Living with Eczema

It’s that dreadful time of the year again. The time of year when the temperature drops and I find myself scratching my skin to the point of no return, I feel like a dog with flees.
The itching becomes so unbearable that it prevents me from being able to participate in my every day, regular activities.
Having eczema brings a lot of embarrassment and drains my self esteem and confidence. Since there isn’t a “cure” for eczema, I have to learn to manage it to help prevent flare ups and to calm them when I do.
If you have eczema you may have found it’s really hard to control it once you experience a “flare up” and most of the time is no warning or obvious cause. I’ll be honest I haven’t found a fail-safe regimen, but I have found some useful tips that work well for me and help to regulate my “flare ups.”
  1. Shower with warm water instead of hot water. This helps to not dry out your skin. ALWAYS pat your skin dry with a towel. I have found that rubbing my skin with a towel can irritate the eczema and initiates my need to scratch.
  2. ALWAYS apply moisturizer to your skin. This is a crucial step to keeping the flare ups to a minimum. I carry lotion in my bag with me at all times so that my skin is never dry.
  3. I cannot stress this enough – Drink LOTS of water. This will keep your skin hydrated. Stay away from carbonated soft drinks and anything with preservatives which can mess with your skins natural oils and ability to moisturize itself.
  4. You will find that you can get outbreaks just from your daily household products. Harsh detergents and soap products can really aggravate the skin. I would suggest using only scent-free products. This can be annoying from time to time, because for me, I love smelly things, but alas my skin is more important.
  5. Most people with eczema have allergies. So, what you need to avoid most are your trigger allergens. I would definitely recommend undergoing allergy testing and get to the root of the allergy this will help to control and even prevent your flare ups from happening.
It’s a work in progress learning to manage my eczema and some days it gets the best of me, but I refuse to let it take over my life! If you have any eczema remedies or therapies I’m open to suggestions and I will try almost anything.
This post was written by WIFH’s Patient Concierge Annabelle Gastellum.

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