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If you’re anything like the rest of us, then you’ve likely dealt with at least a minor case of eczema or dermatitis at some point in your life. For many people, these conditions flare up when we experience dry air, change in humidity, or stress. However, for some people, eczema and dermatitis are hereditary and can occur without much warning. Regardless of whether it’s caused by what you eat or by a genetic predisposition to these skin conditions, their symptoms can be incredibly annoying. Thankfully, eczema and dermatitis don’t have to be synonymous with misery. With a little self-control and a few preventative steps taken to keep your skin in check (and away from potential allergens), you can have back normal skin that is comfortable and free of rashes again!
Prevention is key for eczema and dermatitis
There’s no question that for some people, eczema is hereditary. However, for those who experience flare-ups from other factors, it’s important to keep a close eye on your diet and environment to make sure they don’t trigger a flare-up. If you can prevent a dermatitis or eczema flare-up, you can potentially avoid the prescription medications that may come with side effects such as nausea and headaches. If you’re experiencing a dermatitis or eczema flare-up, make an effort to prevent the trigger from coming back. If the weather is dry, try to increase the amount of humidity in your house or put on a pair of socks while you’re at work to keep your skin hydrated. Make sure to wash your hands frequently too, as many allergens may cause a breakout on your skin (some even come directly from your kitchen!). If you can keep rashes from occurring, you can keep prescriptions to a minimum, and you can avoid the side effects of medications.
Increase humidity and use water-based moisturizers
If you live in a dry climate or have grown accustomed to a dry climate, you may have developed an eczema or dermatitis flare-up. In these cases, it’s important to increase the amount of humidity in your environment. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy task to accomplish. Try placing a bowl of water in your home or office, or investing in a humidifier. Make sure to clean the humidifier regularly and take care when turning it on and off, as turning it on too hot can cause burns. Water-based moisturizers can also help to keep your skin hydrated in dry climates. Natural moisturizers such as coconut oil, shea butter, and avocado are all great options. Make sure to use a water-based moisturizer; if you use a cream and your skin becomes even dryer, the rash may continue to worsen.
Take a dry skin diet
If you find yourself in a flare-up of eczema or dermatitis, it’s important to cut out certain foods from your diet. While you probably already know that certain foods, like dairy products, can cause a serious flare-up, you may not have known that some foods are actually allergic. The best way to prevent a flare-up from occurring is to cut out the foods that cause a flare-up in the first place, whether they’re allergic or not. The best way to do this is to take a dry skin diet. Dry skin diets are designed for people with eczema and dermatitis, and aim to cut out specific foods that may be causing the flare-up. Dry skin diets are not just a list of things to avoid, but rather a way to reduce your allergen intake. There are many different dry skin diets out there; however, most consist of a low-fat, low-allergen, low-sugar, and low-acid diet. While there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” diet for eczema and dermatitis, these diet tips can help to reduce your flare-ups.
Eat an oatmeal bath to soothe your skin
If you’ve ever dealt with a flare-up of eczema or dermatitis, you’ll know that a soothing bath can help to calm your skin. Luckily, you don’t have to run to the drugstore to find this out; oats are a great all-natural moisturizer and are an ingredient in many over-the-counter and prescription-based skin creams. Oats can be used as a face cleanser before your bath or in your bath water to help to soothe your skin. If you have eczema or dermatitis, try to keep your face out of the water when using oats as a cleanser; avoiding the eyes and mouth as much as possible.
Get a humidifier for your bedroom
Humidity levels in your bedroom can cause eczema and dermatitis to flare up. If you live in a dry climate, or find that your skin becomes dry in the winter, a humidifier can help to keep your skin hydrated. Humidifiers are easy to find and inexpensive, and can be used in any room in your home. Make sure to change out the water regularly in your humidifier, and keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid upsetting your skin further. Humidifiers can be used in the bedroom to keep your skin hydrated during the night as well. It can become very cold in the bedroom, and a humidifier can help to prevent your skin from getting too cold.
Use zinc-based creams and lotions
Zinc-based creams and lotions can be used to treat eczema and dermatitis. They are available over-the-counter, and come in a variety of formulas. Zinc-based creams are often used to treat mild eczema, while steroid-based creams are often used to treat more severe cases of eczema. Zinc-based creams are available in various forms, from ointments to balms. They are often non-greasy, easily absorbed, and cause very little irritation when applied to the skin. While zinc-based creams can be used to treat both mild and severe eczema, it is important to follow the instructions on the bottle as some people may experience a zinc-resistance.
Eczema and dermatitis can be incredibly frustrating, but with a little preventative effort and dietary changes, you can have back normal skin again. Make sure that you increase the humidity in your home, keep your diet clean, and apply a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Make sure that you don’t use harsh soaps, try to keep your bedroom cool, and avoid walking into rooms where there are pets or other triggers that may cause your skin to become irritated.