Eczema flare-ups are the periods when the symptoms of the disease appear on the skin. These includes redness, blisters, scaling, crusting, swelling, and intolerable itchiness. This skin condition has no cure. The treatments aim to relieve and prevent the symptoms which is done through various strategies and approaches.
The first step to do when you have eczema is to identify what triggers it. The cause of the disease is not yet fully understood. But doctors link it to genetics and abnormal reactions of the body when exposed to irritants. The triggering factors or irritants differ from person to person. They can be found in the environment, food, chemicals, fragrances, fabrics, and etc. Triggering factors can be anything. In fact, there are people who still haven’t figured out what causes their flare-ups even after many years of trying.
A good way to identify the triggers of your eczema is by keeping a diary of: (1) The food that you ate. (2) Skin products that you applied. (3) Cleaning products that you used. (4) Fabrics that you wore. (5) Environment that you were exposed to including dusts and temperatures. (6) Activities that you did. And (7) Any stressful situations as stress can also trigger flare-ups. Be conscious on your body’s reaction after every exposure. Mark the dates of the days you experience flare-ups. This will help shorten your list of the possible irritants of your eczema.
The next step is elimination. Remove an item from your list of possible irritants one at a time and see if it has improved your skin condition. For instance, removing peanuts from your diet. If there are no changes in your skin condition, add back the item that you have taken out then try another item. Repeat this process over and over until you identify your irritants.
This process may take time and can be difficult. But it will be worthwhile once you identify your irritants as avoiding them is the best way to prevent flare-ups.
While figuring out your triggering factors, it is important to maintain good skin care. Keep your skin hydrated as skin dryness highly contributes to eczema. Always drink a lot of water and apply moisturizer at least twice a day. It’s a good practice to moisturize skin after having a bath while the skin is still damp. This helps the epidermis better absorb the moisturizer and soften the skin.
Avoid foods that commonly cause allergies such as shrimps, seashells, dairy products, eggs, chicken, and nuts. Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits must also be avoided as acidic foods can cause rashes.
Wear soft and comfortable clothes. Some fabrics are irritating to the skin causing itchiness. Do not wear tight clothing as they promote sweating which can also trigger the disease. Put on gloves when using household cleaning liquids or powder as these products contain chemicals that are too harsh for the skin. Keep away from perfumes, air fresheners, and fabric conditioners as fragrances are possible irritants.
Remember to only use mild soap to prevent dryness and irritation on your skin. Avoid scratching the affected part as much as possible as this can lead to bleeding and cracking of skin. Cracks on skin enable bacteria to enter the epidermis causing infection.
These are simple tips to prevent eczema flare-ups. If your skin irritation still persists after following this advice it is best to consult a dermatologist. You may need different medicines to help manage the symptoms of the disease.