One in 10 people in the U.S. have atopic dermatitis, or eczema. The miserable symptoms — dry, itchy, sore skin — can take a toll on everyday activities, concentration, and sleep.
Products and environmental factors you’re exposed to on a daily basis could trigger your eczema flare ups. Underlying allergy may even be at the root of the problem. Below are three tips for reducing eczema flare ups that you can apply to everyday life.
1. Buy fragrance-free products
Did you know fragrance-free and unscented have two different meanings? Fragrance-free products are free from all fragrances. The fragrance in unscented products may contain chemicals that simply mask the fragrance and the fragrance can still irritate your skin.
Look for “fragrance free” options in these products:
- Laundry detergent
- Cleansers (try to choose a mild option and avoid bar soap)
If you’re seeking more information on eczema-friendly products, visit the National Eczema Association’s Eczema Product Directory to shop for products that avoid certain ingredients known to irritate skin.
2. Choose eczema-friendly fabrics
Certain fabrics trigger eczema more than others. Towels, sheets, and clothing made of 100% cotton are great eczema-friendly options since cotton is soft, breathable, and easy to wash. Bamboo and silk are other good clothing material options, while wool is one of the worst. Choose loose fitting clothing, remove the tags to avoid potential irritation, and cover the seams with silk if you need some extra relief. Before you put on that new outfit, toss it in the wash with a fragrance-free, dye-free detergent.
3. Protect your skin from the extreme heat and cold
If you’re heading out into cold weather, remembe a pair of gloves can go a long way in protecting your skin. Once your skin is exposed to cold air, it begins to dry out and can trigger eczema symptoms. Similar to clothing, choose gloves that are as close to 100% cotton as possible.
Extreme heat can also trigger eczema. As nice as a hot bath or shower may sound, try to keep it between 5-10 minutes in lukewarm water. After a bath or shower, immediately lock in the moisture using a fragrance-free cream or ointment.
Atopic dermatitis in the long-run
These tips can help prevent symptom flare-ups, but they don’t treat the cause. Atopic dermatitis caused by an underlying allergy may progress into other diseases if left untreated, which is known as the “atopic march.”
If allergy is at the root of your atopic dermatitis, personalized allergy drop immunotherapy could help treat the cause of your allergy, relieve atopic dermatitis symptoms, and help slow or stop the atopic march.
Treat the cause
Interested in learning how personalized allergy drop immunotherapy can be used to treat the cause of your allergies? Find a provider near you who has received training and currently reports following the La Crosse Method Protocol for allergy drop immunotherapy.