Eczema affects millions of people from babies to seniors. The inflammatory, itchy skin disorder, sometimes known as dermatitis, is an autoimmune condition. Eczema affects skin on various parts of the body, including the torso, back, arms, legs, hands, even face. The cause is little understood, thus making it difficult to treat.
Taking all this into account, it's understandable why those afflicted with eczema often find their lives upended because of this irksome skin condition. Eczema often affects one's ability to participate fully at work, at school, and in social settings.
Like many things in life, there's little that is insurmountable. Managing eczema is possible and here are a few ways to do it:
- Understand that eczema is a common problem. No one has perfect health. The body is comprised of many moving parts and it is 100% ok to have blips.
- Beware of triggers that cause flare-ups. Keep a journal of your diet, sudden temperature changes, exercise and bathing habits. If a pattern emerges, steer clear of triggers.
- Keep the body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Get ample rest. Make sleep a priority as this is when the body works to heal itself.
- Meditate. Calming the mind is an effective way to diminish stress, a known trigger for eczema flares. For newbies, it's helpful to consult a professional or a friend experienced with this practice. Meditating helps center the mind and is beneficial for more than just the skin.
- Take quick showers with the water set to a mild temperature. Use a gentle cleanser.
- Lock in moisture as soon after a shower as possible. Gently apply a natural moisturizer. Shea butter and coconut oil are options that are mild, effective and available at any budget. Try spending at least the first thirty minutes after your shower wearing lightweight cotton clothing covering affected areas. This helps keep moisturizer on the skin, aids absorption and protects the skin from irritation following the shower.
Approach eczema with the understanding that your skin is communicating with you. Whatever is happening within your body, you have the ability to set your course back to good health. Reframe eczema as an opportunity to find the balance your body needs. There will be ups and downs but awareness is a wonderful first step in the right direction.
How do you keep eczema under control?