More than 30 million Americans are living with eczema, and it can seem like a constant battle to keep the itching, cracking, and dryness under control. With a comprehensive treatment plan, however, you can improve your skin’s condition and reduce the frequency of flare-ups.
Working with board-certified immunologist and allergist Reinhard Kage, MD, at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, means having a partner by your side who is committed to helping you best manage eczema.
If you’re struggling to get eczema under control, schedule a visit with Dr. Kage. Meanwhile, take a look at some of our top tips for reigning in eczema flare-ups.
Identify and avoid eczema triggers
Identifying and avoiding triggers that can cause flare-ups is central to eczema management. While everyone is different, some common eczema triggers are:
- Dry skin
- Extreme temperatures
- Harsh soaps
- Certain fabrics, such as wool
When you have eczema, the skin barrier doesn’t function as well as it should. This makes your skin sensitive to the environment and environmental elements.
You need to take extra care of your skin to compensate for reduced skin barrier function. Minimizing your exposure to common triggers and noting and avoiding any individual triggers provides a roadmap for adjusting your lifestyle to support your skin.
Maintain a regular skin care routine
Implementing a consistent skin care routine for sensitive skin is essential for anyone living with eczema. Use mild, fragrance-free cleansers, and apply moisturizers that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
In people with eczema, the skin barrier has difficulty retaining moisture. When dryness sets in, it can trigger a flare-up. This makes it crucial to keep your skin moisturized without overhydrating.
Moisturizing the skin immediately after bathing is particularly effective, as it helps lock in moisture and prevent dryness. Opt for lukewarm showers instead of hot ones, as high temperatures can strip the skin of essential oils, leading to increased dryness and discomfort.
Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
The foods you eat can also play a role in managing eczema. While there’s no specific eczema diet, foods that promote inflammation can trigger or worsen symptoms. Inflammatory foods, such as dairy products, and certain nuts can trigger flare-ups in some people.
Some of the primary offenders to avoid include:
- Refined sugar
- Fried foods
- Processed cheeses
- Sugary beverages
- Processed meats
Focus on adding more one-ingredient foods to your diet, such as brown rice, beans, legumes, fruits, leafy greens, and other vegetables. These whole foods make a good foundation for an anti-inflammatory diet.
Manage stress effectively
Stress is a known trigger for eczema flare-ups, and managing it effectively can go a long way in preventing flares. Make stress-busting activities a part of your day, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or low-impact exercise.
Adequate sleep and relaxation techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness can also help in managing stress levels. Reducing stress not only helps control eczema symptoms, but also promotes overall well-being.
Seek professional help
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition with various triggers, making it crucial to work with an allergy and immunology specialist. An immunologist like Dr. Kage can help identify triggers and provide testing to detect potential allergies.
Many of the millions of people living with eczema also have allergies. Dr. Kage provides customized strategies to avoid allergens and can offer guidance on making adjustments to reduce your exposure. His expertise extends to understanding the role of the immune system in eczema, offering tailored treatments based on your condition and needs.
Contact us today to discuss eczema management with Dr. Kage at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut.