Eczema and Daily Skin Maintenance - Make a New Year’s Resolution.
This year, why not make New Year’s resolutions that are attainable and that you can actually keep? As we say goodbye to one year and prepare to welcome the next, here are some practical resolutions that eczema sufferers can make that will make an immediate difference in your quality of life. These aren’t far-fetched commitments that you won’t be able to keep, just simple habits that you can adopt that your skin will appreciate.
1. Make Moisturizing a Top Priority
Moisturize every day, several times a day. Keep moisturizer in convenient locations like in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, on your nightstand, in your purse, and (if applicable) in your child’s diaper bag.
Don’t wait for skin to show signs of eczema, instead moisturize heavily - immediately after bathing, every night as part of your bedtime ritual, and before leaving the house.
2. Bathing Best-Practices
Take lukewarm baths and showers, using mild soap or a non-soap cleanser. It’s ideal to take a lukewarm bath at night before bed followed immediately by a round of full body moisturizing. Hot water can strip dry skin of essential oils, so a lukewarm bath is best.
Gently pat your or your child’s skin dry with a soft towel and avoid rubbing. Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes after bathing to “lock in” the moisture.
3. Incorporate Wet Wrap Therapy into Your Routine
Wet wrap therapy (wet wraps) for eczema have been recommended by doctors for 20 years as an excellent treatment. The therapy can help alleviate eczema symptoms by 75% in as little as 5 easy treatments. Do your wet wrap therapy at night to calm the itch. It will help to prepare you for a more restful sleep.
3. Pick the Right Clothing & Fabrics
Wool and synthetics are very irritating to the skin and especially to eczema. If these are currently part of your wardrobe, make a closet purge part of your New Year’s resolution. Fashion is not worth an eczema break out. Tencel® is the very best fabric for eczema but 100% cotton is also soft and breathable. Always avoid rough, scratchy fibers and tight clothing. In addition to clothing, remember to choose plain lyocell sheets or 100% cotton sheets and bedding that aren’t too heavy.
5. Personal Habits
Keep your fingernails short to help keep scratching from breaking the skin. Drink plenty of water to help your skin stay hydrated from the inside out. Avoid sweating, and if you do sweat, rinse off as soon as possible to avoid letting the sweat dry on your skin. It’s also generally better to avoid swings in temperature, which can irritate your skin. Avoid perfume in any form, including soaps, detergents, and cleansers.
6. Stay Away from Allergens
Learn your eczema triggers and avoid them. Dust, mold, pollen, and mites should be avoided as part of your regular, automatic habits. If you smoke, it’s time to quit. Some people with allergies find it helps to remove carpets from their house, and give pets a dander treatment.
Learn about and accept your food allergies and stay away from those foods. You can go through allergy testing and also conduct an elimination diet to determine what foods you’re best to stay away from. Become attuned to what foods you should just never eat, and make other foods that are non-allergenic part of your regular meal planning.
Use a humidifier, especially in dry or cold weather. If you don’t already have one, you can find them on sale at a good price during the month of January.
The key to making New Year’s resolutions a success is to choose resolutions that are realistic and that can fit into your regular lifestyle. A lot of your success will be in the preparation. Start with just one or two items from the list and make sure that you have the emollients, fabric, products, and tools that you need to make this new habit an easy transition. Most of all, make sure that you create time, particularly in the evenings, to start making these rituals part of your routine.
We wish you the greatest success with these new plans, and a very happy new year!