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My Eczema Keeps Flaring Up

What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema

What Causes Eczema to Flare Up – DERMCLASS

Your healthcare provider might ask the following questions to learn more about your symptoms, including:

  • Where do you have symptoms on your body?
  • Did you use any products to try to treat your skin?
  • Do you have any medical conditions like allergies or asthma?
  • Do you have a history of eczema in your family?
  • How long have you had symptoms?
  • Do you take hot showers?
  • Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
  • Have you noticed something triggers or worsens your symptoms like certain soaps or detergents?
  • Do your symptoms affect your ability to sleep or perform your daily activities?

Know Your Childs Eczema Triggers

Regardless of the type of eczema your child has, there are certain things and environmental conditions that make it suddenly appear where it wasnt before or make a relatively calm patch suddenly worse. These are called flare-ups.

Things that trigger eczema flare-ups are not the same for everyone, but the most common are stressful situations, dry air, and sweat. Keep in mind that your childs triggers may change over the years, so be on the lookout for new challenges as they grow. Here are some triggers to watch for:

Its That Time Of The Month

Bad moods. Raging headaches. Now eczema? The drop in estrogen right before your period can cause skin drynessand, in turn, eczema symptoms. Experts have dubbed this cyclical itch estrogen dermatitis. Pregnancy can induce the condition, too: Your immune system is hyper-focused on fighting off allergens and irritants in an effort to keep the fetus safe, which can bring on the inflammatory immune response that triggers eczema. If you have pregnancy-induced eczema, stick to basic, fragrance-free hydrating products, and run anything new by your gyno, says Dr. Gohara.

Read Also: What Is The Best Treatment For Eczema On The Scalp

Most Importantly Avoid Scratching

We know, we know . . . Eczema is itchy and you want to scratch. But listen. Even if scratching makes you feel momentarily better, you need to resist the urge to do it! Scratching does nothing to help, and it will even make things worse by exacerbating any damage or redness youre experiencing. In fact, it will only make you feel itchier.

Scratching your eczema creates a vicious cycle of itch, scratch, rash. You feel itchy, you scratch, you get temporary relief, but the rashes only get worse. In other words, scratching does the opposite of what youre looking to achieve.

Pro tip

Instead of scratching, its better to rub or pinch your skin.

Youre Using New Skincare Products

Eczema Flare

Switching body washes, using a new anti-ager, or even sampling a perfume can lead to eczema. If you deviate from your usual gentle skincare routine, you may get a flare-up, says Dr. Gohara. Remember, if you have eczema, irritants and allergens easily slip through skins surface. The biggest offenders can include fragrances, dyes, preservatives, harsh soaps, skin-exfoliating acids , and retinol, which can all aggravate and further parch your delicate skin, in turn activating the immune response that leads to eczema patches. Try any new product on the inside of your arm before slathering it all over.

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How Do I Stop Eczema Flare

You can do various things to manage your eczema flares when the weather is hot. Here are some tips that may help.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing in natural, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Avoid clothes with rough, scratchy fibers.
  • Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated. Stay cool.
  • Keep your lotions and gels in the fridge to help keep your skin cool.
  • Shower and moisturize your skin after swimming.
  • Use cooling towels or a cold washcloth to wipe away sweat periodically.
  • Keep places like the bends of the elbows and backs of the knees dry .
  • Take cold showers .
  • Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers.
  • Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it after a shower.
  • Use a moisturizer every day to protect your skin. This acts as a barrier against environmental triggers.
  • Avoid doing strenuous activities outdoors during the daytime. Stick to going outdoors in the early mornings and evenings when its cooler.
  • Avoid rapid changes in temperature.
  • Use sunscreen every day, preferably mineral sunscreen.
  • Try to identify allergic triggers for your eczema and avoid them.

If lifestyle modifications and home treatments are not working and you are suffering from severe eczema flares in the summer season, its a good idea to consult a dermatologist. They can help you figure out allergens and give you tips on how best to protect your skin.

How Can I Manage And Ease Eczema Flare

Not all treatments work for everyone with eczema, but its important not to give up hope. Depending on the severity, treatments may include lifestyle changes, prescription medication and over-the-counter remedies.

Here are some options you can try to help manage your symptoms during an eczema flare-up:

Also Check: What Is The Best Treatment For Eczema On Hands

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Probiotics Are A Great Addition For The Gut

Using a probiotic was like finding the secret sauce for the best tasting burger! Eczema is an immune system reaction so finding a probiotic can very much help! They can help by providing what is missing for healthy digestion to your gut. Because lets, face it, we all all not perfect eaters and these probiotics help with that. Other treatments in conjunction with probiotics can provide the BEST benefits for your eczema flare ups.

Where do you start when looking for a probiotic you ask? Rebecca Bonneteau N.D is a expert in this area and it is also where I found a wealth of information.

So by putting these tips in practice, it helped us determine what and how we could deal with a flare-up and or stop it from happening altogether! AND YOU CAN TOO when you have these 5 step by step tips for reducing your eczema flare-ups.

For more information on how to live the life you love visit me at The Jeeper Mom.

What Causes Eczema To Start

Managing eczema: 4 top tips for a healthy skin microbiome | La Roche Posay

The first signs of eczema are itchiness, dry skin and a rash. These signs indicate that you came into contact with a trigger in your environment that caused your symptoms to start or flare up. Identifying environmental triggers and avoiding them can reduce your risk of an eczema flare-up in your future.

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Winter Weather Brings The Cold

Winter, which is the coldest and driest season of the year across the globe, poses many additional challenges for people with eczema. Moving from extremely cold and windy winter conditions outside to the warm and heated indoor temperatures adds a ton of additional stress to our skin and for people with eczema, this can be enough to cause a flare-up.

In addition to the dry and cold weather, it is also common for people to develop a vitamin D deficiency during the winter due to less exposure to sunlight. While there is still more research needed to be done to prove the connection between vitamin D and eczema flare-ups, it is known that having low vitamin D levels has an impact on the overall health and function of our skin.

In a study conducted from August – October in 2019, it was found that 30% of participants from around the world reported that, in the past month, their eczema had resulted in a significant negative impact on their health and wellbeing.

Showing how detrimental this disease can be during more favourable weather conditions associated with the fall or spring seasons, additional stress from extra cold weather leads to increased flare-ups and worse symptom severity in the majority of people living with eczema.

Q: Why Do These Conditions Typically Flare Up In The Winter

Cold, dry conditions sap the natural moisture from your skin, and dry skin can cause flares, especially with eczema. People also tend to take hot baths or showers in the winter, which further dries out the skin and causes more itching, since hot water can damage the outer layer of skin that holds in moisture.

Dry skin can trigger a psoriasis flare, as can reduced exposure to sunlight. In the winter, most people get very little natural exposure to UV light.

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Dry skin can also trigger a psoriasis flare, as can reduced exposure to sunlight. In the winter, most people get very little natural exposure to UV light because they spend so much time indoors or with skin covered up with warm clothing.

To help with this, psoriasis patients can consider , a treatment that essentially involves using a light box to expose skin to controlled amounts of UV light in order to dampen inflammation.

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Eczema Throughout The Year

Even when the extreme cold weather fades away with the beginning of spring, it doesnt necessarily mean that people with eczema are 100% in the clear for experiencing severe flare-ups. As we all know, April showers bring May flowers and a massive increase in pollen and other allergens. This increase in environmental irritants is not great for anyone already struggling with the health of their skin, making the transition period from winter into spring another common time for eczema flare-ups.

So while it may seem like there are more times of the year when the weather is trying to induce eczema flare-ups than not, there are ways to minimize your risk factors even during the most extreme environmental conditions.

Choose A Physical Sunscreen

This is only on one hand and has been diagnosed as eczema but keeps ...

Bard says choosing a physical sunscreen versus a chemical one is the best option for people with eczema. Some chemical sunscreens can be irritating to sensitive skin, she says. According to Piedmont Healthcare, physical sunscreens are also more moisturizing. Look for the words physical or mineral on the bottle and ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

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How Is Eczema Treated

There is no cure for eczema. But treatments can help with symptoms. The doctor will recommend different treatments based on how severe the symptoms are, the child’s age, and where the rash is. Some are “topical” and applied to the skin. Others are taken by mouth.

Topical moisturizers. Skin should be moisturized often . The best time to apply moisturizer is after a bath or shower, with the skin patted dry gently. Ointments and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.

Topical corticosteroids, also called cortisone or steroid creams or ointments. These ease skin inflammation. It’s important not to use a topical steroid prescribed for someone else. These creams and ointments vary in strength, and using the wrong strength in sensitive areas can damage the skin, especially in infants.

Other topical anti-inflammatory medicines. These include medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts.

Medicine taken by mouth. These can include antihistamines to help itchy kids sleep better at night, antibiotics if a rash gets infected by bacteria, and corticosteroid pills or other medicines that suppress the immune system.

Other types of treatment can include:

  • wet wraps: damp cloths placed on irritated areas of skin
  • bleach baths: bathing in very diluted bleach solution

Soothing Eczema Flare Ups

Taking a shower: Soaking in water or showering is rated among the best Eczema therapies provided you do it properly.

Bathe/shower using lukewarm water and for between 5-10 minutes. You also want to avoid harsh soaps and should select a gentle cleanser instead. Still, you may add beneficial ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, or even oatmeal to your bathing water to tackle specific Eczema symptoms.

Finally, dont scrub the affected skin and remember to moisturize immediately after you finish bathing.

Bandaging: If you can, cover the affected spots with bandages. This again helps shield the skin and hinder scratching.

Using Humidifier therapy: A humidifier improves moisture in the air indoors and may be naturally helpful in easing itching and flaking on your skin.

Changing your clothing: Get out of rough, tight, or scratchy clothing and slip into comfy, smooth-textured clothing. The itchiness will soon start fading.

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Food Allergy And Eczema Flare

  • Food allergies are a factor in 30% of young children with severe eczema. This factor is mainly seen in babies.
  • The main allergic foods are cow’s milk and eggs.
  • The main symptoms are increased skin redness and itching. Some parents report these symptoms start during or soon after the feeding.
  • The eczema becomes easier to control if you avoid the allergic food.

Use Natural Skincare Products Designed For Sensitive Skin

10 tips to HEAL YOUR ECZEMA| Dr Dray

Harsh, chemical ingredients can do a number on sensitive skin. And whether youre trying to calm an eczema flare-up or are simply on the daily quest to prevent them, you need to avoid irritating your skin.

No matter what type of skincare products you intend to use, we recommend treating your skin to products that are made specifically for sensitive skin and include gentle ingredients.

Stay away from parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, sulfates, and chemical sunscreen ingredients .

That said, keep in mind that you know your skin best, and its always a good idea to do a patch test before slathering something all over your face or body!

For natural skincare products designed with you in mind, check out Babo Botanicals eczema and sensitive skin line.

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What Does Eczema Look And Feel Like

Eczema flare-ups can affect any part of the skin, but the areas most commonly affected tend to be the face, the hands and the sensitive areas of skin around the joints, such as the back of the knees or inside the elbows.

Typically, eczema appears as patches of itchy and cracked, scaly or peeling skin that can feel rough to the touch, explains Dr McClymont. Sometimes the skin may also appear blistered, weepy, thickened, crusty, bumpy or swollen.

Medications And Prescribed Treatment

A variety of over-the-counter medications, like oral antihistamines and anti-itch cream can help manage the symptoms of a flare-up.

Symptoms of burning or inflammation can also be managed with acetaminophen , or an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen .

In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe an oral corticosteroid , or corticosteroid creams or ointments.

Topical steroids or topical corticosteroids are some of the most commonly prescribed treatments for eczema, as they can reduce inflammation and itching and allow the skin to repair and heal.

These creams vary by strength and should only be used on the affected area.

There is evidence that immunosuppressant drugs may also help manage eczema, which often occurs as a result of immune system overload.

Oral prescription options include azathioprine, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate mofetil.

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Eczema And Mental Health

Similar to immune system dysfunction, mental health conditions dont cause eczema, but they can make them worse. Stress in particular can cause eczema triggers. The reason stress may cause eczema flare-ups is because when your body encounters a stressful situation, theres usually a physical reaction. Usually, this physical reaction includes inflammation in the body, one the known causes of eczema.

Other mental health conditions can also increase inflammation and may cause eczema, such as depression or PTSD. However, there are fewer studies on the relationship between these conditions and eczema than on the connection between eczema and stress.

Using Products With Fragrances Chemicals Or Preservatives

Tips For Eczema Flare Ups

Personal care products are definitely a major trigger for patients with eczema, says Silverberg. Thats because fragrances, preservatives, surfactants, and other ingredients in these and other items, such as laundry detergents, can trigger itching and irritation that can make flares worse.

Expert tip: Remember, clean products, which I recommend to patients, doesnt automatically mean natural or organic, because sometimes those contain essential oils and other ingredients that may be naturally derived but can also be quite harsh to the skin, says Silverberg.

Make sure to avoid common skin care additives that are known to irritate eczema, and look for products that are fragrance-free, dye-free, and use as few ingredients possible, he adds.

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Bathe Or Shower Daily To Keep Skin Clean

Taking a bath or shower each day can help clear the skin of bacteria as well as sweat and dust that may have accumulated over the course of the day. A study published in Asia Pacific Allergy found that children with eczema saw their symptoms improve as a result of bathing daily plus moisturizing immediately afterward in the summer months. Always be sure to wash with a mild soap that doesnt include dyes or fragrance, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Outlook For People With Eczema

Eczema is a chronic disease, so you will likely always have flares. You can help control it by learning to avoid triggers, treating it as your healthcare provider recommends, and keeping your skin well-moisturized.

Eczema can make you more prone to skin damage, infections, or scars. It can also be harder to control if it started when you were very young, other people in your family have it, or it’s severe.

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How To Prevent Flares

While there is no medication currently available that cures eczema, there are a few ways to prevent and treat flares.

First, knowing your personal eczema triggers can help you make informed choices around diet and activities. Keeping a journal may help you connect certain foods, weather, products, or activities to flares.

Moisturizing your skin as much as possible can also help, as can bathing after exercising or other high-energy activities.

If your eczema is more severe, your doctor may have prescribed topical and/or immunosuppressant medications to reduce itching. Using these medicines as prescribed can help prevent eczema flares.

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