A new British Journal of Dermatology study provides information that may help explain why many people experience eczema and dry skin in the winter.
In tests of skin on 80 adults, the levels of breakdown products of filaggrin—a protein that helps maintain the skin’s barrier function—changed between winter and summer on the cheeks and hands. Changes were also seen regarding the texture of corneocytes, cells in the outermost part of the skin’s epidermis.
“This study shows clearly that the skin barrier is affected by climatic and seasonal changes. Both children and adults suffer from red cheeks in the winter in northern latitudes and some may even develop more permanent skin conditions such as atopic eczema and rosacea,” said senior author Dr. Jacob Thyssen, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.