Tips for Living with Eczema
I lived with severe eczema for a long time. I can’t say an exact amount of time for how long it was severe because eczema is tricky. Just when I thought I outgrew it or as I like to say, “escaped it”, it always snuck up on me. Ages 5-10 my eczema was most severe. I had frequent flare ups again in high school. Now at the age of 33 my flare ups are less frequent. My son, who is almost 10, unfortunately, was blessed with the genetics of my skin. He has had eczema his whole life. Each day it is a journey we are living to see how we can make living with it easier. I want to share some tips we have learned along the way.
Know your triggers
For me and eczema flare up is always triggered by something. I know exactly why my eczema flare ups began to come back when I was in high school. It was because my family got a dog that I was allergic to. (Nice to see where I stood on importance level in my family!) I couldn’t pet Venus (our dog) at all. If I did it was an instant hive. For most people, hives go away, for me… it turned in to a nonstop scratching flare up. Other allergens such as dust and pollen also trigger a flare up for me. Be aware of what causes your eczema flare ups. Once you can determine the root of the problem, it will be easier to treat.
Control the temperature when possible
If the heat causes eczema flare ups, then try to stay in air condition. If the cold causes you flare ups then maybe skiing isn’t the best hobby for you. I’m not saying don’t do what you enjoy. I just mean if you are aware of what temperature your eczema “likes” then it will be easier to prepare for a flare up.
Trust me. I know. I know. That is the number one thing us eczema suffers don’t like to hear. Easier said than done, right!! But seriously… don’t scratch. Have you ever had an eczema flare up so bad that you scratch it so hard it has a distinct smell to it and is oozing? I have. On Senior picture day!! (look for that article later!) The scratching is a short-term fix. You’ll regret it later. I promise. It only makes it worse. You know the saying about food… “a moment on your lips and forever on your hips”? Well think of eczema as “scratching will make it worse..don’t fall for the curse.” I just made that up now. I wish I told myself that one on picture day!!
Watch your diet
Although most of the research I read shows no direct correlation with dairy and eczema, I do notice a difference. When I don’t consume as much dairy, my flare-ups weren’t as frequent. Be aware of what you put in your body. Pay attention. Be mindful You're worth it!
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?