Helpful Tips to Prevent Flares From Our Members
Since becoming an advocate for AtopicDermatitis.net, I have learned much from my own research, but even more from our members’ experiences and other advocate’s personal experiences and recommendations. I realized a compilation of these suggestions might be helpful, but this list became too long for one article, so I’ve broken it into two. In this, the first part, I’ll concentrate on tips and suggestions to help prevent our eczema flares. In part 2, the emphasis will be on ideas we can try when that flare is driving us crazy.
Eczema flare relief suggestions
We’ve had comments suggesting everything from Aveeno to zinc. Then there are the opposites, including that some members find relief with ice packs or cool, damp cloths, while others have found warm ones work better for them. There are a few I have tried. Some worked a bit, others not so much. But what works for one may not help another and may even exacerbate their atopic dermatitis. Visiting your dermatologist/allergist/family physician/nutritionist/naturopath, or whichever professional you trust goes without saying.
Tips to stop flares before they start
Some tips you’ve shared that could help stop the flare before it begins might include:
- Always shower and wash your hair after being outdoors, especially when the pollen count is high. Of course, having no hair makes this job easier for me. Alopecia sometimes has its advantages. But keep the shower short. If an immediate shower isn’t possible, at least wash off exposed areas. Use a nasal rinse as well. My go-to is NeilMed.
- Learn what foods constitute an anti-inflammatory diet, including probiotics and prebiotics.
- Hydrate! This one is so important. Hydrate from the inside out. Always drink plenty of water, then drink a bit more.
- Wear natural, breathable fabrics.
- Be wary of detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets.
- Choose non-soap cleansers.
- Lower your stress with meditation or relaxation exercises. Some have had success with behavior modification and biofeedback. I haven’t tried these personally. Getting a good night’s sleep can help with stress, but we all know that can often be almost impossible.
- Get rid of soft furnishings that hold dust and pollens, such as drapes and carpets. Even cushions and stuffed toys may contribute.
- Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Clean or replace the filter on your furnace or air conditioner regularly.
- Occasionally check your pantry and toiletry items for ingredients that may have changed. Companies can and do change them without notice.
- Take advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of using diluted apple cider vinegar. It also can restore the proper pH levels to your skin.
- Always use protective gloves. Contact irritants are the cause of much of my hand eczema.
- Know that your triggers can and will change.
- Ask for, and check the allergy list at every restaurant. The more people ask, the more restaurants will start to have them, which helps everyone.
- Join a support group like this one! You might discover something new or even help someone who is hurting.
These are just a few helpful suggestions from comments on our website and on our Facebook page. Please add any of your own ideas in the comments. We need all the help we can get, and stay tuned for part 2.
Have you taken our In America survey yet?