If you have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, it is important for you to become aware of common triggers and learn how to avoid them. This will allow you to gain control over your condition and prevent an exacerbation, or worsening of flare ups. Below are eleven triggers to avoid with eczema!
Hot water will dry out the skin! Skip the hot showers or long steamy baths and replace them with lukewarm or cooler alternatives. Also, limit your time in the water to no more than 5-10 minutes when possible. Hot tubs should be avoided, especially during times of outbreaks.
Cold weather can also dry out the skin. For people who live in colder climates, this can become a hassle. When the skin becomes excessively dry, or chapped, I recommend moisturizing up to four times per day. Use an ointment for optimal moisture lock, during cold winter months.
Dust has been linked to worsening eczema flares. Especially, in children. Eliminate dust mites, the bigger culprit, by washing all bedding and curtains in hot water, once per week. Also, choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and vacuum at least once per week.
Wearing fabrics that are known to irritate eczema is a big no no. Avoid itchy fabrics such as wool or poly-synthetics. Dress in cotton, silk, linen and rayon instead.
Exercise is an important part of living a healthy life and sweat cannot be completely avoided. However, excessive sweat can cause a worsening of eczema flares. Take a cool shower when possible. Always pat skin dry.
Detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, have all been associated with causing eczema to flare up. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets altogether. Choose a detergent that is free and clear of fragrances, dyes and other skin irritants.
Unfortunately, stress is not something that can be completely avoided. However, there are several things that you can do to sideline stress. Deep breathing exercises have been known to help alleviate stress. Some other activities, include: Yoga, Pilates and Tai-Chi.
Often times, pollen is confused with an outdoor allergen. While it originates outside, it can easily become an indoor allergen. If you have pets that are outdoors, they can track it in on their fur. In addition, your own shoes and clothing can spread it throughout your home. Remove shoes at the door. If you have spent a long time outdoors during high pollen counts, consider changing your clothes and immediately laundering the others. Brush your pets outdoors before letting them trek the pollen into the house.
Pet dander can exacerbate eczema flare ups. Brush your pet frequently and outdoors. Bathe them once a week. Wash pet bedding once per week and vacuum with your HEPA filtered model. once a week, as well.
Many times, contact allergens are responsible for causing eczema. These allergens are the culprits of both allergic contact and irritant dermatitis. Be aware of what to look for on labels and avoid utilizing products that contain them. Some common skin allergens, include: beeswax, oatmeal/gluten, parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, PEGs and acrylates.
Tobacco smoke is responsible for worsening eczema flares. Naturally, I recommend you quit smoking. In addition to being disastrous to the skin, it also damages the heart, lungs and other vital organs. There is nothing healthy about smoking, period!
While there is no known cure for eczema, you can get the condition under control. Avoid these triggers and implement a proper skin care and moisturizing routine!
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting blogs regularly about skin problems, treatment and after care at http://blog.cherylleemd.com