Before we dive into information on eczema prevention, we do want to point out that you will NEVER prevent all cases of eczema. If you are a sufferer, then you are a sufferer. Sometimes the flare-up will occur and it will be completely out of your control. We can’t help you with that. What we can help you with is reducing the likelihood that the flare-up is going to occur in the first place. Just a quick guide to some things you can do to reduce your chances of dealing with symptoms.
Of course, you need soap to clean your body. It is going to help you when it comes to feeling nice and clean (and of course, smelling awesome!). However, if you want to prevent your eczema, then you need to ensure that you go a bit easy on the soap. When you use soap, you are drying out your skin. This means that you should not lather your body completely in soap. Not going to work. Only clean the areas which need cleaning.
If you can, you will also want to ensure that you stick to mild soaps.
Your eczema flare-ups are more likely to occur when your skin dries out. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you keep it moisturized.
The second you step out of the bath or shower, and this is before you even think about drying yourself properly (just get rid of a small amount of excess water by dabbing your skin), apply some moisturizer to your skin. You can go crazy with it. The moisturizer helps to lock in all that moisture. This will keep your skin dry throughout the day.
When you wash your hands after using the bathroom, you should also apply moisturizer to your hands. It will work wonders!
While we are on the subject of moisturizers, just use a basic one. There should be no fragrance or color in it as this can be an irritant to the skin.
When you clean your clothes
Detergents are a major irritant when it comes to dealing with eczema. You need to ensure that you thoroughly wash your clothes. Even the smallest amount of detergent left in the clothing can act as a major irritant.
If you can, you should also try to avoid fabric softeners. Sure, they are going to make your clothes feel nice and soft after you have washed them, but they are fragranced. This means that they are going to irritant your skin.
Cleaning your home?
When you are cleaning your home, or even washing dishes, then you are likely going to be using cleaning chemicals. It is so, so important that you wear gloves while you are doing this. Cotton gloves are the best here. Do not wear rubber gloves. They make your hands sweat a lot. Sweat is one of the major triggers for eczema, so this is something that you will need to avoid.
Studies have shown that bathing or taking a shower a couple of times per day can help with eczema. In the past, it was recommended that you did not bathe or shower too often as this could trigger your symptoms.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that you should not, under any circumstance, bathe or shower in hot water. You should ensure that the water is lukewarm. This helps to prevent your skin from drying out!
When you are in the shower or bath, you should try to stay in for at least twenty minutes. This gives your skin enough time to absorb the water. This will make it easier for you to lock that moisture in afterwards!
Eczema Triggers are small ‘events’ which can cause your eczema to flare-up. These triggers do differ from person to person. It is up to you to determine what your triggers are and to try and eliminate them from your life. The most common triggers for eczema include:
- Certain chemicals. As we mentioned previously, if you are working with any type of chemical, it is important that you wear gloves.
- If you have a food allergy, or you are sensitive to certain types of food, then you may notice that your eczema flares up. It is important that you try to work out which ones are causing the allergy. The big culprits here tend to be milk, wheat, and certain spicy foods. You can talk to your doctor who will be able to carry out a test which will enable you to determine what your food allergies are.
Whenever you go outside, and it does not even matter if it is cold outside, it is important that you wear sunscreen. This helps to protect your skin from the harmful UVA/UVB rays. You do not need to wear anything particularly strong during the winter months, just make sure that you have some protection for your skin. During the summer months, the stronger the better. This is because not only are you trying to avoid damage from the harmful rays of the sun, but you also want to ensure that your skin is not sunburned. This is going to be a trigger in some people when it comes to eczema.
Try to avoid irritating the skin
If you are serious about eczema prevention, then you need to ensure that you avoid irritating the skin. There are several ways in which you can do this:
- Do not scratch your skin. If you are the type of person that loves to scratch themselves, then make sure that you try to keep your fingernails short.
- If you sweat, clean yourself. Sweat is one of the major triggers for eczema.
- When you dry yourself, do not rub your skin. You should dry yourself by dabbing yourself with the towel or cloth.
- Make sure that you wear clothing which is ‘soft’. Do not wear wool. Man-made fabrics and cotton are gentle on the skin and stop it from becoming irritated.