Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Eczema: What It Is and How to Treat It

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes periodic flare-ups of itchy, red, and dry patches of skin. Eczema is most common in children, with around 60 percent of cases clearing up on their own by the age of six.

But there’s good news for those of us who continue to suffer from eczema well into adulthood: eczema flare-ups can be prevented with certain lifestyle changes. We hope this brief guide to eczema will help to bring you some relief.

What is Eczema? 

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a skin condition characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Dry skin 
  • Itchiness 
  • Red patches or bumps 
  • Thickened, cracked, or scaly skin 

Scientists have yet to identify the cause of this itchy skin condition. It’s thought that people with eczema don’t have a strong protective skin barrier, which makes it easier for their skin to be irritated by environmental factors. Eczema is genetic in origin, so if one or both of your parents had eczema, you’re more likely to have it as well.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for eczema. However, these lifestyle tweaks may prevent flare-ups and relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms:

1. Moisturize Frequently 

Using moisturizing lotions or creams can help protect the skin by reinforcing its protective layer. Herbacin Kamille Intensive Moisture protects skin as it hydrates, preventing moisture loss and locking out irritants.
You may need to apply lotion several times per day in order to keep skin adequately moisturized. 

2. Avoid Triggers 

Oftentimes, allergies can encourage flare-ups of eczema. Common eczema-causing allergies include laundry detergent, soap, pet dander, pollen, and food allergies. Keeping a diary can help you to identify your triggers, and avoid them accordingly.

3. Change Your Shower Habits 

Bathing in hot water dries out your skin, which makes it more prone to an eczema flare-up. Shorten your shower time and use lukewarm water rather than scalding hot. Pat skin to dry, then apply a hydrating lotion to damp skin immediately after showering.

4. Use Gentle Soaps 

Some soaps can zap the moisture right out of your skin, so it’s important to always choose gentle cleansing options. Look for soaps that contain zero dyes or perfumes, which are common eczema irritants.

5. Try a Humidifier 

Dry, indoor air can also trigger an eczema flare-up. A humidifier adds moisture to the air in your home, which can help keep your skin from becoming dehydrated. Try using one in your bedroom while you sleep.

6. Avoid Wearing Wool 

Wool has corkscrew-shaped fibers, which can irritate sensitive skin. Thus, you should avoid wearing wool whenever possible. But if you do choose to wear wool, try layering a cotton shirt underneath to protect your skin.

7. Focus on Treating Eczema 

First Products that are formulated to treat acne, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging can actually worsen eczema. During eczema flare-ups, drop products from your routine that contain harsh ingredients like retinol or salicylic acid. One your eczema clears up, you can start to slowly add these products back into your regular skincare regimen.

8. Visit Your Doctor 

If simple lifestyle changes don’t clear up your eczema, you can also visit your doctor for a prescription-strength cream. Your doctor may also be able to diagnose certain allergies or irritants that are triggering your eczema.

Do you have eczema? What do you do to prevent flare-ups, and how do you treat the itchiness? Share your experience with other readers in the comment section below.