What is the best way to prevent, manage and relieve eczema flares? Following a daily skin care routine. This may sound simple but bathing,moisturizing and wearing and sleeping in soft and cool fabrics can go a long way to keeping skin happy. Why is bathing so important? Eczema means having an impaired skin barrier that does not hold water as well as it normally should making skin extra dry. A compromised skin barrier also allows chemical irritants and potential allergens to penetrate the skin. If not managed properly dry and cracked skin is the perfect environment to develop inflammation and an itching eczema flare. Below are some basic steps essential to a daily eczema skincare routine:
- Just add water. Bathing or showing daily helps to moisturize the skin and clean off allergens and irritants. Try not to use very hot water as that can be drying. When skin needs an extra boost, doctors recommend soaking for 20-minutes in plain water or with a gentle cleanser followed by a moisturizer and wet wraps. This is called the soak and seal method and it can really help to calm the itch and seal in moisture.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! The second most important step in a daily skincare routine is to moisturize immediately after bathing or showering to seal in all that moisture. Apply an emollient moisturizer immediately after showering, washing hands or soaking in a bath. This will help to seal in moisture and help keep allergens and irritants out.
- Be prepared and stock up. Stock up on your favorite gentle cleanser and emollient moisturizer and extras such as gloves and socks that can be worn over emollients. Don't be caught without your favorite moisturizer. A small tube of moisturizer can be easily packed in a purse, back pack or diaper bag. And don't forget to keep an extra at school or work.
- Eliminate toxins and harsh ingredients. Read labels and choose skin care and cleaning products carefully. Many options are available today without artificial fragrance and watch for alcohol in cleansers and lotions which can be drying. Check websites such as EWG.org to check ingredient toxicity and the NEA Seal of Acceptance for a list of accepted products for eczema sufferers. Be aware that natural products may contain ingredients such as nut and sesame oils that can cause allergic reactions in some.
- Dress and sleep in cool and breathable fabrics. Dressing in layers made of soft and breathable fabrics such as TENCEL®/lyocell, bamboo/viscose or cotton can help to keep the skin cool. Keeping cool at night can also help prevent flares. In general, sleeping is improved when the room is between 60 - 67 degrees. Look for sheets and bedding made with natural fibers such as soft, TENCEL/lyocell, combed cotton, or linen fibers and use a humidifier if the air in the house is dry.
Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.