Eczema is a chronic skin condition that can cause painful and unsightly symptoms, such as dry, itchy skin and red, sore rashes. But with the right treatment, eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can be well-managed.
Certain factors can trigger a flare-up of eczema. Healthgrades offers six tips to avoid those flare-ups and keep your skin healthy:
- Find the right treatment and stick to it. Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or ointment to apply to problem areas; this will soothe itching and calm inflammation. To avoid an eczema flare-up, apply the treatment at the first sign of worsening symptoms, and use it right after bathing for best results.
- Don’t scratch. Scratching too much can break the skin and cause bacterial infections.
- Identify and avoid triggers. Common eczema triggers include household cleaners, detergents, soaps, scented lotions, pet dander and stress. And certain fabrics, like wool or synthetic fibers, can irritate skin and lead to flare-ups. Stick to 100 percent cotton, silk, linen, or soft acrylic.
- Protect your hands. Keep them as dry as possible as wetness can only worsen symptoms. Wash hands only when you need to and wear plastic or vinyl gloves if your hands will be in water for an extended period.
- Be smart in the shower and bath. Hot water can irritate your skin, so keep the shower temperature warm or cool, and bathe with only a small amount of mild, unscented soap. Apply moisturizer after toweling off.
- Stay moisturized. Committing to a daily moisturizer is important. Try to use a moisturizer that is without fragrances and dyes.
If you have more questions, Dr. Subramanian is ready to help. And she’ll treat other conditions that can make you cough or sneeze. Make an appointment today and start to feel better.