Eczema is a frustrating skin condition that causes sections of your skin to become inflamed with rough patches and sometimes blisters. Eczema can cause you to experience a great deal of itching and can be painful. It can even cause some bleeding and if you aren't careful, then you may even get a skin infection, known as cellulitis, when dirt gets in to the open and bleeding areas. If you are known to get eczema flare-ups, then you want to educate yourself on what can bring them on and how you can get some relief when they occur. This article will help you to get a better understanding of these things.
Common causes of eczema
When it comes to what causes eczema, the answer can vary from person to person. Therefore, if you know you are prone to it, you should start keeping a daily journal. Keep track of the foods you eat, anything new to your environment you have been exposed to and any new products you have brought into your home. Some common causes of eczema include:
- Foods you may be sensitive to, the most common being: Eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, nuts and seeds
- Skin care and household products: Harsh soaps, certain shampoos, Lotions with fragrance added, cleaning products and pool chemicals
- Allergens you are affected by: Pet dander, mold, dust mites and grass
- Weather: Hot weather, high humidity, low humidity and excessive wind
- Stress: Situational stress, fear and anxiety
- Health and chemistry: Colds, general illness and a change in hormone levels
Getting relief from eczema
If you are experiencing a flare-up of eczema, you want to do what you can to get instant relief and figure out what caused it so you can get that trigger out of your life. Go over your journal and look for any changes you have experienced lately. If you find some, correct the issue. If you can't pinpoint the cause, then there are some general things you can do to try to avoid further breakouts.
- To get instant relief – Eating probiotics, such as the ones in some yogurts, can help take away the symptoms of eczema. Also, run a humidifier or dehumidifier in your home, depending on the weather. Try using an over-the-counter ointment to get rid of the eczema, but make sure you go with one that has no fragrance added. Avoid over-washing your skin; as this will cause it to dry out more and irritate your skin more. Hold a dry cold pack on the area to help with pain and discomfort.
- To avoid further outbreaks – If you can't figure out the cause, try cutting out all possible foods known for triggering eczema. Make sure pet hair and dander is vacuumed up daily by someone else in the house and try to put distance between you and the pets. Stick to using gentle personal products and have someone else use the household cleaners. Stay out of the swimming pool and hot tub.
If you are unable to get a handle on your condition, make an appointment to see your dermatologist or those at Billings Clinic. They can help you get answers and get a better grip on your condition.