Are These Relaxed Habits Triggering Eczema Flares?
Are you inadvertently exacerbating your eczema?
Sufferers of eczema know that we must always remain on guard, checking to make sure that we avoid known triggers or other allergens that might cause a flare-up. But doing so 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be absolutely exhausting and sometimes we relax and fall back on bad habits.
Here are a few things to watch out for that could causes unnecessary eczema flares in adults and children.
This is probably the most understandable and the most destructive habit that you can develop. Eczema itches, sometimes painfully so. And we can scratch without thinking. Although you might feel temporary relief, with eczema the scratching only makes the itching worse and can cause skin damage resulting in secondary infections. If you are new to dealing with eczema, developing an awareness of unconscious habits like scratching can make your life far easier in the long run.
Make sure to moisturize as much as possible and wear anti-itch eczema clothing to minimize the need to scratch. Eczema clothing is especially beneficial for child or baby eczema as they can not control or consciously stop scratching.
Showers or Baths
When you have eczema, you really have to pay attention to all the details of bathing that others dismiss. For example, the temperature of the water. Yes, hot water might bring temporary relief, but will strip the oils from your already dry skin, causing it to become even more irritated. You also have to watch out for any soaps or cleansers that you might come in contact with. Anything with a heavy scent can be a major allergen that could cause flare ups. Monitor your choice of cleanser closely and avoid using anything that you are unsure about. We recommend visiting the National Eczema Association and using products given their Seal of Acceptance.
Laundry day can be a particular pain in the behind for eczema sufferers. First, we have to watch out for our choice of detergent. Most mainstream laundry detergents have a fragrance, and that can be a major trigger for flare-ups. Even detergents that say “fragrance-free” may still use some kind of scent masking agent. Try to use products that are completely free of any kind of perfumes and are designed for sensitive skin. These products can unfortunately cost a little more, but their importance cannot be understated. We recommend All Free and Clear Detergent or Seventh Generation Free and Clear Detergent. Also, never use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
If your clothes are still causing skin irritation, try double rinsing them to get rid of any trace of detergent. Avoid using the dryer, especially if someone else also uses it. Traces of their laundry will get all over your clothes. If your clothes are still causing skin irritation, it may be time to take a look at the fabrics to make sure that they aren’t causing your eczema to get worse. Tencel® clothing or 100% cotton are the best fabrics for eczema.
The winter months can be very tough for ezema sufferers. The freezing temperatures outside can easily exacerbate skin damage, and the artificially heated air inside can be incredibly drying. Using moisturizers daily can make your life in these months easier. You may want to consider purchasing a humidifier to help keep the air in your home from getting too dry and the best place for a humidifier is near you. Keep it in your bedroom at night.
Trying to deal with all of the extra stresses that eczema can bring into your life can actually cause flare ups. One of the best ways to deal with stress in your everyday life is to develop unconscious and positive habits that relieve the pressures of everyday life while minimizing the negative ones. Try to curb unconscious scratching, be aware of shower habits, never use products that can cause flare ups and moisturize daily. Internalizing these tips and getting rid of relaxed habits can make dealing with eczema far easier and make your life far less stressful.