Avoiding Eczema Triggers
With all of the frustrations that eczema brings, it’s
reassuring to know that you can get
control of it with some effort and by knowing what triggers to avoid.
Common allergens include house dust mites, pets (particularly the dander from cats), seasonal pollens, molds, and dandruff. Keeping your house as clean as possible and eliminating the dust will certainly help. You’ll need to be sure that the cleaners you’re using, as well as laundry detergent, is as natural as possible and that your products aren’t triggering your irritation.
If you aren’t already attached to a beloved pet, avoid getting a cat and even a dog could be problematic. This might be a tough decision, but can go a long way to prevent eczema flare-ups. Avoiding pollen can be tricky at certain times of the year, but be aware of the trigger. Certainly none of us seek out mold, but be extra careful that there is no mold developing anywhere in your home, vehicle, garage, etc. These are all environmental allergens and can be avoided with some consciousness and effort.
While you might love the scent of perfume, perfumes don’t love eczema sufferers and are to be avoided. Makeup can also be a trigger. Always choose all natural ingredients.
There are also microbes that can trigger eczema. These might be much harder to identify, but be aware that bacteria like Staphylococcusaureus, viruses, and certain fungi can trigger eczema.
There are also irritants to steer clear of. Soaps, detergents, and shampoos are things that we need, but picking all natural options that are free of additives and irritants can make a big difference. You’ll also want to be careful of what dishwashing liquid you use. Again, all natural is best. Avoid the use of bubble bath. Disinfectants like chlorine are very aggravating. Remember, what irritates one person might not affect the next. Keep a record of any flare-ups and determine what is triggering your discomfort.
Did you know that hot and cold temperatures could be eczema triggers? In hot weather, be careful about sweat and moisture on the skin. Perspiration from exercise or exertion is always something to be cautious of. Wash yourself and pat dry any moisture as often as possible, never rubbing. After bathing, be sure to use a skin lubricant so that your skin doesn’t dry out. Both high and low humidity can also be challenging. You’ll also need to be careful about your skin drying out. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid letting yourself become too hot or too cold, or from sweating and then becoming chilled. Also, avoid taking showers that are too hot or too cold, and you’ll want to avoid prolonged exposure to water. Living in a dry climate is also not ideal for eczema suffers and can trigger more problems.
Food allergies and intolerances can definitely contribute to eczema. Dairy products are a very common trigger. Eggs, nuts and seeds and peanuts, soy products, and wheat are also triggers. Consider doing an elimination diet to see if you feel better when you’ve eliminated these foods from your diet for a minimum of 21 days. Then, reintroduce one type of food slowly, with at least 4 days in between food additions, to see if dairy or any of these other allergies might trigger skin irritation. Also another challenge may be keeping the juices of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats off of your skin. Be careful when you’re cooking.
As though you needed another reason to avoid stress, eczema is another. Stress has been known to cause eczema though it isn’t fully understood just how the correlation works. Many people find that their eczema symptoms are at their worst when they are undergoing a lot of stress. And of course, we can’t discount the fact that suffering from eczema can cause stress to a person as well. It can really go either way and you may find yourself caught in a vicious cycle. Bringing down your stress level will help.
Cigarette smoke is another environmental irritant. Avoid being around smokers, and if you smoke yourself, the discomfort of eczema should help motivate you to quit.
Eczema flare-ups are never pleasant but if you know what triggers to avoid and you make an effort to steer clear of those triggers, you can get your eczema under control.