There are many triggers that may cause an eczema flare-up, below are some common eczema triggers and ways to mitigate eczema flare-ups from those triggers.
Atopic Dermatitis, or Eczema, is considered a chronic condition, though signs of eczema may subside from time to time, it will often come back. Even those that had eczema as a child and grew out of it as they reached adulthood, have seen it re-appear later in life.
There are many factors that may trigger an eczema flare-up and these triggers can differ from person to person. In order to minimize eczema, it is important to note what triggers a flare-up personally and to take preventative measures in day-to-day life. Some preventative steps to take if you have atopic dermatitis include keeping the skin moisturized, especially after showers, and avoiding harsh soaps, chemicals, or fragrances in body washes, laundry detergent, and other household products.
Some common causes for eczema flare-ups include:
Cold and Dry
Skin tends to become drier in the winter which can trigger eczema breakouts. During this time of year, it becomes especially important to keep skin moisturized. Use of a humidifier in your home can also be useful to prevent the air from becoming too dry.
Sun and Heat
On the reverse, eczema can also be triggered by heat and sweat. In order to minimize the risk of eczema flare-ups, keep skin cool and shaded. Sunburns can also lead to an eczema flare-up, so it is important to cover the skin or use gentle sunscreen to reduce risk.
When exercising, do not overdress, and try to schedule your workouts during the coolest part of the day. Take breaks if needed, stay hydrated, and pat skin dry when it becomes sweaty.
Likewise, hot water itself can irritate the skin and cause an eczema flare-up. Be careful not to bathe in water that is too hot and apply moisturizer to damp skin after bathing.
Fragrance and Soaps
Fragrances in personal hygiene items, cleaning products, and home items can increase the likelihood of a reaction. Use gentle fragrance-free items with a neutral ph on your person and in your household and avoid the use of air fresheners, perfume, and other scented items that can irritate the skin.
Dust, Allergens, & Chemicals
Your home itself can include many triggers for eczema flare-ups. Keep your home, especially carpets and fabrics, clean using fragrance-free cleaners that do not contain chemicals. Make use of gloves when using cleaners for added skin protection.
Allergens can also play a factor in eczema symptoms, this includes air allergens as well as food. Keeping your home clean will help with air allergens, dust, and pollutants. For food sensitivities take note of any foods you suspect may be triggering eczema. Be sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Breathable fabrics are best to help reduce flare-ups, cotton is typically best, some synthetic materials can increase sweat such as polyester, nylon, and rayon. And other fabrics such as wool or mohair can be irritating to the skin due to rough prickly texture. What you wash your clothing in it also important, like all soaps and cleaning products, use fragrance-free detergent and make sure the detergent is completely rinsed out of clothing before wearing.
These are just some of the common triggers for an eczema flare-up. By minimizing triggers this can help improve eczema symptoms and your quality of life. When flare-ups do occur, it is important to treat them quickly to prevent the rash from spreading and getting worse.
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