Here’s How to Manage Your Eczema at Work
Living with eczema can be such a pain sometimes. You’re always itching and your skin often features rashes, hives and even open wounds that can really freak some people out. It’s especially cumbersome when you have to work in an office and your eczema tends to show its worst on your hands. But rather than quitting your job and opting to work from home there are remedies you can take to manage your eczema while you work at your desk.
Inform your co-workers
The first thing that the people around you should know about your condition is that it isn’t contagious. Yes, eczema can be unsightly which is why a lot of people suffering from this condition avoid other people as much as they can for fear of being ostracized.
Symptoms of eczema can lead another person into thinking that the open wounds could be contagious and you should inform them that that is not the case to ease their minds. If you’re working at an office you can talk to your officemates one by one or in a group and tell them that eczema is a chronic condition and that at times it can be painful so you need their support whenever you’re suffering from your symptoms. You could also ask them to help you manage your condition by keeping any triggers or allergens away from you.
Conceal your eczema
Even if your co-workers say that they understand your condition chances are you’ll still have uncomfortable situations whenever your eczema flares up. Fortunately, you can hide those red patches by using a green concealer. Look for moisturizers with a green tint and apply it on areas of your skin where red patches are starting to show.
After that use a flesh colored concealer to hide the green one and you’ll be ready to face the world once more. Make sure that the concealers you use have moisturizers to hydrate your skin while you go about your day in the office.
Avoid eczema triggers
Know more about your eczema by consulting your doctor and learn what can trigger them. When you find out what can set off your eczema try to avoid them as much as possible. Oftentimes what triggers eczema are hand soaps with alcohol and detergents so stay away from them.
If you need to clean your mug or wash your plates in the office bring with you your own detergent that is hypoallergenic. There are hypoallergenic soaps too that you can use and you should bring them with you to the office instead of using the soaps they have in the office restrooms. As always, use a moisturizer after you wash your hands.
Also, the cleanup crew in your office will almost always use heavy duty chemicals to clean your office desk and those chemicals can trigger your eczema. So ask the cleanup crew to let you clean your own desk so that you won’t be exposed to harsh chemicals. There are many hypoallergenic detergents in the market today so choose one, which has the most positive reviews by people who also have eczema and start using them.
But if you’re working in a place where it’s close to impossible to avoid harsh chemicals or synthetic materials that can trigger your eczema then be prepared and wear organic cotton gloves at all times. We mentioned “organic cotton gloves” because gloves or any clothes for that matter that are sewn with ordinary cotton fabric can still trigger your eczema. Ordinary cotton fabric is heavily doused with chemicals because ordinary cotton crops are often sprayed with so many pesticides.
Cotton crops are the dirtiest crops in the world according to experts on crop cultivation. According to statistics, about 16% of the world’s pesticides are being used on cotton crops so it’s not actually safe for you to wear cotton fabric that was grown traditionally. Opt for organic cotton gloves or clothes because the fabric that was used on these items contains no harsh chemicals that could trigger your eczema.
Follow a daily routine
Finally, if you wish to manage your eczema at the office it’s good to follow a daily routine of preventing your eczema to flare up. When you wake up in the morning and you’re ready to shower use only lukewarm water and not hot because the latter will dry your skin, which could trigger your eczema. Also, don’t use scented soaps or shampoo because they have chemicals that can worsen your eczema. Instead, buy hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos.
When you’re done showering don’t scrub yourself dry with a towel because the scrubbing will aggravate your skin. Instead, pat your body dry. Before you leave the house moisturize your skin and once you reach the office do it again to ensure that your body stays hydrated. Drink lots of water while you’re in the office. Eczema dries your skin so it’s good to keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water.
These are just some of the tips you can use to ensure that your eczema won’t be a hindrance for you in the workplace. Even though your condition can be irksome at times it doesn’t mean that it should keep you from having a career so take care of your skin and your eczema won’t be as bothersome as it was before.
Stephanie Fowler-Eagan said:
Good article and many useful tips! Knowing your triggers, though time-consuming and possibly costly for testing, is my best advice. Avoiding my triggers has saved me much pain and suffering from flare-ups. Food allergy testing and skin patch testing confirmed the suspect ones, and revealed several more I had no clue about! I use nitrile gloves manufactured without carba chemicals when I am washing dishes or in contact with metals. Home made cleaning spray (vinegar, warm water, and a drop of hypoallergenic dish soap) doesn’t cause my skin to flare, and I carry a travel-size bottle of my own safe liquid soap in my purse to use when out and about. I am allergic to formaldehyde, which is used in the manufacture of synthetic fabric blends, so cotton clothing is my staple and has decreased flareups drastically. Avoiding triggers, especially the chemical ones, can be tricky – but my skin is in much better shape now. Do the homework and research everything, you won’t regret it! =)