If you suffer from eczema your body’s immune system will be overreacting to environmental triggers and allergens. Here, we show you 8 brilliant ways to avoid an eczema flare-up.
1. Know your science. Imagine the skin as a brick wall, with each brick representing a skin cell. These bricks are designed to be plumped up with moisture, to prevent irritants from entering, and keeping moisture in.
Skin that suffers from eczema may not produce enough fats and oils, and will therefore hold less water. This means that the ‘bricks’ are not plump enough, and there are gaps between each skin cell. The skin’s wall of defence is therefore weak, and the skin loses water, and can easily become inflamed or infected.
Eczema flare-ups can be caused by irritants such as soap, perfume, washing powders, and allergens such as pets, dust mite droppings and pollens. A flare-up usually sees the skin turn red, sore, dry and itchy. It can even see skin cracking, weeping and bleeding.
2. Emollient is not simply a posh word for moisturiser, and if you suffer from eczema, you really should be using an emollient every day, even when your eczema symptoms have gone away. Extra care should be given to apply your emollient after bathing, as well as only applying it gently in the direction of hair growth. You can also keep it in the fridge to make the application even more soothing. Our Atoprel Emollient Cream was recently an Editor’s choice in the Beauty Shortlist Awards.
3. Eczema is most common in babies, and it can be triggered by teething, so if eczema runs in your family, you could consider using some preventative treatments during the teething period. Using a specialised nappy cream, or baby bath could help your baby’s skin stay free from flare-ups.
4. Shaving your legs can be quite drying for the skin, and if you suffer from eczema there, you may find this can trigger a flare-up. You can use an emollient as shaving cream which should help keep your skin healthy and soft.
5. Bathing can be very triggering, and cause dry and sore skin. Keep the temperature warm or cool, and ban all soaps and bubble baths, which can strip your skin’s natural defenses. If water hurts your skin, you can apply an emollient before getting into the water. Use a specialist bath product like Atoprel Milky Bath Oil to keep your skin as hydrated as possible.
6. If you like to swim at your local pool, but find your eczema flares up after each visit, don’t give up hope just yet! You may find applying your emollient before entering the pool helps, as well as using a specialized eczema wash straight after. You may also want to experiment with a few different pools. They may well treat the water with different chemicals, or better still, try a salt water pool.
7. If your skin reacts to dust mites, you could reduce flare-ups by using a dehumidifier at home (the mites thrive in humid environments), and reducing the number of soft furnishings in your home. You could swap curtains for blinds, carpets for laminate flooring etc. This makes keeping everything dust free much easier.
8. Synthetic materials can cause skin irritation, whether directly or through over-heating. Reduce the risk of a flare-up by wearing pure cottons, silk and bamboo. You may also want to swap your bedding to these materials too.