Self-Care: 5 Helpful Tips For People With Eczema
In the United States, around 35 million Americans deal with eczema—a prevalent skin condition that causes the skin to become dry, inflamed, and irritated. Although the majority of patients can manage their condition with moisturizing creams and other viable remedies, others continue to fight a tough battle as their cases require a mix of lifestyle changes and routine medication.
With so many things happening around us all at once, we often forget to remind ourselves that self-care, even with eczema, remains an essential part of our lives. To help you check your physical and emotional barometer this Self-Care Awareness Month, we have put down 6 self-care tips to possibly help alleviate the agony of people with eczema.
- Minimize scratching
Believe it or not, giving in to that burning sensation on your skin and scratching it can make the situation worse. To resist the itching, try wearing full sleeves shirts and pants. But in case you do succumb to scratch the itchy areas, make sure your fingernails are short to avoid bruises and bleeding sores. You wouldn't want to trade a quick moment of relief with another skin infection.
- Take a lukewarm bath
Soaking in a tub of lukewarm can make a huge difference in decreasing eczema flare-ups. Lukewarm water, not a hot one, helps in getting rid of dry skin and absorbing moisture. However, you need to keep your bathing time to at least 10 to 15 minutes and avoid scrubbing your skin with a washcloth or loofah to reduce further irritation with the rashes.
Applying a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing or showering with lukewarm water is the last step to put moisture back into the skin. According to the National Eczema Association, moisturizers help protect the outermost layer of skin, making it vital to reduce itching. To help your skin get nourished anew, try putting on ointments, creams, lotions, or even petroleum jelly. Just make sure to check each product to stay away from particular ingredients that you're allergic to.
- Be wary of household products
Knowing what you use inside the house matters more than what you think. Refrain from using household products that contain skin irritants, such as soaps, detergents, or shampoos made with harsh ingredients. Instead, make use of fragrance-free laundry detergent as the perfume of the detergent sometimes irritates the rash and triggers eczema. To save yourself from an unpleasant experience, use mild soaps and organic detergents.
- Do low-impact exercises to sweat less
It's a no-brainer for people with eczema that too much sweat and perspiration can only make their rashes worse. When sweat evaporates, the skin dries up and leaves behind salty residues that trigger flare-ups in some people. Although eczema flares seem unavoidable under changing weather, this does not necessarily mean you have to stop breaking exercising. Go for a walk instead of hitting the treadmill, walk up a set of stairs at home, or do yoga. Workout on a more leisurely pace and rest between sets to allow your body to cool down. Lastly, stay hydrated.
Apart from these tips, it is also equally important to strike a balance in your diet. Eczema patients find certain individual foods, like nuts, dairy, and milk, that make their eczema worse, so you might want to check that out with your doctor.
Moreover, stick with light, breathable fabrics, such as cotton, for all-day wear since these garments prevent the skin from getting too hot.
September is National Self-Care Month, so be sure to take some time to evaluate how gently you’re treating your eczema. Keeping your skin well cared for and moisturized is one of the most important things you can do to help cope with the flare-ups.
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