If you get dry, itchy skin, then you may suffer from eczema. Eczema probably makes you feel awful and ends up messing with your plans at times (especially during bathing suit season). Eczema is a chronic condition but you can treat it. There are ways to prevent flare-ups so that you won’t have to deal with itchy, dry skin regularly. As the seasons change, and eczema flare-ups could be happening to you, I wanted to cover this topic. Below I’ll discuss what eczema is, how you can prevent flare-ups, and what skin treatments can help with eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis as it’s known is a condition that can make your skin red, itchy and can occur at any age. If you’ve got eczema, then you’ve got it for life and it could be accompanied by asthma or Hay Fever. Eczema is a medical condition that most people outgrow by their 10th birthday but there are a select number of people who end up having it for life. If you take care of your skin and know what to avoid, you can control the effects of eczema. The cause of eczema is still unknown but many believe that it’s linked to an overactive response by your body’s immune system to an irritant. It can also be passed down through your family and can run in families with allergies or asthma in their bloodlines.
You can find out if you have eczema by visiting your dermatologist or primary care provider. They can’t test you for eczema but they can ask you questions and check out your skin to make a proper diagnosis. Sometimes, doctors will perform allergy tests if they suspect you have eczema as well.
What Causes Flare-ups?
Eczema flare-ups can happen due to a variety of factors. Eczema can flare up if your skin becomes too dry, so moisturize often. Products in your home could also be the cause your eczema flaring up. These include soaps, detergents, shampoos/conditioners, body wash, cleaners, disinfectants, fruit juice and more.
These are the most common triggers of eczema:
- Nickel and other metals
- Cigarette smoke
- Cleaning products
- Fabrics such as wool or polyester
- Antibacterial ointment
- Formaldehyde (can be found in a variety of commonly used items)
- Climate changes
- Hormone changes
What are typical Eczema Symptoms?
Symptoms of eczema vary from person to person but some of the most common symptoms are:
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin (especially at night)
- Red or brown/gray patches on areas of your body in lighter-skinned people
- Small, raised bumps on your skin
- Cracked and scaly skin
- Sensitive, raw skin
- Skin rashes
- Skin pigmentation in darker-skinned people
Alleviating Eczema Symptoms
If you have eczema, you don’t have to suffer. There are a few tips that you can use to make life more manageable as a sufferer of eczema.
Ways to prevent eczema from flaring up:
- Moisturize your skin often – at least twice daily
- Avoid any triggers that worsen your condition or cause flare-ups
- Take shorter showers or baths with warm, instead of hot water
- Use gentle soap when washing – antibacterial soaps can remove natural oils and cause your skin to be more dry
- Avoid sweating or sudden changes in temperature
- Use over the counter treatments such as hydrocortisone 1% cream if you have inflammation to lessen the condition
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom
- Use antihistamines to treat itching
Ways to Treat Eczema
The use of phototherapy is one way you can treat eczema. This involves ultraviolet light being applied to your skin. Celluma therapy is a light therapy that can help to reduce inflammation and calm your skin. It can help to create better blood flow to the area of your body that’s experiencing inflammation. You can often get a Celluma treatment at your local esthetician’s office! You can also work to avoid the triggers of your eczema as well which should help.
If you’re looking to get some relief from your eczema, I recommend trying some of the ways you can avoid flare-ups. As always, I’m here to discuss any skin conditions you may have and recommend treatment that may help. As summer changes into fall, we’re all in need of a little TLC, there’s no better time to reassess your skin and give it what it needs!