Living with eczema can be a challenge. It is unpredictable because you never know when or where it can pop up next. So being ready to deal with it at any time is important. But just because you don’t currently have a flare-up, doesn’t mean that you should let down your guard. Here are some ways to treat it and to lessen the chance of new flare-ups.
Avoid hot showers when you have eczema. The water in any showers you take should be warm. The showers should be brief. Gently cleanse your skin with a gentle moisturizing skin cleanser rather than soap. Once your skin is clean, pat it gently to dry it.
Keep the temperature constant in your house. That means you will have to use your air conditioning system at different points throughout the year. If the temperature fluctuates too much, that can be a trigger for your eczema. During the winter, it may be best to get a cool mist humidifier as well, so that your skin does not dry out.
Some researchers have linked eczema to a Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, a little bit of sunlight may help your condition. Do not go overboard, however. Spend about ten minutes in the sun each day. If you are going to be out longer than that, apply sunscreen and go about your business.
Those who have eczema should not use a washcloth or body sponge when they are taking a bath or a shower. If you wash your body with such rough-surfaced items, the friction will irritate your skin. Skin irritation can lead to a flare-up of your eczema. To clean your body, simply use your hands to lather up.
Avoid becoming overheated. Excess sweat can trigger eczema flare-ups. If you do work out, take a shower afterwards. In fact, shower after any bout of strenuous activity, which could include things like gardening or heavy housework. Keeping your skin clean will help to keep you comfortable and your eczema flare-ups at bay.
Winter weather can cause eczema to worsen. Anytime your skin is exposed to frigid air, it needs a protective barrier to protect it from moisture loss. On any skin areas, such as the face or neck, be sure to heavily apply a moisturizer. Moisturizers will help you avoid dry and cracking skin because it locks in your skin’s natural oils.
Dust can cause issues. Rather than dry dusting, use a damp dust method instead. This will help capture the dust, rather than simply spreading it around the home. Also, because rugs and carpets are a beacon for dust, try not to have them in the house if at all possible.
Use an antibiotic ointment on severely cracked skin. This can prevent infections from forming. It also serves as a moisturizer. Do this sparingly though; prolonged use of antibiotic ointments can render them ineffective. If you do have an infection, you should consult your doctor, who may give you an oral antibiotic.
Keep your stress levels down if you have eczema. The chances of having it flare up increase when you are stressed out. Stress can also make eczema itchier and more uncomfortable. That can create a never-ending cycle of anger and frustration from dealing with both your stress and your skin. Try relaxing by doing activities like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
If your doctor has approved over-the-counter ointments for your eczema, make sure you get the right kinds. You should be looking at products that are only 20% water and 80% oil. While they may feel greasier, they will lock moisture in your skin better. Try not to use these products in areas that get sweaty.
If you have any of the many types of eczema, you should keep your fingernails cut short. Although individuals try to refrain from scratching the patches of dry, itchy skin, sometimes scratching is done as a reflex without conscious though. With shortened nails, it’s less likely that the dry, delicate skin will be punctured when you scratch it.
Take a bath at least once a day. Showers are great for getting clean, but sitting in the tub is the best way to soothe and moisturize your skin. You do not need to limit yourself to one bath a day. If you find that it helps, take as many baths as you need to.
You may think that keeping your house tightly sealed with help keep the dust and allergens down. But in fact it just traps them and allows them to accumulate. It is better to have ventilation in your house and to use a good heap filter where needed to capture the offending particles.
Try keeping a food diary. Different foods can cause your eczema to flare up. If you are having trouble determining what to eliminate from your diet, try keeping a record of everything you eat. Look for trends and correlations between your skin irritation and the food you have been eating.
If you have pets, take measure to keep their dander, dirt and dust from affecting you. That means they should not be in your bed at any time or on your couch. Consider getting their fur clipped to keep it short and to lessen the shedding. Also give them regular baths to keep them as clean as possible.
When you buy new sheets, always wash them first. They may seem clean and fresh but they are likely stiff with starch or other chemicals that can be irritating to your skin. So give them a wash with a gentle detergent and use an unscented softener to reduce the risk of irritation to your skin.
Keep your emotions on an even keel. Stress causes lots of problems in lots of areas of life. It is no surprise that stress can make eczema symptoms worse. Avoid stressful situations and stress provoking people. Keep your life simple and organized. Practice stress management and stress reduction techniques.
As you may already know, eczema is something that has to be lived with. There is no definitive cure. It can only be treated by making changes in your life and dealing with it. So keep the tips from above in mind and make the changes that can help you control your eczema.