Did you know more than 31 million Americans live with eczema? This condition occurs when the protective barrier in a person’s skin doesn’t function properly. Without this defense, the immune system reacts when irritants or allergens come in contact with your skin.
For many people, the first signs of eczema include dry skin, itchiness, and a rash. However, this common skin condition can look different from person to person and also lead to:
- Discoloration or redness
- Thickened, leathery patches
- Scaly, crusty, or flaky skin
Ready for some good news? Eczema may be a complex skin condition without a cure, but you can protect yourself from flare-ups. And it all starts with keeping your naturally dry skin hydrated.
Our talented team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma in Ogden, Utah, recommends taking these simple steps to manage dry skin if you have eczema.
1. Moisturize often — and right
As you might expect, the secret to avoiding dry skin involves moisturizing. However, there are a few tricks to get the most when trying to hydrate your skin.
First, moisturize immediately after bathing or when your skin is still damp. This can provide additional moisture and seal the hydration. But don’t wait to shower to apply moisturizers. Instead, get into the habit of moisturizing your skin throughout the day so your skin has less chance of drying out.
2. Use the right products
Regular moisturizing can indeed help keep your skin better hydrated. However, choosing the right products is crucial, especially when you have sensitive skin.
Our team can make personalized suggestions based on your unique needs. But you can start by picking unscented, fragrance-free, or hypoallergenic creams or ointments. And, whenever trying a new skincare product, test it on a small area of skin every day for 7-10 days first. This ensures it won’t trigger a reaction before you use it on your entire body.
3. Watch the water
Taking a nice long bath or shower may seem like the perfect way to hydrate your skin, but it can have the opposite effect.
Limit bathing to 5-10 minutes to keep your skin hydrated, and stick to warm water. And remember to apply moisturizer immediately afterward when your skin is still damp.
4. Choose the right clothing
We know what you’re thinking — how can clothes cause dry skin? Technically, it may not. However, choosing the right fabrics allow your skin to breathe and causes less irritation.
As a result, opt for clothing made from natural materials, like cotton, that fits loosely. Avoid synthetic fibers or wool whenever possible, which can cause eczema flare-ups. It’s also wise to wash new clothing before wearing it to remove any potential irritants from the fabric.
5. Know your triggers
Finally, learning your triggers when you have eczema is crucial to better care for your skin. Common causes of flare-ups include:
- Dry weather
- Smoke and other environmental pollutants
- Personal care products, including soaps and detergents
- Fabrics and clothing
- Stress, anxiety, and depression
Understanding your triggers can help you take additional steps to protect your skin. For example, if dry weather irritates your skin, try adding a humidifier to a room where you spend a lot of time — like the bedroom.
And if you’re not sure what’s causing your eczema flare-ups, an expert can help. Our skilled allergists can help identify potential triggers, conduct allergy tests, and offer personalized guidance to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.
Do you have eczema? Contact Advanced Allergy & Asthma to schedule an evaluation with one of our experts today.