Nearly 32 million Americans have some form of eczema. They all share one thing in common: They'd prefer not to develop these uncomfortable patches of skin.
If you’re struggling with eczema flare-ups, there are effective ways in which you can manage the condition and keep your skin in the pink of health.
At Los Gatos Dermatology, we have considerable experience helping our clients to better manage eczema. While there’s much that our founder, Dr. Bruce Saal, and our team can do to help during an outbreak, there are also steps you can take on your own to prevent one in the first place.
Let's take a look.
Know the triggers around you
Eczema typically first develops in childhood and is most commonly seen before the age of 5. While the exact causes of eczema are unknown, genetic predisposition and environment play key roles.
If you have a toddler with eczema, make note of things in their environment that can lead to a flare-up. For example, your child’s sensitive skin may react unfavorably to certain fabrics, such as wool, to certain cleansers or detergents, and/or to changes in temperature.
The best way to manage your child’s eczema is to understand and avoid these triggers whenever possible. Changing the materials they’re in contact with and switching to hypoallergenic soaps and detergents are great first steps.
While we’re discussing children here, these same tips apply to adults.
The role of weather
Eczema tends to flare during winter due to the dry, cold climate, and it’s no different here in northern California. While we may not get the deep freezes like other regions of the country, the air is still colder and drier during the winter.
There’s not much we can do about the weather, but there are some steps you can take to offset the change in environment. For example:
- Steer clear of hot baths
- Put a humidifier in your house
- Moisturize your skin more often
Try taking a vitamin D supplement, which has been shown to ease the symptoms of eczema in children. It makes sense given that vitamin D often comes from the sun, and there’s less sun in winter.
The role of stress
Your environment is often the source of key triggers when it comes to eczema, but stress can also play a role. If you’re under a great deal of stress, find ways to relax, such as through mediation, deep-breathing exercises, and physical exercise.
These stress-reduction techniques are not that effective for managing your eczema, but they can do wonders for all other areas of your health, including your mental health.
This last tip is an important one. You should have a qualified dermatologist in your corner who can help you manage your child’s or your eczema. We work with each patient individually to tailor an eczema management plan that works best with their unique triggers and flare-ups.
If you want to prevent eczema from overshadowing your life, please contact our office in Los Gatos, California, so we can get you started on the path to healthy skin.