Back to Feeling Comfortable in Your Skin
This article will look at the triggers for eczema, an ideal skincare routine, easing eczema symptoms, creams and prescriptions and lifestyle recommendations. If you'd like to treat your eczema, consider using CIBINQO™ (abrocitinib), a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a type of skin condition characterized by inflammation and itching.
13 Triggers for Eczema
Below are 13 eczema triggers:
- Allergens (e.g., pollen, pet dander)
- Irritants (e.g., soaps, detergents)
- Dry skin
- Heat and sweating
- Cold, dry weather
- Infections (bacterial or viral)
- Certain fabrics (e.g., wool)
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Hormonal changes
- Smoke and air pollution
- Fragrances and perfumes
- Scratching or rubbing the skin
Ideal Skincare Routine
Ideally, apply a quality moisturizer to the skin, particularly affected areas, at least twice a day. You may need to experiment with various moisturizers to find the right product for your skin, but many love shea butter and over-the-counter 1 % hydrocortisone creams. Unfortunately, popular “anti-itch” creams may contain ingredients that worsen the painful urge to scratch that comes with eczema; be sure to clear the use of these creams with your dermatologist before applying them.
No matter which creams you choose, avoid any lotions, serums, butter and oils that contain perfumes, dyes or artificial colors, as these may irritate already inflamed skin. This natural products-only recommendation also goes for your bath and shower products, so avoid soaps and cleansers with added ingredients. Colloidal oatmeal for the bath is wonderfully soothing; wash with warm, not hot water, and gently pat the skin dry. Avoid harsh scrubs, loofahs and exfoliating mitts.
Choose fabrics that will not itch, chafe, rub or pull on painful, inflamed areas when dressing. Natural cotton fabrics are a must and wash your clothes in perfume and dye-free detergents. Loose-fitting clothing free of snaps and zippers is ideal!
Can Food Ease Eczema Symptoms?
The American Academy of Dermatology makes several recommendations on nutrition based on scientific research for eczema treatment. For many years, some have promoted the effectiveness of supplements, vitamins, minerals and probiotics in the fight against eczema. Unfortunately, these claims are not always proven. In short, caution should be used when adding supplements to your diet.
The Academy states the effectiveness of many products that claim to improve or cure eczema is not well supported by research. In addition, while some dietary add-ons might be ineffective and benign, others may be dangerous, particularly when combined with other foods or prescription drugs.
While food allergies are relatively rare, it is common for those diagnosed with eczema also to be diagnosed with food allergies. These two conditions may not be linked at all. Despite some supporters of the notion, there aren't specific foods that “cure” eczema. Eliminating or avoiding certain foods may not be the answer to your eczema, and a strict diet may cause more harm than good. In this case, discussing your dietary concerns with your dermatologist or a registered dietician is essential. Consider this statement from the American Academy of Dermatology:
One finding stands out as researchers continue to study this common childhood disease. No one thing can fix eczema. Following an eczema-friendly skin care plan,
helping your child avoid triggers, and using medication when needed can bring
A balanced, thoughtful approach is needed when treating the symptoms of eczema. Consider all of your and your child’s nutritional needs for a healthy body, and follow medically sound treatment guidelines for eczema.
Prescriptions and OTC Creams
Again, a light hydrocortisone cream or mild body lotion may ease your eczema symptoms. However, for some, prescription drugs are needed to provide relief. A few prescription drugs that reduce symptoms include cyclosporine, methotrexate, prednisone, mycophenolate and azathioprine.
Unfortunately, many prescription drugs used for eczema can only be used for a short time due to severe side effects that come with long-term use. Another prescription option is antibiotics, which will reduce skin bacteria, and thus may reduce eczema symptoms.
My eczema was consistently worsened by stress; my symptoms largely disappeared when I learned to manage my stress better. If you and your doctor have identified that stress contributes to your eczema, you may want to consider how to reduce or better manage the stressors in your life.
It can be frustrating to live with eczema due to the pain and embarrassment some feel with their skin condition. In addition, the itching that comes with eczema can be enough to drive one mad. By keeping fingernails short, some skin damage can be managed. Likewise, keep affected areas covered by loose, soft clothing. However, many find relief through professional counseling. Others find that for eczema treatment you can consider behavior modification, relaxation techniques and biofeedback to help with the urge to scratch, stress and other negative feelings accompanying a chronic condition.
As a child, the word eczema was well known to me as many family members, including myself, suffered from the dryness, burning, itching and pain associated with eczema. My eczema was limited to my hands; I relied on prescription creams and Vaseline with cotton gloves to ease the burning itch and painful inflammation. More eczema treatment options exist today, so those with eczema can find improved relief.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is an inflammatory skin condition; atopic dermatitis is known to have two leading causes. In the first cause, a gene variant results in a weak skin barrier, leading to eczema. The second leading cause is an excess of staph bacteria on the skin. Those with eczema can have a range of severity of their symptoms, affecting only a tiny portion of the skin or being quite widespread. Many suffer from rashes, swelling, crusting and painful skin cracks.