Unless you have suffered yourself, then you don’t really know the frustration of this skin condition that runs a lot deeper than “just itchy skin!”
While not contagious, eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is thought to be hereditary and is a very uncomfortable inflammatory skin condition.
It presents as red, inflamed patches of skin that is incredibly itchy and may even contain small fluid-filled bumps. Scratching only provides short-term relief, and may potentially open up your skin putting you at risk for infection.
Your skin may burn and sting, and if you do happen to open up those bumps during a scratching session then your skin may ooze and crust over. Your skin may actually thicken over time so you want to take measures to not only keep your eczema under control but to prevent future flare-ups too.
There may be no definite cure, but you deserve to feel comfortable in your skin! In this article, we have put together our top 6 tips for helping to manage and prevent eczema so you can feel more like yourself again.
1. Avoid processed foods and increase healthy fats in your diet
Too many people spend far too much time finding ways to treat eczema from an external standpoint only.
Sure, there are certain ingredients that can provide soothing and cooling relief, but you want to get down to the root of the issue.
While some eczema flare-ups are pretty obvious to pinpoint and may be short-lived, for example, exposure to poison ivy or a new skincare ingredient, some people struggle for years without knowing why they just never seem to catch a break.
If you feel like you have done everything you can for your skin on the outside, then maybe it is time to look within.
Every single thing you eat will either increase or decrease inflammation in your body. Since eczema is an inflammatory condition, wouldn’t it make sense that the goal is to reduce inflammation?
Processed foods such as dairy, sugar, and red meat only increase inflammation and may make your eczema a lot worse. Try eating fewer foods in those categories and pay attention to how your eczema responds.
Healthy fats from sources like avocados, salmon and raw nuts, are an excellent way to decrease inflammation in your body. Not only that, they provide your skin with many other nutrients that make your skin glow from the inside. Bonus, they’re also great for an energy boost.
2. Find ways to manage stress
Stress increases stress hormones, such as cortisol, which increases internal inflammation, which by now you know is a no-no for eczema.
As a human being with responsibilities, goals, and a life to live, it's impossible to completely avoid stress. The next best thing is to find ways to manage and alleviate negative stress where possible.
Here are some small things you do throughout your day to relieve stress and refresh your mind:
- Go for a walk outside
- Call a friend on the phone
- Watch a YouTube clip that makes you laugh
- Practice meditation or deep breathing
- Try some yoga
- Listen to your favorite music
3. Keep your skin hydrated with natural ingredients
The first key here is to drink a lot of water. That's a tip that you'll hear us preach a lot around here. It's crucial to healthy skin and to preventing all sorts of skin issues.
Aim to drink half your body-weight in ounces every day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you would drink 75 ounces of water.
External hydration, with a good moisturizer, is also key to help keep your skin soothed. And it provides a protective barrier over your eczema. Of course, the type of moisture you use matters!
Many drugstore brands are filled with harsh synthetics that may only further aggravate your skin. Always be sure to check the label and avoid anything on this list where possible.
For something completely natural, try aloe straight from an aloe leaf. It provides a veil of soothing hydration on your skin and may also help to immediately relieve the itch.
Aloe boasts a potent cocktail of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help heal and repair your skin.
Remember when we mentioned inflammation as a culprit of eczema? Well, jojoba oil is anti-inflammatory!
It also has a smaller molecular structure than lotions so it moisturizes your skin more deeply.
4. Try a soothing oat or baking soda bath
There’s nothing like a soak in the tub to melt your troubles away, or in this case, to help fade your eczema away!
Important: keep the water lukewarm. Hot water feels great but it also strips the skin of natural oils which might make your eczema worse.
For an oat batch, add 1-2 cups of dry oatmeal right to the water for wonderful soothing relief.
For a baking soda bath, add 3 cups directly to the water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
5. Cleanse Daily and Avoid Exfoliation
All of our scrubs are made with pure, ancient sea salt. It kills the bad bacteria on your skin and contains 60+ trace minerals that are healing for the skin and body.
They also contain jojoba oil for extra hydration!
Exfoliation is essential for helping to remove dead skin cells that naturally accumulate on the skin and may clog the pores.
It may also aggravate your eczema and make it worse. Which is the the last thing you want to do!
When you use our scrubs, simply spread a thin layer on the eczema and let sit for up to 10 minutes. Do not exfoliate it! Many of our customers who do this daily have noticed an improvement in their eczema!
6. Switch to a fragrance-free, natural laundry detergent
Another thing many people don’t think about is their laundry detergent.
Many are filled with synthetics and toxic ingredients that will may aggravate sensitive skin, trigger a new eczema flare-up, or make an existing flare-up worse.
Always opt for a “clean” and “green” detergent made with natural ingredient. Stay away from fragrance if you can, unless the scent is a result of essential oils.
We hope you will save this post and refer back to it as often as you need to because we just know that if you follow our advice, you will experience relief.
We know how difficult it can be living with eczema, but we hope this article has inspired you and shown you that it really doesn’t have to rule your life.