I am always repeating myself so I thought once and for all I would write down what I consider to be the 6 most important things you need to do for your skin when you have eczema.
Dry skin and eczema (or psoriasis) go hand in hand. Applying a good moisturiser regularly (at least daily) will help to prevent the skin from losing its natural oils and minimise eczema. Your moisturiser should be as natural as possible and free from additives like perfumes and colourings.
Remember the emollient you use to treat the symptoms of your eczema will rarely be a moisturiser as well. A separate moisturiser will need to be used. Some good moisturisers include Sorbolene, Ego QV moisturisers and my favourite, Grahams Bath Oil.
2. Drink Lots:
Drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water a day will help to keep the body and the skin hydrated. Many people with eczema experience thirst caused by loss of fluid from the skins tissues. This fluid loss needs to be replaced by drinking extra water.
3. Take Omega 3 Supplements:
People with eczema are deficient in omega 3, an essential fatty acid responsible for controlling inflammation in the body. By increasing your omega 3 levels you can decrease the amount of eczema you experience. As our diets today do not contain sufficient omega 3 this needs to be done by taking a supplement. Omega 3 supplements are available in capsule and liquid forms.
4. Choose Your Emollient Cream:
Everyone responds differently to different emollient creams and there is no single emollient cream that will work for everyone. Finding the right emollient cream is a matter of trial and error.
When choosing an emollient cream look for one that is natural with no added perfumes or colourings. Most emollient creams will have one preservative to ensure a shelf life. Take note of the ingredients in the creams you use in an attempt to determine what ingredients work best for you and what ones irritate your skin.
When trialling a new emollient cream always patch test the cream on an unaffected area of skin before using it on the affected areas to ensure you are not allergic to the cream.
5. Be Consistent:
You need to maintain a consistent state for your skin to avoid any outbreaks. Be consistent with your skin care regime and avoid changes to detergents and clothing fabrics if you have determined that what you are using is safe for you.
6. Find Your Triggers:
Eczema can be triggered by anything and each person’s triggers will be different from the next. The most common triggers are chemicals, pollens, pet dander, some foods, stress and climate. To determine if foods are triggering your eczema (and what specific foods) it is best to keep a food diary. This can be time consuming but if done properly is very effective.
Whether it’s food, the weather, clothing or chemicals, if you can identify the triggers that cause your flareups you’ll be armed with the knowledge to aviod such triggers giving your skin time to heal and possibly even become more resillient to flareups. Eliminating triggers from your environment is the only way to effectively be rid of your eczema.