Dos And Don’ts For Eczema Sufferers
Eczema is typically described as thick, red, itchy and flaky skin. It can be hereditary or it can be brought on by environmental conditions, and it can certainly be irritated by the latter. An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from eczema, but it seems to be most prominent in children and babies. That being said, over half of people who have eczema as babies continue to see symptoms throughout their adult lives. Living with eczema isn’t only uncomfortable, as it can cause incessant itching, but it can also be embarrassing. Summer time can be especially rough for eczema sufferers because they don’t want to show off their dry, flaky skin in a tank top. While eczema is not curable, there are things you can do to keep it from flaring up. Here are the dos and don’ts for eczema sufferers.
Do stay clean and moisturized
There’s no knowing what sort of irritants you pick up when you walk around in the world. Bathing or showering every night (so as to not bring those irritants into bed) is important. Add moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower so it can trap hydrating water in your skin.
Don’t use scented products
Unfortunately, perfumes, scented moisturizers and the like are off-limits for you. Fragrance typically contains irritants that will make your eczema flare up.
Do wear fabric that breathes
Excess sweat is not good for eczema, which is why it’s important to wear organic fabric that breathes and avoid synthetic or heavy fabric that doesn’t.
Don’t wear new clothes without cleaning them
Other people, carrying things like perfume and other irritants on their skin, have tried on those clothes. Furthermore, there could be chemicals leftover from the manufacturing of those clothes.
Do get a humidifier
If you live in a dry climate then you especially need to sleep with a humidifier on. Dry air can irritate your eczema.
Don’t take extra hot showers
Hot water can actually dry out your skin. Hot water can also open your pores up too much, allowing irritants in the air to get in.
Do keep up treatment, even if symptoms subside
Find out what skincare routine and products keep your eczema at bay. Stick to your routine every day, even if symptoms subside.
Don’t put petroleum on your skin
While it is extra greasy and sticky, it actually isn’t moisturizing at all and can clog your pores, making your eczema flare up.
Do keep a journal of irritants
Just like you keep a food journal to see what meals make you sick to your stomach, you should keep an eczema journal so you can see which activities, fabrics and products made your condition flare up.
Don’t scratch, no matter how irritated you are
Never, ever scratch. The more you scratch, the more you’ll itch and you’ll get trapped in a vicious cycle.
Do clean off pets when they come indoors
If you have a pet, keep hypoallergenic pet wipes by the front door. Thoroughly wipe down your pet every time he comes inside so as to remove pollen, dust and other irritants.
Don’t rely on a regular vacuum
If you have eczema, then you need a HEPA vacuum. These can pick up the teeniest, tiniest particles that regular vacuums miss.
Do get dust-mite-proof mattress covers
Dust mites bother everyone, but they’re especially problematic for eczema sufferers. Adding a dust-mite-proof mattress cover to your bed could prevent serious flare-ups.
Don’t forget to thoroughly wash bedding
Just like with your moisturizer, look for fragrance-free detergent. These can be hard to find, and even those that say they’re fragrance-free can irritate your skin so rinse bedding twice to get all of the detergents off.
Do use small samples of products at first
If you’re new to a product, use only a small amount on one area of your skin to see how you react before putting it all over your body.
Don’t put makeup on severe eczema
Putting makeup on eczema is never a good idea; using it to cover up severe flare-ups will only make matters worse. Makeup makes it very difficult for your skin to breathe.
Do wear sunscreen
Not only can the sun’s rays cause skin cancer, but they also dry up the skin, which is why in the summer eczema sufferers see the most flare-ups. Don’t go outside, even for five minutes, without sunscreen.
Don’t spend too much time in the sun
As a general rule, eczema sufferers can’t spend much time in the sun as its effects are even harsher on them than others.
Do acknowledge you have it
The more open you can be about your condition, the better. That way, your friends will know to give you the seat at the restaurant that’s out of the sun, and not to choose activities that will irritate your condition.
Don’t obsess over it
Nobody really notices your eczema besides you. Plus, a lot of people suffer from it. Do you notice them? Exactly.