It’s normal to have occasional itching due to dry skin, sunburn, or a bug bite. However, eczema is a much more serious condition that causes chronically itchy dry skin that can become raw, inflamed, and scaly. It’s estimated that 31.6 million people in the United States have some form of eczema.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition known for itchy, red skin flare-ups and may be associated with hay fever or asthma. The exact causes of eczema are unknown, but it’s suspected to be an overreaction of your immune system to an irritant. There’s no cure for eczema, but with proper treatment, most people can manage their condition and their symptoms effectively.
Symptoms may include:
- Dry skin
- Cracked, scaly, thickened skin
- Tiny raised bumps that leak fluid when scratched
- Mild to severe chronic itching
With eczema, scratching your skin typically causes it to become sensitive, raw, and swollen and worsens your distress. A number of treatments are available for eczema, but a few lifestyle changes can also help alleviate your symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
The right treatment for your eczema depends on your symptoms. Treatment options include:
- Allergy shots
- Steroid creams
- Nonsteroid creams
- Biologic medications
The skilled allergists at Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma can help you find a treatment that best addresses your symptoms.
Lifestyle changes that can help alleviate eczema symptoms
In addition to following the treatment plan developed by your doctor, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make and things you can do that can provide relief from your eczema symptoms.
To reduce itching, apply moisturizer to your skin at least two times a day. In addition, applying an anti-itch cream to any areas that are especially itchy helps prevent you from being tempted to scratch them.
Check your cleaning products
Many cleaning products contain dyes and perfumes that can irritate your skin. When choosing soaps, laundry detergents, and other products that touch your skin, look for those that don’t have any added perfumes or dyes.
Take a bath
Warm baths may help alleviate some of your skin itching due to eczema. Adding colloidal oatmeal, uncooked oatmeal, or baking soda to the bath water can provide you with an extra-soothing bathing experience.
Choose the right clothing
Anything that touches your skin can have an effect on your eczema symptoms. Pay close attention when selecting clothes to find comfortable items that fit well and are made of breathable, natural fabrics. Before wearing new clothing items, wash them thoroughly to remove any processing chemicals that might irritate your skin.
Increased anxiety and stress can prompt your body to release hormones that suppress your immune system. This can cause your eczema to worsen. It’s important that you find healthy ways of reducing any stress and anxiety in order to prevent eczema flare-ups.
At Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, our allergists can help you effectively manage your eczema. Call our office or use the online tool to make an appointment today.