Eczema is a skin condition that affects many people, causing dry skin and itching that interrupts daily living. Although common, some people have difficulty controlling outbreaks and finding treatments.
Sometimes, the best way to deal with eczema is to stop it at the source. Finding out what triggers your breakouts can help you make lifestyle changes to avoid those triggers.
Home remedies are sometimes better than professional treatments, especially if you find one that eliminates the triggers of eczema outbreaks and gives you long-term relief.
If you're looking to control eczema symptoms but need help figuring out where to start, the Dermatology Center of Worcester team can help. Dr. Camile I. Roberts is our expert dermatologist, offering various skin treatments like eczema.
Over 31 million people in the United States have some form of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. It's a common inflammatory skin condition that causes extreme itching, rashes, and dry or scaly skin.
There are many forms of eczema, the most common form being atopic dermatitis. Other forms of eczema include:
Eczema can range from mild to severe and affects babies, children, and adults. A flare-up happens when the skin itching causes complications that worsen the condition.
Many people with eczema have dry and scaly areas of skin, extreme itchiness, or red and inflamed areas that look dry.
Excessive scratching from dry, itchy skin can lead to open sores, blisters, and infections in anyone with eczema.
Although we don't completely understand what causes eczema, we suspect it may come from your body's reaction to irritants on the skin. When something irritates the skin, your genetics kick in, sometimes causing an overactive immune response.
An overactive immune system causes the symptoms of eczema by producing inflammation in the skin. Some of the primary triggers of eczema include:
It's easy to get dry skin, especially in winter. Dehydrated skin can become itchy and scaly, leading to an eczema flare and increased symptoms.
Most laundry detergents, hair products, skin care products, and other household items contain harsh chemicals and fragrances or dyes that are hard on the skin.
These products typically dry out your skin and lead to an eczema flare. Even items that say they're natural can have hidden ingredients that cause an immune response in your body.
Topical, food, or environmental allergies trigger the immune system to react by causing inflammation in the body and skin. If you come into contact with an allergen, you're more likely to have an eczema flare than someone with no allergies.
Stress does crazy things to the body, including causing eczema flares. Itchy skin can also make you stressed, exacerbating your symptoms.
The key to controlling eczema is to find out what's causing your flare-ups in the first place. Once you find specific triggers, you can make lifestyle changes and find home remedies to help you cope with the symptoms.
Some of the home remedies we recommend to control eczema triggers include:
Fragrance is the main culprit behind dry skin and eczema flares. To avoid dry, itchy skin, use fragrance-free and dye-free products to avoid harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin.
Stress may lead to worsening symptoms of eczema, but it's not always easy to control. Find out why you're stressed and work on stress reduction using meditation or relaxation techniques to calm an eczema flare.
Coconut oil is a natural remedy that can help you relieve dry skin without introducing harsh chemicals. You can apply pure coconut oil to your skin as a natural moisturizer or find products containing coconut oil to use in your bath or hair.
Bathing is a great way to relax, but taking a bath the wrong way may exacerbate your symptoms. It would help if you aimed to use lukewarm – not hot – water and avoid scrubbing the skin.
Sometimes, food allergies cause eczema. You can make changes to your diet to attempt to avoid triggering an eczema flare. For example, establishing a dairy-free or gluten-free diet can help you manage the symptoms of eczema.
The cold of winter can trigger an eczema flare, so wearing the proper clothing is critical. Protect your skin from the cold and wind by wearing heavy clothes or outerwear, especially on your face, if that's where eczema flares occur.
If you require treatment for eczema, don't hesitate to call the office in Worcester today at 508-452-2702 or request a consultation on the website.