With stress being a major trigger for painful eczema breakouts, it’s important to find ways to relax and remain calm. Many people find that they can improve their situation using techniques such as meditation and yoga.
If only it was as easy as the producers of the “Seinfeld” sitcom depicted the character Frank Costanza bellowing “Serenity Now!” as a relaxation technique after visiting a doctor to help control his rage.
Sitcoms aside, fortunately there are some things you can try today to help you get more serious about relaxation.
Here is some introductory information about how people use meditation and yoga to help with their eczema, to help you achieve a stronger sense of serenity.
Eczema and Painful Outbreaks
If you or a loved one have been newly diagnosed with eczema, it’s useful to become familiar with how often and how severe outbreaks can be.
About 79% of respondents to a survey said itching was their most problematic symptom, per Statista, which noted that 47% reported experiencing red and inflamed skin. Some 29% suffer from sleep disturbance as a result of their eczema, while 16% report feeling not just discomfort but pain.
As for the frequency of severe attacks, Statista weighed in with a report showing that 30% of people felt it had a significant impact during the previous month, while 28% experienced just a moderate impact. Low-impact eczema symptoms affected about 16% of those responding to a survey.
Such sobering statistics highlight the need for individuals to find relief for their eczema. A natural approach, such as with yoga or meditation may be just what you’ve been looking for to get control over flare-ups.
About Yoga and Eczema
Yoga is showing results in helping patients reduce their eczema symptoms and getting more relief. The Eczema Society of Canada recently caught up with eczema researcher and dermatologist Dr. Mamta Jhaveri to learn more about the benefits of yoga for avoiding flare-ups.
According to Dr. Jhaveri, “I believe that both yoga and meditation can have a positive impact on eczema. Both have been shown to improve sleep, decrease itch, and positively impact the stress and anxiety associated with eczema.”
The doctor described how MRI studies show meditation can actually “deactivate” the part of the brain that is affected by scratching and itching. She noted that “the regular practice of yoga and meditation has been shown to decrease inflammation markers in the body, such as cortisol and interleukin (which has been implicated in eczema flares).
You can practice yoga by yourself or in a group, such as in a class with other people who are aiming to improve their health with relaxation techniques.
About Eczema and Meditation
Researchers are investigating if meditation can help with eczema. The National Eczema Association reported on a recent experiment out of Emory University, which was funded by a NEA Research Grant.
“All of the subjects that started the course were able to complete a two-hour session without the severity of their eczema or the sensation of itch interfering with their experience,” noted the NEA.
What’s intriguing is that the subjects said their skin bothered them less during meditation than what they experienced at baseline. The result was they did not feel a need to scratch that day in class.
They also indicated their sleep quality improved, along with their coping skills in terms of relationship problems and stress. Since stress is such a factor in eczema outbreaks, the research is quite promising.
Another takeaway is that the research subjects said that mediating allowed them to detect stress-inducing triggers. They learned to take a moment of quiet time to keep their itchy sensations from getting out of control.
According to HeathCentral, the practice of meditation, which the National Institute of Health says is proven to offer a variety of health benefits, can be instrumental in getting people to feel less of an urge to scratch during times of eczema itching.
Getting started with meditating includes finding a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed by friends or family. Practitioners sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Then it’s a matter of focusing attention on your breath (or a word that you repeat in your mind).
Practicing Relaxation, Meditation and Yoga to Reduce the Severity of Eczema Flare-ups
Since staying calm and relaxed can be enormously helpful for minimizing painful eczema flare-ups, individuals will want to experiment with yoga and meditation to see if it can bring them relief.
You can take group classes, such as at your local community center, or arrange for one-on-one sessions. Another approach would be to check out online videos of people practicing meditation or yoga to see how they use it to achieve a measure of serenity.
In the meantime, Eczema Honey offers soothing and healing solutions, such as our Original Skin-Soothing Cream, which you can use to get the relief you need.
- Statista: Worst eczema symptoms according to those with experience with eczema worldwide 2019
- Statista: Percentage of adults with eczema globally who had been impacted in the last month as of 2019, by severity
- Eczema Society of Canada: Ask the Doctor: Can yoga and/or meditation help eczema?
- National Eczema Association: Can meditation help ease eczema itch?
- https://nationaleczema.org/meditation-ease-itch/HealthCentral: Can You Meditate Itchy Skin Away?