Controlling Eczema

Do you have irritated, inflamed, and itchy skin? You may be suffering from eczema, a condition that is most common in children and babies, but can develop at any age, even if you’ve never had signs of it in the past.

Symptoms of eczema include:

•Severe itching

•Sensitive and/ or dry skin

•Redness, inflammation, and areas of swelling

•Scaly patches

•Dark patches

Symptoms of eczema can vary from severe to quite mild. Some people have just one, isolated flare-up, while others suffer from symptoms throughout their entire lives.

Although there’s no cure for eczema, there are multiple ways to ease the discomfort of the condition and potentially avoid flare-ups. Dr. Erik Hurst at the Center for Dermatology has extensive experience in treating the condition. Here are his top tips.

Follow a few simple rules for bathing

Allow using extra hot water may be tempting, eczema sufferers will find lukewarm water is better to prevent flare-ups. It’s also best to avoid scrubbing and only use a small amount of a cleanser. Choosing the right cleanser is important too - a mild soap is best.

Moisturizer is your best friend. 

Often the area of the skin affected by eczema is damaged and is susceptible to being dry. When dry, it’s likely your eczema will become worse. 

Keeping your skin moisturized is an important step in controlling eczema. By applying moisturizer regularly, you can help protect the outer layer of your skin, which acts as a protective barrier against irritants, bacteria, and allergens.

Choose wisely when picking a moisturizer for your eczema. The providers at our office can help you select a moisturizer that’s suitable for your form of eczema and provide detailed recommendations about the best way to apply it.

Know your triggers.

Several factors can trigger an eczema flare-up. Similarly to allergies, different things can signal problems for different people. Knowing what triggers your eczema can be key.

The most common eczema triggers are things that come in direct contact with your skin, like fragrance from laundry detergent, soaps, beauty products, and household cleaners. Even antibacterial ointments, like bacitracin, can cause a flare-up in some people. Cigarette smoke and metals, especially nickel, are also irritants for some.

Certain chemicals commonly found in household products, like formaldehyde, can cause skin irritation as well. Occasionally natural substances, like the liquids from fresh fruit or vegetables, can also be a culprit.

Don’t stress.

Two of the most common triggers of eczema aren’t external culprits, but rather your own emotional stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety increase the production of cortisol and adrenaline.

Excess cortisol can affect your immune system and lead to skin inflammation. Finding ways to manage your stress can significantly reduce problems with eczema.

Seek help from a dermatologist.

When you’re living with eczema, it’s important to realize that you’re not alone. By developing a long-term relationship with an experienced dermatologist that you trust, you can learn to take proper steps to control your symptoms and reduce the severity of your condition.

In addition to helping you identify your triggers and developing a skin care regimen to manage your eczema, Dr. Hurst and his staff also provide therapies, like antihistamines, antibiotics, and prescription lotions, ointment, and creams. He and his staff also offer immunosuppressant and topical immunomodulators for difficult-to-treat eczema cases.

To learn more about preventing eczema flare-ups and managing this painful condition, call us at the Center for Dermatology today.

Author
Candace Hurst

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