their symptoms during winter.

More than half say this has a negative effect on their confidence and increases stress levels.

In a report, entitled Winter Skin Enemies, dermatologist Michael Cork links a group of hormones called glucocorticoids with the problem of worsening dry and eczematous skin in winter, as well as identifying environmental aggravators in the home as "skin enemies".

Levels of the hormone glucocorticoid are twice as high in winter compared with summer.

Dr Cork said: "Anyone wanting to protect their skin, should use an intensive moisturiser which helps replace some parts of the skin barrier which are reduced in the winter, ensure all carpets, fabrics and curtains are kept dust-free, avoid clothing and bedding made from synthetic materials and wool blends, and keep rooms cool and the humidity levels at around 50%.

"Artificial light may improve symptoms of depression in winter, and lower the levels of glucocorticoids."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 13, 2006
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