Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become red, itchy, and dry. If you have eczema, you might notice that you are prone to getting itchy rashes — especially in places like where your elbows and knees bend or on your neck and face. The symptoms of eczema can vary from person to person.
Though you can't cure eczema forever, you can take steps to prevent it from flaring:
- Stay away from things like harsh detergents, perfumed soaps, and heavily fragranced lotions that tend to irritate the skin and trigger eczema.
- Because hot water dries by quick evaporation and over-washing with soap may dry skin, take short, warm showers and baths. If you're going to have your hands in water for a long time (like when you're washing dishes or your car), try wearing gloves. Detergent can dry and irritate skin.
- Soothe your skin with regular applications of a fragrance-free moisturizer to prevent itching and dryness. Creams generally moisturize a bit better and last longer than lotions for most people. Creams work best if applied when the skin is slightly wet, like just after bathing.
- Be careful which fabrics you wear. Cotton is good because it's breathable and soft. (But if you are exercising, some of the newer synthetic materials actually keep you drier and are better for you than cotton.) Try to stay away from materials like wool or spandex that may cause irritation or allergic reactions.
- Keep stress in check. Because stress can lead to eczema flares, try activities like yoga or walking after a long day to keep your stress levels low.
- If you wear makeup, look for brands that are free of dyes and fragrances that can aggravate eczema.
If you're having trouble managing your eczema, talk to a dermatologist, who can suggest ways to better control it.
Recommended: Dermasure Eczema Relief Pack