How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
There are steps you can take that may prevent eczema outbreaks:
- Establish a skin care routine, and follow your healthcare professionals recommendations for keeping your skin healthy.
- Wear gloves for jobs where you have to put your hands in water. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to absorb sweat, and wear gloves outside, especially during the winter months.
- Use mild soap for your bath or shower, and pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment immediately after drying your skin to help seal in the moisture. Reapply cream or ointment two to three times a day.
- Take baths or showers with tepid rather than hot.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Water helps to keep your skin moist.
- Try to avoid getting too hot and sweaty.
- Wear loose clothes made of cotton and other natural materials. Wash new clothing before wearing. Avoid wool.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Learn to recognize stress in your life and how to manage it. Regular aerobic exercise, hobbies and stress-management techniques, such as meditation or yoga, might help.
- Limit your exposure to known irritants and allergens.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing itchy areas of skin.
Eczema Symptoms & Signs
Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that is very common. There are different types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis, contact eczema, neurodermatitis, allergic contact eczema, and others.
Symptoms, signs, and severity can depend upon the exact type of eczema that is present. The location of the skin inflammation also varies according to the type and cause of eczema. Signs and symptoms associated with eczema include patches of chronically itchy, dry, thickened skin, usually on the hands, neck, face, and legs, inner creases of the knees and elbows. If the irritated areas are scratched, dry patches of skin and open sores with crusts may develop and may become infected.
Almost all patients with eczema complain of itching. Since the appearance of most types of eczema is similar, elevated plaques of red, bumpy skin, the distribution of the eruption can be of great help in distinguishing one type from another. For example, stasis dermatitis occurs most often on the lower leg while atopic dermatitis occurs in the front of the elbow and behind the knee.
What If None Of That Works
If all else fails, its time to head to the dermatologist. Schedule a consult with a board-certified dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis, Shah says. If your dermatologist does end up saying that OTC products simply wont cut it for your complexion concerns, theyll be able to prescribe you a treatment on the spot, navigating you one step closer to the redness- and irritation-free complexion of your dreams.
Also Check: Best Diaper Rash Cream For Eczema
Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
What Causes Eczema On My Lips
There are several causes of eczema on your lips. Here are some of them:
The environment. Sometimes, things in the environment that you come into contact with, like the wind, can irritate your lips. Also, if you’re outdoors often and have fair skin, you could get eczema on your lips from the sun. If this happens, parts of your lips might feel like sandpaper. Youâre most likely to get this condition if youâre between your 40s and late 80s. If your work involves a lot of outdoor time, like if youâre a farmer or fisherman, your risk will be higher.
Foods and other products. Itâs also possible that a product youâre using, like your makeup, is causing eczema on your lips. Some lipsticks have ingredients, like nickel, that can irritate your lips. Oral health products, like mouthwash and toothpaste, can be irritants, too. Some ingredients, especially flavorings, can cause a reaction. If your lips are irritated after you eat a particular food, for example eggs or shellfish, you might be having an allergic reaction.
Behaviors. Your lips have a natural, oily film that helps them stay moist. When you lick your lips too often, youâre taking away that film, which causes your lips to become dry and cracked. Using tobacco can irritate your lips as well.
An underlying medical issue. If youâre not getting enough of a nutrient, like vitamin B12 or iron, that can affect your lips. Conditions that suppress your immune system, like diabetes or HIV, can also irritate your lips.
You May Like: Can Eczema Look Like A Rash
Living With Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema can flare up when you are under stress. Learn how to recognize and cope with stress. Stress reduction techniques can help. Changing your activities to reduce daily stress can also be helpful.
The area where you had the eczema may easily get irritated again, so it needs special care. Continue to follow the tips provided here even after your skin has healed.
What Is The Best Treatment For Eczema
Theres no magical medication that willpoof!cure eczema. While research has shown that nearly 75% of kids are free of eczema by the time they turn 16, its a chronic condition with no guarantee that you will grow out of it. For decades, the main treatment was over-the-counter and prescription steroid creams, which, if used for long periods of time , could cause side effects including skin thinning, cataracts and glaucoma.
But in the last decade, more treatments have become available, especially for severe, hard-to-treat cases. Heres what works:
You May Like: Causes Of Eczema In Infants
Living With Atopic Dermatitis
The following steps can help manage atopic dermatitis:
- Avoid triggers
- Take brief baths or showers using lukewarm water.
- Practice good skin care.
- Dont use harsh soaps. Ask your healthcare provider to recommend a brand.
- Dress in light clothes. Sweating can make atopic dermatitis worse.
- Use a good moisturizer at least once a day. Ask your healthcare provider to recommend a brand.
- Avoid scratching the affected area.
- Minimize stress.
- Make lifestyle changes that prevent flare-ups.
- Avoid skin products that have fragrances and dyes
The Best Ways To Cope With Eczema On Your Face According To Dermatologists
Eczema is a skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body, leading to itchy, red patches of skin that may become cracked or have blisters. The condition is frustrating wherever it occurs, whether on the arms, back, or hands. But eczema can be especially painful and debilitating when it appears on the face. Take it from social media star and fitness expert Carys Gray, who bravely last February to convey how serious an eczema flare-up on the face can be. Gray’s photo showed a side-by-side comparison of her skin on a “normal” day versus how it looks in the middle of a bad flare.
A post shared by Carys Gray || Cardiff, UK on Feb 15, 2017 at 7:57am PST
“When my eczema isnt under control, its very blotchy, sore, and I cant wear any makeup,” Gray told her followers. She added that she hoped her photo would act as a reminder that things aren’t always what they seem on social media.
In a more recent post, the Instagram star shared another side-by-side photo of her face before and during an eczema flare.
“Eczema is such a small part of my life and I shouldn’t allow it to control me,” she wrote.
Experts say that soothing and concealing eczema on the face can be a challenge, since the skin on this area of the body is often very delicate.
Recommended Reading: Sunscreen For Kids With Eczema
An Eye For Warning Signs Can Save Your Eyesight
If you have AD, its important to play close attention to your eyes. When an eye problem lasts more than a few days, make an appointment to see your dermatologist or eye doctor.
You should also have eye exams as often as your eye doctor recommends. Ophthalmologists are the experts at diagnosing eye disease. Caught early, the eye diseases linked to AD are highly treatable.
ReferencesHeiting G. Eye problems and diseases. AllAboutVision.com. Website last accessed January 31, 2018.
Leung DYM, Eichenfield LF, et al. Atopic dermatitis. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatricks dermatology in general medicine. McGraw Hill Medical, USA, 2008:152.
Thyssen JP, Toft PB, et al. Incidence, prevalence, and risk of selected ocular disease in adults with atopic dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 77:280-6.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
Types Of Skin Conditions That Cause Eczema
There are at least 11 distinct types of skin conditions that produce eczema. In order to develop a rational treatment plan, it is important to distinguish them. This is often not easy.
Recommended Reading: What Hand Soap Is Good For Eczema
What Causes Atopic Dermatitis
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known. It runs in families, which suggests a genetic link. Its also linked to asthma and allergies. There is likely an alteration of the proteins in the skin that leads to atopic dermatitis.
Certain triggers can make atopic dermatitis worse. For example, stress, hot or cold temperature, dry conditions, certain fabrics, or detergents can cause a flare-up.
Treatment For Eye Complications Linked To Eczema
Never use any of these on the eye area without consulting a doctor, because, as research published in 2017 in the Journal of Current Glaucoma Practice suggests, the use of topical steroids may be associated with glaucoma, probably from the cream seeping into the eyes.
In some cases, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend treatment by an ophthalmologist.
Anytime inflamed eyes and eyelids are associated with decreased vision, an ophthalmologist should be brought in as part of the evaluation team, Seitzman says. When steroids are used around and in the eyes, it is very important for an ophthalmologist to follow along so that eye pressure can be monitored. Steroids can affect the eyes in several ways, and monitoring for these side effects requires specialized tools to measure and visualize eye health.
Ultimately, while eczema of the skin around the eyes can be challenging to control, with proper treatment it can be managed and you can protect your vision.
Also Check: Is Beeswax Good For Eczema
How Do You Determine The Cause Of The Allergy
You will first need to identify the trigger for the contact allergy in order to eliminate it from your daily routine. Although the cause may be obvious, it is still best to consult a doctor, as you may need to look back and explore your past activities to find the cause .
Your doctor will be able to identify more elusive triggers by asking detailed questions and conducting allergy tests. The allergologist will also be able to advise on what you should avoid, as an allergen can be found in several different products or objects.
What about a photoallergy?
Some contact allergies are triggered by the presence of a product in combination with sun exposure! More specifically, exposure to certain UV rays can cause an allergic reaction to a product in contact with the skin. Naturally, the face is exposed to the suns rays and is thus more susceptible.
In the case of photoallergic eczema, the most common causes are medicines and sunscreen.
Keeping Eyes Safe From Eczema
Notify your doctor as soon as symptoms begin, says Dr. Kormeili. Be prepared for the doctor to examine your eyes, and ask when the symptoms began and if anything in particular may have caused the flare-up.
Often, but not always, people with eczema have known triggers to their flares, Seitzman says. Sometimes the trigger can be certain seasons or sometimes certain chemicals or other irritants. It is good to avoid contact with known triggering agents. Sometimes specialized patch testing can help reveal which triggers to avoid.
Dr. Rieder also advises keeping skin clean and moisturized. Cleanse with hydrating cleansers, and moisturize with hypoallergenic ointments or creams around the eyes regularly, he says.
Its important to avoid rubbing and scratching the area to reduce the chance of skin infections and eye problems, Seitzman says. Keep fingernails short to prevent extra damage if scratching does occur.
“Cool compresses are good tools to minimize the itching sensation, Seitzman adds. Antihistamine drops are good to minimize ocular itching.
Don’t Miss: Best Cream For Eczema On Neck
Importance Of Eczema Treatment
There is growing evidence that allergens introduced into the body through the skin can lead to the later development of food allergy, asthma and hay fever. Aggressively treating eczema in children and taking steps to restore normal skin barrier function may lower the risk of future development of these conditions.
Shampoos And Other Hair Products
If your scalp condition isnt the result of an avoidable irritant or environmental trigger, dandruff shampoo may be beneficial.
Look for shampoos containing:
- selenium sulfide
Try using a dandruff shampoo every other time you wash your hair, and follow the labels directions. Use regular shampoo on the days you skip the dandruff shampoo.
These products can be drying to the hair. To combat this, concentrate the dandruff shampoo to the scalp area only. If your hair still needs washing, follow up with regular shampoo.
Keep in mind that coal tar may darken lighter hair colors. Coal tar can also make your scalp more sensitive to the sun, so wear a hat when outside.
Once the symptoms have cleared, you may be able to cut back to using the dandruff shampoo just once or twice a week.
Read Also: How To Use Honey For Eczema
What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
The conversation with your healthcare provider will need to cover a lot of information. Be sure to be specific about your symptoms.
- Where is your eczema located?
- What have you used to try to treat your eczema?
- What medical conditions do you have? Allergies? Asthma?
- Is there a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms of eczema?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed that something triggers or worsens your eczema? Soaps? Detergents? Cigarette smoke?
- Is there so much itchiness that you have trouble sleeping? Working? Living your normal life?
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Eczema
- How can you tell that I have eczema?
- If I dont have eczema, what other skin condition might I have?
- Is there a specific brand of moisturizer that you recommend?
- Is there a prescription cream that you can prescribe?
- How often should I see a dermatologist regarding my eczema?
- What soaps, lotions, makeup, etc. should I avoid?
- What medications do you recommend?
- What at-home treatments do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Eczema is very normal, very common, and very, very uncomfortable. It can affect your quality of life. At its worse it can keep you from sleeping, distract you and make you feel self-conscious in public. See your dermatologist or other healthcare provider as soon as you start to see signs of it. Explore at-home remedies and prescribed treatments.
Youre not alone! 15% to 20% of people experience eczema or another type of dermatitis at some point in their lives.
Also Check: Best Body Wash For Acne And Eczema
Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .