Most times the real culprit for the constant breakout you normally experience is the way you live your life. Certain products and fabrics may be more foe than friend. The key lies in identifying your irritant and avoiding it. In the mean time, here are some lifestyle changes to make to help keep that eczema breakout in check.
Track your lifestyle triggers. Triggers are different for everyone. One person can be sensitive to wool while another is sensitive to a chemical in perfume. Since we don’t really know what causes an individual to have a flare-up of their eczema, you will have to try to figure these out. You can try a food diary by writing down the products you use and see what happens when you eliminate one.
Wear non-irritating clothing. Wear loose clothing wherever possible and avoid items made from itchy, scratchy fabrics like wool. Smooth-textured clothing made from cotton, silk and bamboo are the least irritating on your skin. Also be wary of your washing detergent. It may be leaving a slight residue on your clothes that’s contributing to eczema flare-ups. Try using a natural washing powder, or simply switch to a different biological brand.
Choose non-irritating soaps and shampoos. Irritants like soaps and detergents, shampoos, dishwashing liquids, disinfectants and any product with added perfumes can irritate your skin. Try using natural vegetable based soaps and cleaning agents instead.
Keep your house clean and avoid allergens. Allergy causing agents like dust mites, pet dander, seasonal pollens, molds and dandruff are all eczema triggers. Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter and vacuum often.
Minimize stress. Eczema and other skin conditions have been strongly linked to stress, both psychological and physical, so taking some time out to work on stress-relief can be extremely beneficial. Try to do whatever relaxes you: visualization techniques, hypnotherapy, meditation, yoga, listening to music, or painting.
Bathe less frequently, using warm water (not too cold or too hot). Bathing too often can actually strip moisture from the skin and make eczema worse. Try to limit your baths and showers to every 1 to 2 days if possible. Avoid steamy or cold showers and limit each session to 15 to 20 minutes, tops. Use a clean, dry towel to gently pat yourself dry. Make sure to moisturize after the shower, preferably while your skin is still damp as this locks in more moisture. Use moisturizers with no additives and which are based on coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, avocado or castor oil. Be aware that while these oils tend to be better tolerated by people with eczema, everyone is different and you may have to experiment to find what works best for you. Try not to stay in the tub for too long. Sometimes the water can wither your skin. You do not want your eczema to be disturbed, since disturbed skin results in higher chance of the eczema to itch.