Pets and Eczema

They say there are two sides to every story.  Eczema and pets is the perfect example.  With pet fur, dander (dried skin), urine and saliva being common allergens for the eczema sufferer, it stands to reason that pets are a no no if you have eczema.

Right?

Not Necessarily

The benefits of owning a pet are well documented.  They provide company, decrease stress, provide hours of endless pleasure and distract from worries.

These benefits are important for your eczema.

We know stress is a common factor in eczema flare-ups.  If having a pet will help to minimise your stress, then it stands to reason that the decreased stress may in turn lessen the eczema.

If itching is a frequent problem the distraction of having a pet to care for and play with may be just the answer.

Don’t avoid having a pet because you think you may be allergic.

Of course if you are actually allergic to your pet the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages.  But before you send your beloved pet off to a new home check that it is your pet you are allergic to and not the products you are using on him to care for him.  It is not uncommon for pet shampoo or flea care etc to cause an allergic reaction and not the fur or the pet himself.

If you choose to have a pet select your pet carefully.  Perhaps a goldfish would be a better alternative.  If it is a cat or dog that you are wanting, keep him clean and well groomed.  Select a short haired pet that does not molt.  Don’t allow him to sleep on your bed or chairs and wash your hands after contact.  Try to keep your pet outside or buy one that can be kept in a cage.

If you feel that a pet is a must in your life and your pet does cause allergic reactions you may find that it is necessary to use extra medication to control your eczema.