Living with Eczema

Eczema is often an itchy and painful condition but some simple changes in your lifestyle can help in treating this and help keep your skin soft and supple:

Understand what can trigger your Eczema

Everyone is different in terms of what may or may not trigger a flare up.  It can be anything, from dust mites to soaps or shampoos. The important thing is to try and identify your triggers and then avoid them if possible.

 Moisturise dry skin

Using moisturiser is one of the best ways to help keep eczema under control, but as creams can also be a trigger it’s important to choose a plain unscented that doesn’t contain any additives or other chemicals that may be further irritants for your skin.

 Don’t scratch!

Clearly not easy when your skin can become very itchy, but actually scratching makes you itch more and you can get caught in a circle of itching and scratching. Frequent and sustained scratching of your skin can cause damage which in turn can cause infections. Try and control the itch by using frequent moisturising baths and cold compresses

Watch what you wear

Some fabrics cause more irritants to the skin.   Breathable natural fabrics such as cotton and cotton blends are a good choice. When washing your clothes,choose a mild and unscented liquid detergent and avoid the fabric softener.

Manage extreme temperatures

Changes in temperature or humidity can often cause eczema to flare up. And whilst you obviously can’t control the weather you do have more control over the conditions inside your home. Try to keep your skin cool during the hot weather and try to stop any excessive sweating, a cool shower after any physical exercise or workout can help prevent a flare up.

 Skin care after shower or baths

Hot baths and showers can be a common cause of flare ups. Avoid scrubbing your skin or using very hot water, use a gentle unscented soap, pat your skin dry gently and apply moisturiser while the skin is still slightly damp

 Protect your hands.

Your hands are often exposed to water and other substances that can irritate them.  Wear gloves whenever possible to protect your hands and light cotton gloves worn under rubber or plastic gloves can help absorb sweat, thereby causing less irritation.

Medication

Sometimes the above changes make little or no difference, particularly if you are having a major flare up of the condition. At these times consult  your GP and get some medication to help ease your symptoms. Over the counter creams, oral antihistamine or prescription medicines can all help alleviate the symptoms as and when needed.