You feel uncomfortable in your skin and you want to feel better now! This is Eczema Awareness month and today we will address issues concerning Eczema and different treatments that may help you during the winter months. Eczema is not an easy disease to deal with and those suffering will tell you that it affects there life on a daily basis. This is an inflammatory skin disease (Atopic dermatitis) and there is no cure but you can manage your eczema.
As we quickly approach the winter months individuals with eczema begin to experience flare ups because of the lack of humidity, dryness in the home (due to heating units) and the colder weather. All these factors affect the skin and if you are experiencing flu’s and colds then the stress on he body will also encourage a flare up.
What can you do to alleviate the discomfort and manage your Eczema in the winter months?
1. Follow your medical Rx from your physician/nurse practitioner and apply topical medications.
2. You need to hydrate your skin more than usual . Your protective barrier is not functioning ( it is not retaining water as it should) at it’s best so you need to help it along to prevent flare-ups. It is often described the skin is “leaky” meaning that your protection against irritants, pollutants, bacteria, microbes has been weakened. You might have seen products described as “barrier products” which contain ceramides that replace our natural oils that seem to help. .
3. Do not use hot water! Hot water dries out your skin. Soaking your body in warm water for at least 30 minutes is important because it takes that much time to hydrate your skin. Your best timer are your fingers-they should look “prune” like and this will indicate you have been soaking the right time and you are done.
4. Emollients are very important to you because they alleviate the itchiness and soothe the skin. They create an oil barrier on the skin’s surface which helps trap moisture (water) underneath. Consider adding organic oils into your bath but please no fragrance. Jojoba oil is really a wax but oh so good for your skin! It”s”oil” is similar to the one that our skin produces and you don’t have that “greasy” feel to it. Almond oil helps some with the itchiness. My son found success with Borage oil! They are little black seeds that are pressed for it’s oil which turns out to be an essential fatty acid (gamma linoleic acid) . One of the best products on the market (in my opinion) and (most especially my son who has learned to manage eczema) is Shikai Borage Therapy for dry skin (fragrance free). It’s an amazing product and I love it! Make sure that you apply your moisturizing lotion immediately after your bath when skin is moist. By the way, Shikai also have a children’s lotions-fast relief for itchy and red skin. Use a baby soft wash towel to pamper and baby your skin. Your skin is already irritated and you don’t want to further disturb it. Remember that fragrance for anyone is an irritant most especially for those with inflammatory skin conditions. Remember stress plays a big impact on flare ups and a nice relaxing bath not only hydrates you but de-stresses you. Go ahead and place your favorite music in the background and soak for 30 minutes. Your skin and mind will love it! Your mositurizer should be one that you like and will use on a consistent basis. Suggestion: A soothing warm and relaxing bath twice a day during winter.
3. Shea butter- so yummy and wonderful for your skin. It contains Vitamins A, E, and other beneficial vitamins that you skin requires in this time of healing but you must check with your doctor before using Shea butter and anyone with a nut allergy.
Over the counter cremes that your physician may have recommended: Cetaphil moisturizing creme, Eucerin or Aquaphor.
4. The larger and thicker areas you may want to include occlusive dressing which can treat moderate to severe conditions. . Occlusion where you apply a topical product and cover it with a waterproof dressing or plastic wrap may help with absorption but this is designed only to thicker areas of the body. You must do this under supervised care. Check with your doctor before adding any additional therapy. Itchiness is addressed by hydrating your skin but if it becomes unbearable speak to your doctor.
5. Check for food allergies. Follow your gut instincts as a parent and monitor your child’s response. Remember that not all food allergies manifest themselves right away. Milk is quite often a culprit for young children and can make eczema worse. Consider substituting Oat milk and read your ingredients label. Always check with your Physician!
For More Information: http://nationaleczema.org/get-involved/