Stressful situations are common in daily life. You suddenly have your eczema, which seemed under control, coming back to life. Perhaps stress is the cause. Actually, eczema is a disease of ups and downs, flare-ups and remissions. Here are some tips to keep it in check.
1. Moisturize your skin daily
The control of eczema is essential through hydration. Keeping your skin moist is the most important thing you can do to reduce eczema flare-ups. In fact, in people with eczema, the upper layer of the skin, which acts as a barrier to prevent the evaporation of water, does not work properly. As a result, the skin tends to become dry and irritated, which can trigger eczema attacks.
- Apply a moisturizer for sensitive skin every day, even when you don't have eczema patches.
- Choose ointments (also known as balms) because these are more effective at retaining water in the skin and preventing it from evaporating. If you don't like its sticky texture, apply an oil-based cream during the day, as it will be absorbed more quickly, and use an ointment at night.
- Choose a product that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.If you need to apply topical medication to your eczema patches, apply it first, followed by your moisturizer 15 minutes later.
- The best time to apply your moisturizer is right after a shower or bath. Gently sponge (do not rub vigorously with a towel) excess water, then apply your moisturizer.
- If you need to apply a topical medication to eczema patches, put it on first as recommended by your health care professional, then apply the moisturizer about 15 minutes later.
2. How to manage your stress?
Stress can lead to an eczema attack. After all, stress can be a triggering factor. Try to find out what situations are causing you stress and, when possible, avoid them by making changes to your routine or lifestyle. Otherwise, learn to better control your stress using breathing or relaxation techniques, for example.
3. Avoid irritants
Several products and situations can trigger eczema attacks. By minimizing your exposure to these irritants, you could reduce the frequency of attacks.
- Laundry products: Choose fragrance-free products and avoid fabric softeners.
- Cleaning products: Wear gloves to avoid contact with your skin.
- Perfumes: Avoid any contact of your skin with perfumed products (including cosmetics and hygiene products such as shampoo).
- Cigarette smoking: Consider quitting smoking or ask smokers not to smoke in your presence.
- Some fabrics with rougher fibres, such as wool: You should preferably use soft fibres such as cotton, bamboo, silk, etc.
- Allergens (e.g.: pollen, dust mites, animal hair): Take allergy tests and consider desensitization, if available, for your allergens.
If you have any questions about eczema, do not hesitate to talk to your pharmacist!