Although eczema is a chronic skin condition, it is possible to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and better control the illness.
1. Moisturize your skin
To help prevent outbreaks, make sure your skin is properly moisturized, even when not irritated. Apply a moisturizer after your shower and whenever you feel the need. For a deeper feeling of relief, keep the moisturizer in the refrigerator. Moisturizers feel wonderful when applied cold.
2. Reduce factors that trigger outbreaks
Outbreaks can be triggered or aggravated by certain foods, pollen, pet dander, molds, dust, and mites. Try to identify the factors that trigger your outbreaks and avoid them as much as possible. This will help delay your next outbreak.
3. Take as many showers as you like
Contrary to what you might believe, showers help hydrate your skin. So you can take as many as you like as long as you apply a moisturizer right after. It’s very important, however, to use cool or lukewarm water rather than hot water.
4. Use a humidifier
Low humidity levels can trigger an eczema outbreak. Use a humidifier in your bedroom if your home is too dry, particularly during winter.
5. Avoid scratching
In addition to being useless, scratching damages the skin and starts a vicious cycle of itching-scratching-rash. It’s better to gently rub or pinch the skin rather than scratch it.
6. Wear clothing made of 100% cotton
Cotton is a comfortable material that allows the skin to breathe, which helps prevent skin irritation. In contrast, synthetic materials, wool, hemp, and raw linen tend to irritate the skin and can cause an outbreak of symptoms.
7. Learn to manage your stress
Stress can lead to eczema outbreaks. All techniques for decreasing stress are recommended. For example, physical exercise is a great way to relax.
8. Choose your body and facial products carefully
Cosmetics, soaps, hair products, perfumes, scented lotions, and shaving creams may contain ingredients that can irritate your skin and trigger eczema outbreaks. The best way to know which products are best for you is to test them on a small area of skin before using them regularly. Leave the product on your skin for at least 24 hours, then check if you’ve had a reaction.
9. Keep cool
Excessive heat and intense perspiration can cause eczema outbreaks, so avoid overheating your home. It’s better to keep your bedroom relatively cool at night and to use light, fresh cotton sheets.