You have an itch, you scratch. The itch continues and you continue to scratch. You notice it turns red, gets itchy bumps, blisters, begins to ooze and crusts over.
Those were the first signs that I knew something was wrong. My husband and son have eczema, but their condition didn’t manifest in that manner.
I decided to go to my doctor. She looked at it. Asked if had been in a sauna or hot tub. Well, as a matter of fact, I had just gotten back from vacation where I spent a lot of time in the poolside hot tub. Aha, she diagnosed my rash as ring worm.
She sent me off with a prescription for antibiotics to heal my ring worm. But it never healed. It actually got worse. So off I went back to the doctor and she referred me to a dermatologist.
One look at my rash and the dermatologist diagnosed it as eczema. What? How? I’ve never suffered from eczema before.
Her first question was, “Does asthma or allergies run in your family?” Yes, my grandmother suffered with asthma and my aunt has allergies. And there you have it, two of the causes of eczema—a family history of asthma and allergies.
Before we get into tips on managing your eczema, let’s talk about some of the causes of eczema.
Causes of Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
- Defects in your skin barrier that affects your skin’s ability to retain moisture and protect you from bacteria, irritants, and allergens.
- A personal or family history of eczema, hay fever, allergies, and asthma.
- Environment (high levels of pollution or colder climates).
- Thyroid disease.
Now, let’s get onto those tips.
10 Tips To Manage Your Eczema
- Apply a cool compress to skin.
- Avoid scratching.
- Wear loose fitting clothes made from soft fibers (i.e. cotton, bamboo, and silk).
- Avoid harsh soaps.
- Moisturize skin frequently with lipids (fats and oils).
- Avoid products that contain synthetic antibacterial and antimicrobial agents as they irritate skin and cause flare-ups.
- Identify and avoid triggers that cause a reaction (i.e, sweat, stress, obesity, soap, detergents, dust, pollen, dairy, citrus fruits, wheat, soy, and some nuts).
- Take short, warm showers.
- Use gentle soaps for sensitive skin.
- Pat yourself dry after a shower as rubbing irritates eczema skin.
Don’t let eczema send you running for cover. Follow these tips and your eczema can be more manageable.