Preventing Eczema Flares
Eczema is a chronic disease and one that we have no way to cure or prevent. It has a large genetic component, making it extremely challenging to figure out.
We are now far better, however, at preventing triggers which worsen the condition, called flare-ups. Although there is no cure to eczema, we are better at understanding and controlling flares, making the life of the eczema patient easier.
- Scratching-this is the most common cause of worsening eczema. Itching needs to be controlled immediately to stop the itch/scratch cycle.
- Bathing, especially if the water is hot-bathing is not a bad thing, but the water should be tepid, not hot. Hot water drains the skin of moisture at a rapid rate.
- Irritants like soap or detergents can irritate vulnerable and dry skin. This is especially problematic if repeated exposure is a part of a person's lifestyle.
- Allergies, especially food allergies are common additional obstacles for patients with eczema.
- During the summer months, sweat can act as a common irritant causing itchiness and dry skin.
- During the winter, dry air and colder temperatures drain the skin of moisture, greatly exacerbating the symptoms of eczema.
Ways to combat eczema symptoms
- Moisturize regularly and often
- Use a mild cleanser that is unlikely to trigger irritation
- Avoid hot showers or baths as they dry out the skin
- Identify and avoid any allergies as they often work side by side with eczema and worsen it
- Moisturize immediately after a bath for the best protection
- Avoid over washing-when constantly exposed, water becomes an irritant
- Tackle flares quickly and aggressively with antihistamines or corticosteroids to minimize itching
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