Reasons Hand Eczema Flares Up
Hand eczema flare-ups are beyond annoying. It can cause redness, itching, cracks, blisters, and dryness to the point of peeling and flaking, but thats not all. During a bad flare-up of hand eczema, fingers can swell and hands can hurt. Without proper treatment, hand eczema can become chronic. A severe case could even make it hard to button your clothes or use a computer.
So, what causes flares? Here are five of the most common triggers and tips for avoiding them.
Doctors Tips For Managing Eczema Flare
- Wed, Aug 18, 2021
Dealing with eczema can be incredibly difficult and unpredictable. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that makes your skin red, dry, itchy, cracked and sore.
The condition is more common than you might think, affecting an estimated 1 in every 5 children and up to 3% of adults worldwide.
A flare-up occurs when eczema symptoms worsen, says Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP at Livi. For some people, theres no apparent reason, but individual triggers may include soaps and detergents, cold and dry weather, allergies, or infections.
How To Avoid An Eczema Flare
If youre looking forward to gardening this summer, but youre worried about an eczema flare-up, this post is for you!
Gardening can help you live a healthier, more stress-free life, but not if it causes skin problems. Unfortunately, for those with eczema, thats often what happens.
Does that mean you have to avoid gardening and give up all its benefits just because you have this skin condition? We certainly hope not! Below, we provide several tips that can help you enjoy your garden, flare-free.
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Find An Eczema Support Group
Even though eczema is a common disease affecting more than 31 million Americans, many people say they are too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. Oftentimes, they report covering up their skin and thus go through life not knowing if the person standing in line next to them also has eczema. Its human nature to want to talk with others who have the same problem and know what youre going through. The National Eczema Association can help. Connect with us on and to discuss the latest news and research with others in the eczema community. Join Eczema Wise, an online support group where people living with or affected by eczema can post discussion topics, exchange ideas and make new friends.
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.
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The Benefits Of Exercise
The benefits of exercise on the body and mind from controlling weight to maintaining fitness, reducing stress, and releasing endorphins outweigh the time and care needed to prepare.
The message is clear: dont stop exercising because of eczema, but you might have to adapt what you do or compromise on the frequency and intensity.
There are clear links between eczema and stress. Exercise can be used as a tool to release stress and improve mood, which in turn benefits the skin.
Skin: Condition: Infomation Antibiotics And Antiseptics
If your AE becomes wet, weepy and crusted, it may be infected and a course of antibiotics may be needed. Antiseptics, when applied to the skin alone or as part of a moisturising preparation, can be helpful in stopping the infection. Incorrect use of antiseptics can, however, irritate the skin and make AE worse. Antiseptics should not be used continuously because this can result in excessive drying of the skin.
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Find Support To Help You Deal With Stress
Emotional stress can trigger eczema symptoms, and a recent clinical study found that people with eczema have an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. If your eczema is affecting you, talk to a doctor. Treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy can help manage your response to stress and reduce the impact living with eczema has on your mental health, explains Dr McClymont.
The Season Just Changed
Theres no off-season for eczema. Which, in some cases, comes back to our previous slide about allergies. In fall, when ragweed is raging, you might be scratching as youre sneezing. In winter, the cold air coupled with dry, indoor heat can lead to a breakdown of skins protective barrier, causing water loss and making skin more vulnerable to irritants and allergens. In spring, pollen and hay fever can irritate your nasal passages and your skin. And, finally, summer brings lots of sweat, swimming, and dry, air-conditioned air, all of which can make eczema symptoms appear.
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Why Topical Steroid Withdrawal May Be Causing Your Eczema Flare Ups
If youve ever wondered why your skins not healing Topical Steroid Addiction and Topical Steroid Withdrawal could be one reason why.
Also known as Red Skin Syndrome and Steroid Induced Eczema, Topical Steroid Addiction and Topical Steroid Withdrawal is never pretty this often happens when an individual overuses topical steroid creams and experiences the negative side effects when its withdrawn.
Why Topical Steroid Withdrawal may be causing your eczema flare up
Common symptoms include: weeping, burning and intense flare ups when steroid cream is discontinued. Many times, overusing steroid creams can lead to a cycle of addiction, where doctors begin prescribing more potent steroids to treat the worsening skin condition.
To bring more awareness to this Tracy Scarpulla has written a fabulous blog post for me on this topic. Her story is incredible and shes been through SO much! Shes also learned a ton and has a wealth of knowledge to share. I hope it helps shed more light on this topic. Let her explain what flares up eczema
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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Managing Severe Eczema And Stress
If your eczema is widespread and severe you will need to be under the care of a Consultant dermatologist, who will be able to assess your suitability for stronger treatments such as phototherapy or systemic immunosuppressants.
If your eczema could be attributed to stress, you might benefit from seeking out additional sources of emotional support. Your GP will be able to signpost you to local counselling services. You might also consider joining a local club or interest group to avoid becoming isolated.
What Causes An Eczema Flare
According to the National Eczema Organization, common triggers for eczema include:
- Dry skin: When your skin gets too dry, the outer barrier is compromised. That means irritants, microorganisms, pollution, and more can make their way into the deeper layers of skin, triggering a flare-up.
- Irritants: Everyday products and some natural substances can irritate your skin and lead to a flare-up. Examples of common irritants include soaps, detergents, surface cleaners and disinfectants, synthetic fragrances, metals, cigarette smoke, certain fabrics like wool and polyester, and even Cocamidopropyl betaine, which is used to thicken shampoos and lotions.
- Harsh skin care products: Skin care products that contain harsh ingredients like fragrances, preservatives, formaldehyde, dyes, mineral oils, sulfates, and more can irritate and damage the skin, leading to a flare-up.
- Stress: Emotional stress can be a trigger for eczema, though scientists arent sure why. We do know that the skin is sensitive to our psychological states via the nerves, hormones, and immune system.
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Avoid Contact With Certain Materials
Some fibers, such as wool, nylon, and others, can irritate skin and cause eczema. They also may cause overheating, which also leads to flare-ups.
Dress in breathable materials, such as cotton, and avoid wearing too many layers. Also, eliminate unnecessary layers on your bed and make sure bed linens are made from breathable fabrics as well.
How Is Eczema Treated What Medications Are Used
Treating eczema can be difficult if the cause is something you cant control, like genetics. Fortunately, you may have some influence over your environment and stress levels. Do your best to figure out what triggers or worsens your eczema, and then avoid it. The goal is to reduce itching and discomfort and prevent infection and additional flare-ups.
Consider these treatment tips:
If your child has skin problems, such as eczema, you can:
- Avoid long, hot baths, which can dry the skin. Use lukewarm water instead and give your child sponge baths.
- Apply lotion immediately after bathing while the skin is still moist. This will help trap moisture in the skin.
- Keep the room temperature as regular as possible. Changes in room temperature and humidity can dry the skin.
- Keep your child dressed in cotton. Wool, silk and manmade fabrics such as polyester can irritate the skin.
- Use mild laundry soap and make sure that clothes are well rinsed.
- Watch for skin infections. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice an infection.
- Help them avoid rubbing or scratching the rash.
- Use moisturizers several times daily. In infants with eczema, moisturizing on a regular basis is extremely helpful.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Topical Steroid Withdrawal
They may differ from person to person, but the most common ones include:
- bright red skin that spares the palms of the hands
- swelling all over
- hot flashes or feeling cold all the time with chills and shivers
- excoriated skin that just seems to fall off with the slightest touch.
What causes eczema to flare up? The severity of symptoms and the length of time one goes through this seems to depend on length of time using the topical steroids and the strength of the creams used.
Tracys arm during the withdrawal process
And the whole time may not be marked with the worse symptoms. Some people go through 1-3 month cycles of flaring with weeks or months of relatively clear skin.
Others have continuous flaring with the severity of symptoms falling within a certain range from not too bad to so bad they cant take it anymore there seems to be no rhyme or reason to this.
Skin: Condition: Infomation Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors
Calcineurin inhibitors, tacrolimus ointment and pimecrolimus cream, may be used when AE is not responding to topical steroids, or in skin sites which are more susceptible to the side effects of steroids, such as the face, eyelids and armpits and groin. The most common side effect is stinging on application but this normally disappears after a few applications. They are associated with an increased risk of skin infections and should not be applied to infected skin.
A maintenance regimen using intermittent calcineurin inhibitors is useful in patients who have frequent flare-ups of AE.
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One Moms Tips For Laundry Day
When my son was first diagnosed with eczema, laundry was the furthest thing from my mind. We went through countless tests, dietary changes, shopping for the best creams, sleepless nights, etc., etc.
I didnt realize until much later that our laundry detergent, even though it was natural, was irritating my sons skin. It wasnt the trigger in his case, but it certainly wasnt helping matters. When I removed the detergents and made some other changes to our laundry routine, I saw a lot less irritation.
Here are a few things I learned along the way.
Consider Phototherapy To Help Prevent Flares
This treatment option uses ultraviolet light the same that is found in sunlight which has been filtered to remove the damaging aspects, according to NYU Langone Health. Controlled exposure to ultraviolet light during the daytime can improve eczema and prevent flares due to the anti-inflammatory properties of ultraviolet B wavelengths, Friedmann says. A study published in The British Journal of Dermatology involving children with eczema found that narrowband ultraviolet B treatment reduced the signs of eczema by 61 percent. This doesnt need to be limited to a summer practice, though, and can be used year-round.
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Does Eczema Itch Worse And Flare Up At Night
In general, eczema is not dangerous and also not contagious. However, the symptoms during flare-up can be very bothersome. Even many sufferers find that dealing with the urge of scratching the affected skin can be the most challenging thing. Do the symptoms of this chronic skin problem worse and flare up at night?
The quality of your sleep is so important to manage the problem!
It is definitely true that the quality of our sleep is so crucial for our productivity and overall health. The body needs adequate sleep a day to keep functioning properly.
And sleeping is also absolutely true for the mechanism of your body to heal itself. In fact, most of the body repairs run during sleep.
In other words, if you have eczema, it is also important to have a good night sleeping since this is important to help heal your skin and improve the overall health of your skin.
If you have sleep deprivation, the function of your body is more likely to be focused on basic functions. As a result, the effort of your body in healing the skin damage due to eczema will not work optimally.
So if you want to heal the affected skin faster, getting plenty of sleep is the basic thing you need to concern!
Having adequate sleep at night is not always easy for eczema sufferers
While sleeping is so essential to help heal eczema quickly, not all sufferers can get a good quality of sleeping at night. The problem can disturb the way of your sleeping.
Does eczema itch flare up & get worse at night?
You Have Dark Patches Of Skin
An eczema outbreak doesnt always arrive in red and pink, especially if you have dark skin, on which redness isnt so apparent. Instead, you may see reddish-brown, purple, gray, or deep brown patches, according to the National Eczema Association. Also, African Americans are more likely to develop papular eczema, which presents with small bumps on the torso, arms, and legs, and also around the hair follicles, known as follicular accentuation. If youre not aware of these signs, you may not realize youre experiencing eczema.
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Q: What About Prescription Treatments
It really depends on the patient and how severe their condition is, which is why personalization is so key.
For some people with eczema, over-the-counter products may be sufficient. But many people with even mild eczema, which affects less than 10% of the body, typically need to use a prescription topical corticosteroid or topical calcineurin inhibitorâboth of which work to reduce inflammationâon occasion.
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.
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Consider Alternative Options For Scent
For many people with eczema or sensitive skin, scent can be an irritant. If you do want your laundry to have a scent when it comes out of the dryer, however, and opt not to use dryer sheets or fabric softener, try adding a few drops of essential oils to an old t-shirt cut up into squares and toss one into the dryer with the wet clothes. I sometimes use lemon or lavender essential oils, which can provide a very nice, light scent, and are gentle on my sons eczema.
Q 1: How Can Infections Due To Eczema Be Prevented And Treated
People with eczema that is not well managed can be more likely to have skin infections with bacteria such as Staph , and viruses such as the cold sore virus.
People with eczema who have infections need to treat these as they occur. They may also need long term prevention strategies, such as diluted bleach baths, which can help prevent future skin infections.
Long term oral antibiotics can be helpful for people who suffer from recurrent infected eczema.
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