In the United States, around 35 million Americans deal with eczema—a prevalent skin condition that causes the skin to become dry, inflamed, and irritated. Although the majority of patients can manage their condition well, others continue to fight a tough battle.
People often forget to remind themselves that self-care, even with eczema, remains an essential part of their lives. To check yourself this Self-Care Awareness Month, here are 6 simple suggestions to help fight eczema.
1. Minimize scratching
Giving in to that burning sensation on your skin and scratching it can make the situation worse. To resist the itching, try wearing full sleeves shirts, and pants. If you can’t avoid the scratching, make sure your fingernails are short to avoid bruises and bleeding sores.
2. Take a lukewarm bath
Soaking in a tub of lukewarm can make a huge difference in decreasing eczema flare-ups. Lukewarm water, not a hot one, helps in getting rid of dry skin and absorbing moisture. But keep your bathing time to at least 10 to 15 minutes. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin with a washcloth or loofah to reduce further irritation with the rashes.
Applying a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing is the last step to put moisture back into the skin. According to the National Eczema Association, moisturizers help protect the outermost layer of skin, making it vital to reduce itching. To help your skin get nourished anew, try putting on ointments, creams, lotions, or even petroleum jelly.
4. Be wary of household products
Knowing what you use inside the house matters more than what you think. Refrain from using household products that contain skin irritants. Refrain from using soaps, detergents, or shampoos made with harsh ingredients. Instead, make use of fragrance-free laundry detergent as the perfume of the detergent sometimes irritates the rash and triggers eczema. To save yourself from an unpleasant experience, use mild soaps and organic detergents.
5. Do low-impact exercises to sweat less
Too much sweat and perspiration can only make rashes worse. When sweat evaporates, the skin dries up and leaves behind salty residues that trigger flare-ups in some people. Although flares seem unavoidable, this does not mean you have to stop exercising. Go for a walk, walk up a set of stairs at home, or do yoga. Workout at a more leisurely pace and rest between sets to allow your body to cool down. Lastly, stay hydrated.
Apart from these tips, it is also equally important to strike a balance in your diet. Eczema patients find certain individual foods, like nuts, dairy, and milk, that make their eczema worse, so you might want to check that out with your doctor.
Moreover, stick with light, breathable fabrics, such as cotton, for all-day wear since these garments prevent the skin from getting too hot. Also, controlling one’s thoughts and shifting the mindset from negative to positive can be useful. Here’s how to have a positive midset in fighting eczema.
September is National Self-Care Month so take some time to evaluate how gently you’re treating your eczema. After all, one of the most important things you can do to help cope with flare-ups is to keep your skin well cared for and moisturized.
The information presented on AllergyKB is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Our knowledge base website is for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. We highly urge everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers.