When the central heating is on for a prolonged period of time, my husband and my daughter can start to scratch more frequently.
The heat saps the moisture in the air and this can cause the skin to dehydrate. Enough to cause irritation to those with sensitive skins, such as eczema sufferers.
To compensate for the dehydrating effect of central heating, I tend to not to leave it on for prolonged periods. Yes, I do know people who leave their central heating on 24/7 over the colder months, generally citing it's more economical to leave the central heating on than to have it come on and off each day. As the energy used to get the boiler warmed up is so excessive and therefore very expensive.
This is a myth, probably dreamt up by the energy companies to make more money out of selling fuel to heat homes. It's akin to saying I leave my cars engine on all the time, even during the night, because it costs more in fuel to start the car up and get it to running temperature.
I try to minimise the use of central heating and only have it on for a short while, just to take the chill out. I find it's better to lounge around in a jumper with the heating on low or even switched off, than to sit their in a T-shirt with the heating constantly on at a high, energy sapping setting.
Parents who's children suffer from eczema can make their child's eczema unbearable, if they leave the heating on their child's room all night. More so, if they leave their child's bedroom door closed as well, as the stuffiness and heat can contribute to irritating their child's eczema.
Time to pass out
Our health visitor told us about how the last house she visited on her way to see us, to see a young baby, nearly made her faint.
As she walked into the small apartment, she was hit by a waft of hot air and as she stepped into the apartment, she realised how high the central heating was turned up.
She immediately advised the mother to turn it down as it was far too hot for the baby and could in fact be dangerous. She said aside from the increased itchiness the heat caused, the baby was at risk from complications which could be caused by the baby becoming too hot and possibly dehydrated.
This story made me think about some parents who despite their child's eczema, do not consider reducing the temperature of their central heating.
I've seen this so many times and sometimes find it uncomfortable contemplating whether to say something without the risk of offending the already troubled parents whose child's eczema is already causing them problems.
So I've decided to put my thoughts on this web page and direct these parents to my website, hoping they will come across this web page and appreciate the implications of turning down the heating.
There's really no need to put your own heating requirements ahead of your child's eczema. Just remember if it's cold, wear a jumper, there's no need to sit with the central heating on high in a T-Shirt, whilst contributing to your child's itchiness.
We tend to keep a blanket in the lounge, so if it starts getting a bit chilly, we wrap ourselves in the blanket and cuddle up. It not only saves on the heating cost but it's very cosy too.
In conclusion it's a difficult one to call, we are sort of happy the allergies are in the open, that is, we know which food types are definitely causing problems and we don't regret that we didn't try to cut the food types out earlier, as without using proper techniques, we could have caused potentially health problems.