Eczema, which is also known as “atopic dermatitis,” is a common condition that affects people of all ages. This condition, which causes redness and itching, can be both frustrating and embarrassing. Fortunately, if you are proactive about treating your eczema, you can minimize the symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.
What Causes Eczema?
Your skin is responsible for protecting your body from the environment. Researchers believe that eczema develops because of certain genetic variations that allow the skin to be more affected by exposure to allergens, irritants, and bacteria. Food allergies may also play a role in the development of eczema.
Minimizing Eczema Symptoms
At this time, there is no known cure for eczema. However, you can take steps to reduce the symptoms you experience.
1. Identify your triggers.
If you have eczema, or if you are caring for a child with eczema, you can reduce symptoms by avoiding specific triggers that make eczema worse. Each individual has his or her own eczema triggers, but common examples include pollen, dust, certain soaps, stress, foods, and sweat. Although you may not be able to avoid these triggers entirely, you can reduce your exposure.
2. Limit your time in the shower or bath.
Too much exposure to water can cause your eczema to get worse. Limit your baths or showers to a maximum of 15 minutes. Avoid using hot water, as this can also worsen your symptoms.
3. Use gentle soaps and mild detergents.
When you have eczema, strong soaps and detergents will typically cause irritation. Keep your skin as clean as possible by using soaps and detergents that are designed to be as gentle on your skin as possible.
4. Pat yourself dry.
When you are wet after a bath or shower, pat yourself dry gently instead of rubbing. The friction from rubbing with a towel can irritate your skin, causing more severe itching and redness.
5. Take a bleach bath.
Taking a bath in highly diluted bleach has been shown to reduce the symptoms of eczema by limiting the number of bacteria on the skin. To prevent infections, take bleach baths twice a week. Place 1/4 cup of bleach in a full warm bath.
6. Use prescription medication.
If you deal with eczema that causes severe symptoms, you may need a prescription cream to help protect your skin, encourage regeneration and prevent itching. Depending on your situation, a doctor may also prescribe drugs to reduce inflammation or fight certain bacteria that are believed to make eczema symptoms worse.
Contact an Expert
If you or your child is dealing with eczema, seeking medical advice is highly recommended. An experienced physician can help you minimize your current symptoms, reduce the chances of future flare-ups and deal with any flare-ups that may occur. Please call Valley Skin Institute at (559) 472-SKIN today to make an appointment or request an appointment here.