What is eczema? How does dry skin issues happen?
With eczema, it feels like your skin has a life of its own. Without warning, the skin can begin to itch and redden, and there can be few options to relieve it. Eczema doesn’t always have a clear trigger. Even if allergens and triggering circumstances are known, there is no fast or easy way to reduce the discomfort or visible signs.
The signs of eczema differ from person to person. There are a wide range of symptoms, ranging from intense rash, acute itching to dry patches. Chronic eczema flare-ups can alter one’s entire lifestyle. Mornings may begin with an assessment of the state of the skin, and impact decisions like whether to exercise, what to wear, what to eat, and whether to go out in public.
How Can Eczema Be Managed?
Although each person has unique levels of severity and experiences different triggers, some products or circumstances are highly likely to worsen eczema, no matter where you are at.
Eczema can be managed, becoming minimally invasive to your day, or be mismanaged, worsening until flare-ups occur more frequently, reducing one’s quality of life. Whether your eczema is mild or is a chronic condition, take note of these common aggravators, in order to avoid more flare-ups.
5 aggravating triggers for eczema
- Parched skin and dry climates. When your skin becomes too dry, it’s more susceptible to an eczema flare-up. The skin is more prone to irritation upon becoming brittle, scaly, rough or tight and this ignites the downward spiral of an eczema flare-up. Observe when the skin seems to become irritable due to a lack of environmental moisture. With the help of a humidifer and frequent moisturization, you can manage and prevent unwanted flare-ups.
- Fragrances, detergents, and other natural triggers. Healthy skin maintains a slightly acidic pH, and has a layer of sebum to protect it and lock in moisture. Fragrances, conventional hand and dish soaps, detergents, bubble baths and other household care items can become triggers! We broke down the reasons why you should avoid detergent in a previous blog post. It’s also important to remember that not all natural fragrances are a good alternative. You can avoid all added fragrances to reduce the chance of irritation.
- Stress. It’s common to think of stress as coming from people and circumstances around us, but stress is also what’s going on inside—lack of sleep, eating poorly, or negative thought patterns. Eczema’s chronic nature may create a ‘stress cycle’ in which thinking about eczema itself brings stress, which in turn creates more intense bouts of eczema. Trying too hard to avoid stress can be stressful too! Become acquainted with ways that you can reduce stress quickly or mitigate prolonged periods of stress in the mind or body. This can take massive reflection or lifestyle changes. Yet, a change in the big picture and overall pattern of stress in your life, may be just the cure for eczema.
- The wrong fabrics or clothing. Skin that is suffering from eczema is already sensitive. Wool, synthetic fabrics, or fabrics that trap moisture without breathability can stress out the skin. Wearing clothes that are too warm, or cause sweat to get trapped in elbow creases, armpits and the neck is often the start to eczema—especially in hot and humid climates. Opt for sweat-wicking or breathable natural fabrics that allow the skin’s sweat glands to regulate your body temperature without covering your skin in sweat and inflaming sensitive skin.
- Steroid cream usage that causes Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW). Doctors regularly prescribe topical steroid creams for eczema. But corticosteroids don’t treat the underlying causes of eczema. They only reduce the symptoms. For some people, any pause in the usage of these creams results in massive flare-ups that are much worse than the ones the cream originally treated. Severe rashes, swelling, pain, a burning sensation and other symptoms might follow, and people may feel that they have no choice but maintain a dependency on steroid creams to manage their eczema.
Reduce inflammation, keep skin moisturized, and be gentle
To support your skin’s health through eczema or any other skin condition, aim to keep it regularly moisturized, and never suffocate the skin. Reduce inflammation by regularly feeding the skin with anitoxidant ingredients.
A body care routine designed specifically for your sensitive, eczema, contact dermatitis and atopic dry skin. Never irritating or drying, using only the cleanest, highest quality superfoods & other nutrients. The entire set is fragrance free without any masking agent or essential oils.