Eczema is a skin condition that often results in annoying red, itchy, and swollen patches all over your body. It is uncomfortable and often not very pretty so, naturally you would want to avoid the eczema flare ups whenever possible and at all costs. Living with eczema is sometimes not easy, however, there is a number of things you can do to prevent the flare-ups and make life a little bit easier.
The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis and commonplace things in your surroundings can make it flare. Things like pollen, cigarette smoke, and even your washing powder can cause irritation, therefore, properly identifying your triggers is a crucial step in the eczema treatment plan tailored to you individually. Every person is different and reacts to various agents in their own way, so if you want to know the most common and those not so common prevention methods of eczema flare-ups, read on.
Stay Out of the Cold
One of the common triggers for eczema is cold weather. For many people, cold weather can cause the breakouts of eczema because their skin becomes too dry in the cold conditions. If this happens to be one of your triggers, using a good moisturizer is a must. The moisturizers keep the skin from drying out too much, they keep it from cracking, and, most importantly, itching. Invest in a good moisturizing ointment during the winter time and use an air humidifier indoors to prevent flare-ups from dry air that heating systems cause. You should aim for about 40-55% humidity levels for best results.
Get Rid of the Dust
There are several studies that have shown that dust mites are a cause of eczema flare-ups in adults and especially in children. Keeping your child’s room clean of these triggers can help make the itchy rash go away. To do this, you’d need to get rid of the carpeting, blinds, rugs, and curtains, that is, all the items that can hold a lot of dust. You should wash the bed linens weekly in hot water and clean the whole room thoroughly once a week. By doing this, you will help with the prevention of eczema flare ups and keep the dust at bay.
Choose Your Clothes Wisely
Clothes that are made of synthetics, wool, or any other rough material can also be quite a big eczema trigger. Instead of wrapping yourself in tight clothes, choose loose fitting clothing items made of cotton as this material is less likely to irritate your skin. However, before you put on your new dress, make sure to wash it to get rid of residual dye or other irritating agents. Also, consider getting rid of tags as they can also irritate your skin, so just carefully cut them off and make sure you don’t leave any slack which can scratch your delicate skin.
Pick a Good Detergent
Some laundry detergents contain harsh ingredients that can lead to eczema flare-ups, so opting for a fragrance-free, neutral pH detergent can definitely help soothe your skin and prevent the breakouts. When washing your clothes, make sure you rinse it well by choosing the double rinsing cycle on your washing machine. Also, be wary of other house cleaners. Try looking for natural alternatives and always wear rubber gloves when cleaning.
Stress can be a huge trigger for some people, so, therefore, you should aim for trying to stay calm and composed all the time. Naturally, it is impossible to remove all stress from your life, but you can try some techniques that can definitely help you feel better every day. Try doing yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation, or join your local support group to keep the stress at bay.
Just like the cold weather, heat can be a cause of eczema flare-ups as well. Too much heat and humidity are pretty common triggers so staying inside an air-conditioned room could be a good solution for you. When outside, try not to get overheated and sweat. Find a shade and drink lots of water to cool down and keep your eczema calm.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Many a time, food allergies could be the cause of eczema. If you think that a certain type of food is your trigger, talk to your doctor and he will perform a test to diagnose your food allergies, such as skin prick test or a blood test. Once you find out what your trigger is, simply avoid that food and you should be fine. Also, try to keep a healthy diet and avoid fast and processed food as these meals contain various chemicals that could cause the flare ups.
Pollen is a common trigger for all sorts of allergic reactions, and for people with atopic dermatitis, a cause for eczema flare ups. During the springtime, try staying indoors when pollen counts are through the roof and keep your windows closed. If you must go outside, take a shower when you come home to remove the pollen from your hair and your skin and make sure to wash your clothes as well. If necessary, take an antihistamine.
Use Good Cosmetic Products
Finding products that do not worsen the eczema condition can be quite a challenge. Cosmetic products that contain perfumes, alcohol, preservatives, or lanolin tend to cause breakouts, so make sure to always check the labels. Be wary of the unscented products as well, as this does not mean that the product does not contain fragrances. Instead of unscented look for fragrance-free products. Always make sure to test a new product on a patch of skin before using it.
Eliminate Pet Dander
Your little furry creatures are dear family members and cute as a button, but did you know that your beloved pet can be the cause of your eczema? The best way to keep the pet dander at bay is not to let the pets on the furniture and not to let them enter your bedroom. Vacuuming the house frequently and grooming and bathing the pets regularly will definitely help. However, if none of this works, maybe it will be best to keep the pets outside.
Don’t Take Long Hot Baths
Although relaxing, taking a long hot bath can cause your eczema to flare. Keep your baths and showers as short as possible and do not use scorching hot water. Hot water can irritate the skin quite a bit, so opt for warm instead of hot. Also, do not rub or scrub your skin too hard, instead, pat yourself dry with a towel and apply a moisturizer while you are still damp.
Apart from all the other dangers to health that smoking brings along, tobacco smoke can also make eczema worse! If you have an eczema problem, definitely quit smoking, and if you live with a person with an eczema problem, try your best to quit. If you cannot quit completely, try stepping out outside for an occasional cigarette instead of making your eczema-stricken friend or partner inhale the smoke.