Causes Of Eczema Flare
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, What causes an eczema flare-up? The triggers that affect one person might not affect another.
The good news is that doctors have identified several common triggers. By using these known triggers as a starting point, you can determine what causes your own eczema flare-ups and experience more good skin days.
Lets take a look at some of them below.
Dermatitis In Children The Dos And Donts:
Atopic Dermatitis can be exceptionally difficult and uncomfortable for children. Parents must have a sound comprehension of the condition to flawlessly handle it. There are sure tips that can help the parents including:
- Free and delicate apparel that might assist with reducing tingling caused by dermatitis,
- Keep your kids fingernails short to abstain from scratching,
- Children should try not to become overheated as it can prompt flareups,
- To add dampness to the skin, children should be adequately hydrated,
- Distinguish the triggers and eliminate them from your family to stay away from flareups,
- Children should wash up with neutral water, and
- Stress is a serious area of strength for dermatitis: Assist your kid with ways of dealing with the pressure. This might incorporate various activities, profound breathing, or conversing with a specialist.
Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
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Eczema And Immune System:
Eczema necessarily does not mean that your immune system is weak. It just suggests that the immune system is highly sensitive, meaning that it gets affected by even the minute things that are not a real hazard to it.
It is important to note that eczema flare-ups can affect people with healthy immune systems too.
How To Prevent Eczema Flare
The best way to prevent eczema flare-ups is to become familiar with your personal triggers so you can avoid any products, foods, or conditions that may cause eczema symptoms to flare up.
Some general tips include using mild, unscented soaps and developing a consistent bathing and moisturizing schedule.
Use moisturizers that work for you, especially on eczema-prone skin and areas of the body. For best results for long-term eczema, be sure to always use medications as prescribed.
When the weather changes and the air becomes more dry and cold, it can also be helpful to wear gloves to keep skin moisturized and prevent flare-ups.
Another good way to combat eczema flare-ups is to address stress, which is a common trigger.
Some wellness practices and systems, including yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation, have been shown to help manage emotional stress, as well as the nervous system in general.
Acupressure and massage can also help relieve symptoms and keep the general nervous system in check and inflammation at bay.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
- What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
- Do I need to take any other medicines?
- What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
- Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
- My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
- How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
- I have eczema. Will my children have it?
- How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
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.
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How To Prevent Eczema Flares
You can take steps to help ward off eczema flare-ups or shorten them. Managing eczema flares means doing detective work to identify triggers and taking care of your skin. Often there is a lag time between exposure to a trigger and the itch developing.
Here are some tips to help keep the itch at bay:
- Keep an eczema diary. When you feel a flare coming on, think about any potential triggers you’ve been exposed to within the last several days and note them. Over time, you may see some patterns.
- Stay moisturized. Dry skin and eczema go hand-in-hand.
- Get familiar with common triggers. Develop the habit of reading cosmetics, cleansing agents, and household products ingredient labels.
- Think seasonally. When the air is dry, such as during the winter or at altitude, think ahead and add additional moisturizer to your routine.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed
There is no specific test used to diagnose eczema. The doctor will look at the rash and ask about symptoms, the childs past health, and the familys health. If family members have any atopic conditions, thats an important clue.
The doctor will rule out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation, and might recommend that your child see a dermatologist or an allergist.
The doctor may ask you to ban some foods from your childs diet, switch detergents or soaps, or make other changes for a time to see if your child is reacting to something.
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At Home Remedies For Managing Eczema:
There are various options available to manage eczema flareups at home, these include:
- Moisturize your skin
- Use an anti-itch cream to soothe the itching
- Try avoiding scratching the lesion
- Take warm baths regularly
- Increase your water intake as it helps to moisten the skin and keeps dryness at bay
- Eat foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties
- Choose soaps that are mild and free of irritants
- Maintain your personal hygiene
Resist The Urge To Scratch
Scratching can make eczema worse and eventually lead to dry, leathery and thickened skin. It may also leave you vulnerable to infection since its easier for bacteria to get into cracked skin, says Dr McClymont. Keep kids fingernails short and try putting mittens on their hands at night. A doctor might recommend antihistamines for a short time, as some types are sedating and can help your child sleep.
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Q : How Can Skin Be Maintained And Protected Every Day
It is important to keep skin that is prone to eczema well moisturised every day:
- Moisturisers add moisture and form a barrier that protects the skin, so that it retains moisture. If the protective barrier of skin is damaged eczema frequently develops.
- Apply non-perfumed moisturiser to the face and body twice every day.
- Avoid moisturisers containing food proteins such as goat milk, wheatgerm and nut oils.
- After a bath or shower in lukewarm water, pat the skin dry and apply moisturiser.
- Use non-soap based wash or oil and avoid soap and bubbly products which dry out the skin.
- After swimming , rinse and apply moisturiser.
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.
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It All Starts In The Gut
When we eat greasy, fatty foods our bodies take a lot of time to cleanse, filter and absorb what we eat and when that food is not clean, healthy, and colorful-it shows up on our skin!
Being that skin is the LARGEST organ of our body, it takes A LOT for all the bad gunk to exit. And guess where all that bad gunk exits? OUR SKIN!
Thats why we have constipation, diarrhea and all that in between.
So by eating the colorful, healthy, whole nutrition, our bodies have a better time processing, filtering, and absorbing the foods or nutrients.
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.
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Switch To Moisturizing Self
As mentioned above, one of the best things you can do for your eczema is to moisturize your skin regularly. To help keep your skin hydrated, consider switching to self-care products specially formulated for dry or sensitive skin.
Use Oatmeal To Soothe Skin
Its true that oatmeal is a healthy, delicious option for breakfast, but its also a skin-soothing ingredient that can be helpful for itchy, inflamed skin! You may have heard about colloidal oatmeal, but if its still a bit of a mystery to you, read all about it here.
One easy way to take advantage of all that oatmeal offers eczema-prone skin is by having a relaxing soak in an oatmeal bath. And its easy! Read our article on how to make your own DIY oatmeal bath in no time.
You can also find colloidal oatmeal used as an ingredient in skincare products.
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Food Allergies And Eczema
Food allergies come as a result of irregular or abnormal immune system responses after eating certain foods.
The human body sees the food as a harmful substance and then initiates some reactions. You feel the responses as symptoms of eczema.
Some of these include symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, tingling in the mouth, coughing, and vomiting.
In a severe case of food allergy, anaphylaxis can occur. This is a life-threatening reaction where the throat swells and blocks the airway. Pretty scary, right?
Interestingly, food allergies occur more frequently among people with eczema. And investigation reveals that eczema patients often have food allergies.
Now, it is necessary to know that your body is different from someone else’s. This means that the cause of one persons eczema flare-up can be different from yours.
Discovering your food intolerance minimizes your issues with eczema. A good number of the common foods that cause eczema flare-up contain a substance called gluten.
Gluten is a proteinous substance found in foods like barley and wheat. Though its unclear exactly how gluten affects the skin, there is evidence that they are related.
A research study by American scientists shows the link between gluten and eczema.
It shows that gluten has the same effect on eczema flare-ups, as does eggs, nuts, and dairy products.
Below are common foods that cause eczema flare-ups:
Some Citrus Fruits
How The Change Of The Seasons May Affect Your Eczema Flare
For anyone who is living with eczema, they are more than aware of how unpleasant a flare-up can be. Causing incredibly itchy and dry skin all across the body, a persons eczema symptoms can range from mild irritation to profound discomfort and disability. And while every person has their own unique triggers that can lead to the onset of a flare-up, it appears that eczema may also be heavily impacted by the change of the seasons.
No matter where you live in the world, the changing of the seasons results in new average temperatures and weather. For those living with eczema, these changes are felt more viscerally, as their disease begins to flare up at the beginning of the cooler winter months. This phenomenon is so common that asteatotic eczema, one of the common forms of the disease, is often nicknamed the winters itch.
Because of the connection to the weather, many people living with eczema go through prolonged periods of disease dormancy during periods of mild weather. But, when we begin to transition into summer or winter , flare-ups become more frequent and severe. Looking to find a way to break the cycle of flare-ups with the start of a new season, many researchers are interested in finding ways to reduce the severity of eczema flare-ups caused by extreme weather.
So, why is this the case? Why does the weather have such a strong impact on the health of our skin, and what can people with eczema do to mitigate severe flare-ups as the seasons change?
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Moisturize Your Skin Frequently
Moisturizing your skin frequently is key to keeping eczema under control since dry skin can be a trigger. What does frequent moisturization mean? Apply lotion at least once a day .
If youre spending a lot of time outside in the cold or you live in a dry climate, moisturizing multiple times a day might be called for.
But the frequency with which you moisturize is not all that matters. Youll also need to think carefully about what youre putting on your skin. After all, the wrong lotion can irritate your skin which is, of course, the opposite of what youre trying to do!
Look for an ointment, cream, or lotion that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and designed for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Does baby lotion often fit the bill? You bet. And theres nothing wrong with using baby products on your own, adult skin!
We recommend a cream like Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Miracle Cream or a lotion such as Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion or Sensitive Baby Daily Hydra Baby Lotion.
These moisturizers contain natural ingredients that come straight from nature, like shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, chamomile, and coconut oil, just to name a few. And theyre free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, fragrance, and common allergens like gluten, soy, and dairy.
Thats a big yes to gentle, natural ingredients and no to questionable, chemical ingredients. This brings us to the next point.
Q : How Does Eczema Affect People Of Different Ages
Eczema is a chronic health problem that affects people of all ages, but is most common in babies :
- Infantile eczema occurs in around 20% of children under two years of age, and usually starts in the first six months of life. Infantile eczema usually improves significantly between the ages of two to five years.
- Childhood eczema may follow infantile eczema, or start from two to four years of age. Rashes and dryness are usually found in the creases of the elbows, behind the knees, across the ankles and may also involve the face, ears and neck. This form of eczema usually improves with age.
- Adult eczema is similar to that of older children with areas of very dry, itchy, reddened skin at the elbow creases, wrists, neck, ankles and behind the knees. It can cause rough, hard and thickened skin, which may also have weeping areas. Although eczema tends to improve in midlife, and is unusual in elderly people, it can occur at any age.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Keeping your body hydrated can help keep your skin hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. This will help moisturize your skin. Those eight glasses can include cups of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or your other favorite warm winter beverage.
Slice up lemons or other citrus fruits and add them to the water for a mild flavor.
Eczema And Food Sensitivity
There are a few key things that may cause an immune imbalance. The first is food sensitivity. Most of the medical community thinks food isnt related to eczema, but I find thats not true clinically. About 30 percent of eczema cases are connected to diet in some way. Wheat and dairy are the most common culprits, but nuts, soy, dairy and eggs are also common food sensitivities. To find out if food might be a trigger for you, I would suggest an elimination diet, where you cut out foods that are commonly associated with sensitivies for three weeks and then reintroduce them one by one, leaving at least 72 hours between each one to watch out for signs of a reaction.
Next, since the microflora in the gut is intricately tied to the immune system, I would recommend supplementing with probiotics and taking certain herbal medicines, which have antifungal or antibacterial properties to help balance the organisms in the digestive tract. You can also support your bodys natural elimination process with natural remedies, such as herbs for the liver, cranberries for the kidneys and fibre-filled chia or flaxseed for regular bowel movements. We would also talk about your sugar intake because sugar feeds immune-disrupting organisms in the gut.
Finally, we would discuss stress, which impacts the immune system, and I would work with you to develop a stress-management plan. For some people, exercise works best for others, it might be counselling, prayer or practicingyoga.
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