Eczema is a very common skin problem and according to the National Eczema Association, there are over 31 million Americans who suffer from it. There are other skin conditions that are similar to eczema, so if you are unsure of your condition, it is best to consult with your doctor or dermatologist.
Eczema can look a little different for each person, but the most common symptoms are skin that is:
- Incredibly dry
In addition to your skin feeling and looking a certain way, many sufferers of this condition experience a certain degree of itching. When your skin does start to itch, it is important that you do your best not to scratch the area directly, otherwise the condition will actually get worse. Instead, you need to find a remedy, such as a cream or medication.
Eczema tends to be worse during the winter, since the severely cold weather tends to dry out skin even more. There are certain things that you can do though, in order to control your eczema during the winter months. These include:
- Avoiding soaps with harsh chemicals-you want to find products that are free of chemicals and fragrances
- Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air-you can have a whole house humidifier, or you can use smaller humidifiers for your bedroom
- Use creams, lotions or ointments-you may need to have a medicated ointment, depending on the severity
- Avoid excessively hot and long showers and baths-hot water dries your skin more, so try to keep the temperature “warm” vs “hot”
There are many different things that can cause a flare-up, including:
- Shampoos with cocamidopropyl betaine
- Polyester and wool
- Certain fragrances
- Household cleaners with formaldehyde
- Excessive stress
- Certain foods, including peanuts, eggs, soy and wheat
Although there is not a cure for eczema, there are things that you can do to reduce your outbreaks.