If you have ever experienced an itchy, red patch on your skin, it’s possible you had a case of eczema. Over 30 million Americans have some type of eczema! Some cases are much worse than others, but no matter the severity, eczema is an annoyance and can sometimes be downright painful.

The basic symptoms of eczema are dry, red and itchy skin. In more severe cases there may be some skin discoloration, the skin can become scaly, swollen and even oozing. Unfortunately, there is no permanent treatment for eczema because people can get flare ups from different environmental factors. Whereas one person may be affected by laundry detergent, someone else may flare up from something they ate. Therefore, pinpointing a cure for all, is somewhat challenging.

The good news is flare ups can be managed and even prevented in some cases and with October being eczema awareness month, we thought it might be helpful to share some of the top “must-dos” from our Asheville dermatology office to practice daily to help prevent flare-ups!

  1. Be aware: Know what triggers your eczema. Is it allergens in the air, some kind of household product you are using at home like your soap or detergent or possibly something you are eating? If you know what triggers your flare ups then hopefully you can take certain measures to prevent them!
  1. Practice skin care basics: Those with eczema have more sensitive skin so making sure the skin care products you use are free of harsh products such as dyes and fragrances can help reduce inflammation. Showering with luke warm water can make sure your skin doesn’t dry out and try patting your skin dry instead of rubbing.
  1. MOISTURIZE, we can’t say it enough: Keeping your skin moisturized can help keep you eczema- free and overall soothe your dry and irritated skin. Always moisturize after showering and reapply as much as you feel is needed throughout the day.
  1. Be mindful of your wardrobe: Certain fabrics can be irritating to the skin such as wool, which is only going to make you scratch even more! Try wearing soft clothes such as 100% cotton or a cotton blend. We promise you’ll be more comfortable.
  1. Keep the temperature even keel: Some eczema sufferers can get flare ups from rapid changes in temperature. Making sure to keep your body temp consistent can help. Use your air conditioner during hot weather and use a humidifier during the cooler, dry weather. Also, after working out our body temp is much higher, jump in a cold shower right after to regulate and prevent flare ups.
  1. Keep your stress at bay: Unfortunately, stress can cause flare ups in some eczema sufferers. This one can be a bit harder to control especially if the stress is caused by external factors. However, try to instill a routine calming part of your day like meditating, yoga, reading or exercising. If you are stressing over something you cannot control, sometimes changing our mindset can help.

If you are still unable to prevent flare ups by practicing these tips, make sure to see your dermatologist and in some cases topical creams might be necessary to reduce inflammation.

Contact us today if you need an Asheville dermatologist!