What are your concerns?

close
Inaccurate
Hard to understand
Other

Or copy link

ask-doctor-icon

Ask Doctor for Free

Be the first to let Hello Doctor know your thoughts!

How to Manage Eczema

    How to Manage Eczema

    Eczema is a kind of dermatitis that can more commonly appear in young children but may occur at any age. It’s a disease caused by an overactive immune system that causes irritable symptoms. Eczema is also linked to gene mutations, which cause a lack of filaggrin production. Filaggrin is responsible for keeping skin hydrated and preventing most bacteria and infections from entering the skin. Learn how to manage eczema here.

    What is Eczema?

    Eczema is chronic which means it is recurring and has periods of calm and intense flare-ups. Eczema has no cure but can be manageable with treatment. This condition can look very similar to other skin-related diseases such as psoriasis.

    Symptoms of eczema may vary from person to person but may include:

    • Red to reddish-brown rashes
    • Blisters
    • Rough scaly patches
    • Skin thickening
    • Swelling
    • Mild to severe itch
    • Dryness of the skin

    how to manage eczema

    How to Manage Eczema

    Eczema, in more severe cases, can be very debilitating. Want to know how to manage eczema with all these triggers? Some of the things to look out for are:

    Dry Skin

    Excessively dry skin can cause tight, rough, cracked skin, which can trigger a flare-up. Make sure to moisturize your skin with the prescribed ointments or medicines.

    Irritants

    Irritants are any substances or conditions which can cause flare-ups. Eczema can cause sensitive and brittle skin which is why one must make sure to avoid any and all contact with irritants such as:

    • Dry conditions. It’s recommended that you regularly moisturize your skin using prescribed ointments and soaps, and to keep the environment you’re in like your home at the right temperature and humidity. You can use a humidifier to keep the air moist.
    • Harsh temperatures – Due to having such sensitive skin, being in an environment that is too cold or too hot can irritate your skin, which can also cause a flare-up.
    • Cigarette smoke. There are toxins in cigarette smoke that can damage collagen and elastin. These are components of the skin that keep it supple and elastic. For eczema patients, this is especially irritating and damaging to the already hypersensitive and brittle skin that they have.
    • Certain fabrics and metals. Avoid certain fabrics like wool and polyester, or metals like nickel, which cause allergies and flare-ups.
    • Harsh soaps and cleansers. These can cause your skin to get too dry, and as stated previously, dry skin must be prevented or controlled to avoid flare-ups.

    Other substances to avoid are:

    • Fragrance, which is present in many commercial skin care products. Fragrance allergy or sensitivity is very common in people with eczema. People with eczema are advised to look for products that are “fragrance-free”
    • Certain antibacterial ointments like neomycin and bacitracin, which are also common allergens.
    • Anything that uses formaldehyde, isothiazolinone, cocamidopropyl, and betaine para-phenylenediamine as an ingredient. These chemicals may sound foreign or alien but can actually be found in many commonplace items – from baby wipes and soap to temporary tattoos, leather dyes, and vaccines.

    Be careful and check the labels for these ingredients.

    Guide to Managing Eczema Flare-Ups

    Because there is no cure for eczema, following this guide will help you manage it and prevent flare-ups.

    Identify and avoid triggers. Because each type of eczema has a different trigger, you must immediately identify and avoid them to prevent your condition from worsening.

    Moisturize regularly. Dry skin causes flare-ups so moisturizing at least twice a day can help prevent that.

    It is best to apply lotion right after bathing. Make sure to pat the skin dry with a towel. Rubbing will cause more irritation.

    Lukewarm and short baths. Long, cold showers or baths tend to dry the skin more.

    Lukewarm water is best. Hot baths can also dry the skin and cause more itchiness.

    Gentle skincare products. As stated before, anything harsh may cause irritation and flare-up and must be avoided.

    Dry carefully. People with eczema have sensitive skin and must be careful when patting the skin dry to prevent any skin damage or irritation.

    Key Takeaways

    While eczema is not dangerous by itself, it can be very disruptive to your daily life. Fortunately, it can be manageable if treated immediately. Immediately seek help once signs of eczema flare appear to prevent further complications due to skin infections.

    Learn more about Eczema here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    ECZEMA   A TO Z, https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/eczema-a-to-z, Accessed Jan 2, 2021

    AN OVERVIEW OF THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ECZEMA, https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/types-of-eczema/, Accessed Jan 2, 2021

    ECZEMA  CAUSES AND TRIGGERS, https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/causes-and-triggers-of-eczema/, Accessed Jan 2, 2021

    ATOPIC DERMATITIS, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=P00257, Accessed Jan 2, 2021

    ECZEMA: OVERVIEW, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279399/, Accessed Jan 2, 2021

    ATOPIC DERMATITIS (ECZEMA), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353273, Accessed Jan 2, 2021

     

    Picture of the authorbadge
    Written by Tracey Romero Updated a week ago
    Medically reviewed by Angeli Eloise E. Torres, MD, DPDS
    Next article: