Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a dry skin condition characterized by inflammation and it’s excessive itchiness! While people of all age groups can fall victim to it, it tends to develop within the first five years of life. Adults who experience flares, typically developed it during childhood. It can lay dormant for years before suddenly being retriggered. Below are a few ways to manage your eczema!
Avoid hot water. Keep showers to 5-10 minutes in lukewarm water instead. Limit excessive bathing. If choose to take a bath. Run lukewarm water and soak no longer than 10 minutes.
If you are a swimmer, be aware of chlorinated pools! Chlorine can exacerbate your condition. Shower immediately after swimming. Wear sunscreen into pools to provide an extra barrier.
If you have a job that requires you to frequently have your hands submerged in water, or to wash your hands frequently, be cautious! Bring a mild cleanser from home. Moisturize after each hand washing. When possible, wear a non-latex glove.
Remember to destress with activities such as, Yoga, Pilates and deep breathing exercises. Tai-chi is another destressing activity.
Educate yourself about your condition. This will help you to eliminate any surprises, while helping you to understand what triggers eczematous skin and how to manage flare ups properly.
Seek support. If your condition is causing you depression. Seek out like minded people to discuss your troubles with. Check for local support groups. Speak with a dermatologist if you have not been able to manage your condition.
Get a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are great for reducing indoor pollutants, including: pollen, dander, dust and dust mites. These are all known triggers of eczema flares. Stand alone HEPA filters work better than whole-home systems. Keep one in your bedroom and another in your living room.
Dust frequently. Twice a week is ideal. Avoid using feather dusters. Instead, utilize cloth pads or disposable dusting products. Wear a protective mask when dusting. Be cautious of harmful allergens in dusting sprays. Wear non-latex gloves when handling.
Invest in a humidifier. A big part of eczema is dry skin. A humidifier will add moisture to the air. Keep it at 40-50% humidity with the indoor temperature between 68-75 degrees. These are particularly useful in dry, desert climates.
Eat plenty of dark, leafy greens.
Get your omega- 3 fatty acids. These can be found in foods, including: white albacore tuna, salmon, rainbow trout, sardines, walnuts, avocado, hemp hearts and flaxseed.
Eat your fruits. Tropical fruits and berries are best and packed full of antioxidants.
Moisturize at least twice daily. For more moderate to severe cases, consider moisturizing up to four times per day. Apply moisturizer 3-5 minutes after showering or bathing for optimal moisture lock.
Be aware of allergens that can exacerbate eczema flares. Some of the most common allergens and skin irritants, include: sulfates, oatmeal/gluten, pantothenic acid, fragrances, dyes, parabens, PEGs and formaldehyde preservatives.
Make sure you’re moisturizer contains ceramides. Ceramides help your skin’s barrier to repair itself. They will help to provide adequate moisture lock, essential skin lipid replacement and healthier, younger looking skin.
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting blogs regularly about skin problems, treatment and after care at http://blog.cherylleemd.com