Catching a Cold – Does it Worsen Eczema and Asthma?

Catching a coldToday, I am home sick with a cold.  My husband had it first, and although we were careful to avoid kissing or sharing the same toothpaste tube, I guess it’s the inevitable gift that keeps on giving.  I look terrible, I sound like a frog, and my lymph nodes feel like they’re the size of golf balls.  Ever the optimist, I don’t really mind this – it provides me with a legitimate excuse to stay home and get some much-needed things done!

I consider myself very fortunate – I usually only get sick about once a year.  I attribute this to my mostly plant-based and whole-food diet, consistent exercise, and general upbeat attitude.  Oh yeah, and I’m also a germaphobe who regularly sanitizes things like my cell phone and car steering wheel, as well as refusing to touch public surfaces like door handles and gas pumps without some kind of barrier like a glove or paper towel.  So I’m sure that might work in my favor.  But when I DO get sick…. oh, it’s the cold of the century.  Other people will catch a cold and have it linger annoyingly for a week, but still be able to go about their business.  My double-edged sword is that my cold will be over in 2-3 days, but will hit HARD during that time.

When I get sick, there are two other things that occur along with the general nose-blowing and coughing and sore throat and overall misery.

First, my skin gets really dry and red and irritated looking.  Mainly on my face.  Sure, the area around my nose is bound to get dry what with all the assault from using tissues constantly.  But other areas (the same ones that are subject to flare) get dry and red as well – around my eyes, my forehead, and parts of my neck.  Basically it looks like I’m having a flare/reaction to something on my face, even though it must only be due to my system fighting off the cold.  Secondly, my asthma always gets affected – even when the cold has passed and I physically feel all better – I still get a general shortness of breath; my asthma acting up DAYS after the fact.  (I’m supposed to run a race next weekend, but my asthma could well still be kicking my butt by that time!)

I’m not sure if this is just a side effect of the cold virus interacting with my various chronic maladies or what, but I’m curious if this happens to any other asthma/eczema sufferers?

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5 thoughts on “Catching a Cold – Does it Worsen Eczema and Asthma?

  1. Amanda says:

    My asthma gets worse when I have colds, often turning into bronchitis… but my skin usually gets better! I always told myself my body could only handle dealing with one thing at a time,LOL. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Interesting! Yes, bronchitis! I couldn’t think of the word offhand but that’s almost always what happens to me too. We’ll see if this cold leaves me with a cough that sounds like a seal’s bark crossed with a smoker’s hack, LOL. Thanks for the well wishes!

  3. Courtney says:

    YES! When I get sick my skin and asthma both flare, too. Then it REALLY sends me into a pity party haha. I’m always like “why can’t I JUST have a cold, why does the rest of my body have to throw up the white flag, too??” My friend who also has eczema is the same way. She said sometimes she can tell she’s getting sick when her eczema starts to flare for no reason. So odd!

    • I guess our bodies and systems are just that talented where they like to take on illness, eczema, AND asthma all at once… I always was kind of a multi tasker LOL. Good to know that I’m not some weird case and you and your friend also experience the same thing. Other people get colds and they don’t even look one bit sick – so unfair!

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