Although eczema is a chronic skin condition, it is possible to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and better control the illness.
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.
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.
Take short showers or baths using lukewarm water
The duration of a shower or bath should be limited to 10 minutes. We recommend using lukewarm water, rather than hot water as it can dry out the skin. However, there is no clear consensus on the recommended shower frequency. We currently recommend taking one shower per day to clean any irritant, scale, or allergen from the skin. It’s important to use a hypoallergenic and non-fragrant soap. Do not forget to apply a moisturizing cream right after!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.