Living With Eczema: Minimizing Triggers And Effective Treatment Tips
Eczema, a condition also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin disorder and major dermatology problem. Although this condition is most common in infants and young children, millions of American adults also suffer from eczema. While eczema is certainly treatable, it is not completely curable.
Eczema patients are typically prone to flare-ups of the disease. These flares can cause itching, burning, rashes, and sensitivity. The resulting rash can also be unsightly and cause social embarrassment. The key to successfully managing and treating your eczema is to understand your flare triggers and seek the care of dermatology professionals like the physicians at Front Range Dermatology in Fort Collins, CO.
Additionally, here are some useful, actionable tips to keep your eczema under control.
Tip #1 Always Hydrate
Dry skin and eczema flares go hand in hand. You need to keep your skin hydrated and protected to avoid eczema symptoms. Lotions and drinking plenty of water are excellent methods of keeping your skin moist. Also, protect yourself from cold, dry air by wearing adequate protective clothing.
Remember, alcohol can cause dehydration, so avoid overdoing it on the drinks. Plain water is always the best beverage of choice.
If you have questions about the best lotions and moisturizers for your eczema, do not hesitate to consult the dermatology providers at Front Range Dermatology.
Tip #2 Avoid Hot Baths and Showers
A hot shower on a frigid winter morning can feel wonderful but is not the best choice for those with eczema. Heat and humidity rob your skin of protective oils and can lead to dried out skin and eczema flares. There is no need to subject yourself to freezing baths, though. Lukewarm water will do just fine.
Furthermore, hot baths or showers actually make you feel colder in the long term. Hot water and steam cause your skin pores to open. Then, once you step outside into a freezing Fort Collins winter, your open pores are hit with the chilled air, freezing you to the bone.
Tip #3 Consider Your Clothing
In addition to choosing clothing that protects from the wind and cold, you should also be aware of eczema flares triggered by your choice of fabric. Some individuals find that certain materials, like wool or polyester, irritate their skin and cause eczema flares. If this is the case for you, do not hesitate to change your garment habits.
Also, consider that overly tight or restrictive clothing may be contributing to your eczema flares. Dermatology experts recommend that you avoid any clothing that may chafe or hold sweat against your skin. Additionally, be sure to immediately change out of sweaty or wet clothing, including swimsuits.
Tip #4 Use Specialized Products
Regular grocery store bar soap and skin lotion are just fine for some eczema patients. If you are not having eczema flares or difficulties, there is no need to change your skincare products. However, some people with severe or recalcitrant eczema may need to switch to dermatology products specifically designed to treat eczema.
Some of these types of products may require a prescription. If you are encountering difficulty controlling your eczema, you should make an appointment with the dermatology doctors at Front Range Dermatology right away. They can perform an examination and tests to determine the best medications and products for your eczema.
Tip #5 Talk with Your Dermatologist
Eczema can be a complex disease. The symptoms may range from mild and barely noticeable to so severe that they impact your quality of life. If you are running into roadblocks managing your eczema on your own, it is time to see a dermatology provider.
Frequent use of over the counter medications is one sign that you need to make a dermatology appointment. It is fine to use hydrocortisone or other non-prescription topical medications from time to time, but a dermatology healthcare expert should manage the continued use of even over the counter creams. This monitoring is a good practice because even low-strength medications may cause side effects over time.
Also, everyone should see a dermatologist at least annually, whether they have eczema or not. A dermatology appointment is a crucial part of skin cancer screening as well as preventative skincare. Front Range Dermatology is happy to meet all your dermatology needs.