5 Ways To Live With Eczema
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1. Ice pack or something cold– even frozen peas will do. When the itching becomes extremely inflamed and virtually impossible not to scratch, this will give immediate, temporary relief. You want to avoid scratching at all costs, as it will irritate the skin even more. If there is a longing desire to scratch, do NOT do it with your fingernails because your nails carry bacteria that could cause more than just prolonged inflammation.
2. Avoid irritants– this isn’t always easy to do. It may be next to impossible to avoid common irritants like sweat, sunlight, grass, and polyester when your major hobby or job is playing baseball. If at all possible, opt for a more breathable uniform, put on some good sunscreen, and refrain from rolling around in the grass, as it will come back to haunt you later. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do about the sweat. If possible, towel off the sweat with a 100% cotton towel. You may be surprised how much your skin will improve by simply avoiding the things that irritate it.
3. Moisturize- this goes for anyone with dry skin, but especially people with eczema. A non-scented moisturizer should be in the bathroom of every person with eczema. Using lotion right after taking a bath is key to locking in moisture. Since having eczema not only means having extremely dry skin, but over-sensitivity of the skin as well, using a lotion with no perfumes is key, as the scents in the lotion can irritate the skin.
4. Watch your water– nothing feels better sometimes than slipping into a nice hot bath after a long, hard day. But be warned, hot water can make eczema worse. The scalding water causes increased itching and inflammation. Another important water issue to pay close attention to is chlorine. Chlorine really dries out the skin and isn’t just prominent in your local pools and hot tubs, but small amounts are found in tap water, and yes, the water you use to take showers as well. A solution to this is to buy a water filter, fairly inexpensive, that will slip on your faucets and showerheads. By all means, don’t stop bathing please.
5. In extreme cases: steroids, creams, and tanning beds– probably all of the things you expected NOT to read in an article like this. However, if your eczema persistently gets worse even after trying the natural remedies and preventions, some dermatologists may prescribe you a cream, which may help significantly. Typically, creams will do the job in just a few days, but sometimes you may need something stronger, in which case the dermatologist may prescribe a mild steroid. A steroid is obviously not something you can continue using, rather it’s something that will have your skin looking the best it ever has in a short amount of time. It is a quick fix for an extreme flare-up. Now, tanning beds are more for cosmetic purposes. Used moderately, tanning beds can even out the skin, and if you are one who has frequent sunspots, it works great. But please, use at your own risk, as tanning beds still emit potentially dangerous rays and leave you more vulnerable for skin cancer.