Eczema, a chronic and inflammatory condition that causes itchy, dry, and red skin, burdens the lives of more than 30 million American children and adults.1 The exact cause of these symptoms is often unknown and varies greatly from person to person, but more than 90% of patients experience daily itching due to the disorder.
For the most part, researchers are barely beginning to understand eczema, which is why many people with this condition are forced to go through different treatment options before finding one that works for them.
As of now, there is no known cure for eczema, but through a series of lifestyle changes, a person can learn to manage their condition. Research is emerging and treatments are improving though, and many people with eczema are able to live normal, healthy lives with few flare-ups.
Managing the condition focuses on keeping the skin healed and preventing future breakouts, which can be done in five easy steps.
1. Moisturize Your Skin Daily
Keeping skin hydrated is one of the biggest challenges for those with eczema. Dry skin only makes the condition more painful, which is why frequent moisturizing is paramount to helping the skin heal. Gentle formulas designed for those with eczema are ideal for reducing inflammation and helping the skin heal.
Vanicream for Sensitive Skin is especially helpful for healing atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema) and has been recommended by dermatologists.
2. Reduce Stress Levels
Because eczema is linked to the immune system, which is lowered during times of stress, those with the condition need to pay close attention to their stress levels. Experts have actually known for years that high stress can worsen skin conditions. 2
Making small changes, like getting enough sleep, talking out your problems, and practicing self-care can significantly help those living with eczema.
3. Cover Itchy Skin
Skin affected by eczema is typically severely dry, itchy, and fragile. To help lock moisture in, prevent scratching, and protect the sensitive skin, covering areas affected with eczema can be especially beneficial. Clothing without seams, for example, can help prevent the creation of “itch points”, where the skin becomes irritated due to rubbing.
Silk clothing cut from one piece of fabric is breathable and one of the best choices for those with eczema.
4. Identify and Avoid Your Triggers
As mentioned above, what triggers one person’s eczema may not trigger that of another. This is why it’s important to learn and identify the individual foods and environmental irritants responsible for your eczema.
Some of the most common eczema triggers tend to be synthetic fragrances, and strong-smelling detergents and soaps. Removing these can help reduce flare-ups and help the skin heal.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Believe it or not, applying moisturizers and covering the skin isn’t the only way to get hydration to skin affected by eczema. In fact, one of the best ways to hydrate those with the condition is by drinking water. Because those with eczema suffer from a weaker skin barrier, staying internally hydrated can help rehydrate that area of the skin.
While there is not yet a cure for eczema, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence of suffering. When informed properly, a person with eczema can learn to manage the condition extremely well, minimizing flareups and eliminating symptoms.
It’s very unlikely for eczema to go away on its own, which is why patient education is so crucial, but it doesn’t have to be a condition you suffer from for the rest of your life. By making a series of lifestyle changes, you can learn to live with happy skin again.