If you are newly diagnosed with eczema or are taking care of a loved one with this condition, you may be uncertain about what exactly you need to do when painful flare-ups become part of your life.
Just understanding the triggers of eczema can be a challenge, initially. You’ll discover that things like stress can be a major cause. Other factors include a person’s genetic makeup, environmental conditions (such as major pollution), and coming into contact with something that irritates the skin.
You might experience an outbreak because you were sweaty and then entered a cooler environment. Spending a long time in the water (swimming in a pool or taking a prolonged shower, for example) can be a trigger.
Anything from tobacco smoke, sand or dust blowing in the wind, strong perfumes, soaps with a heavy dose of scent, and chemicals such as chlorine can all lead to eczema-related skin irritation.
Being aware of the potential causes of eczema is one thing. But how does a person avoid these symptoms or treat them?
It’s not unusual for individuals to wonder if they should moisturize or dry out eczema. Read on for a better understanding of eczema and how people can treat it.
A Significant Portion of the Population Suffers From Eczema
People who have only recently started experiencing eczema may feel like they are going through this alone. There are many others in your shoes.
The National Eczema Association indicates that about 31.6 million individuals in the United States suffer from eczema, representing approximately 10.1% of the population. It seems to strike males and females about equally as children, but eczema is more prevalent among adult females than adult males.
Aside from itchy, painful feelings and unpleasant-looking skin, people with eczema symptoms often report sleep disturbances. So being worn out from lack of sleep only makes the uncomfortable flare-ups feel even worse.
When a significant portion of Americans are subject to the itchy feelings, red skin, and dryness that occurs with eczema, it’s time to consider whether it’s best to dry out or moisturize.
About Moisturizing Versus Drying Out Eczema
You’re in need of some fast relief due to your eczema breakout. Now the big question you’re mulling over is whether you should be content to dry out your skin or rely on a moisturizer.
It turns out that your best option always to avoid letting your skin become dried out. Moisturizing your skin is the key to managing eczema pain. By applying a moisturizer, you are helping to heal your skin.
People wind up with dry skin for a variety of reasons, including being out in the wind, living in an area where humidity is low most of the time, or from spending a long time in water (long-distance swimmers should pay attention to this fact!).
Ideally, you will look for moisturizing products that are free of fragrances and dyes. You will moisturize on a regular basis to keep eczema symptoms at bay.
As WebMD explains, “When you have eczema or atopic dermatitis, it's key to use a moisturizer. Dry skin can often make eczema worse.” It noted that moisturizers will lock water into your skin, “and create a barrier against things that can irritate your skin.”
It’s important to moisturize after stepping out of the shower. That might seem counterintuitive, but water will evaporate from your skin after bathing. So applying a moisturizer within a few minutes after the shower will serve to lock in water. It’s a good habit to get into that will help you avoid future flare-ups.
Before bedtime, remove makeup with oil-based remover. Splash water on your face or use a cleanser. If you use a prescription cream from your doctor, apply that next. Then, it’s time to moisturize your skin barrier before heading off to bed.
For more insight, the National Eczema Association points out that “People living with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, which makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria and other invaders.”
Unfortunately, when the skin is damaged, it’s more difficult for it to lock in water. As a consequence, eczema sufferers with dried-out skin will experience a flare-up or an increase in itchy, painful sensations.
Take Good Care of Yourself to Minimize Discomfort From Eczema Symptoms
When you are a person who is prone to suffering from painful eczema outbreaks, you owe it to yourself to treat your skin well. Taking good care of yourself, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and minimizing stress are good steps in the right direction.
Make sure to keep your favorite products around to moisturize your skin, such as a soothing cream like Eczema Honey. It’s easier to live stress-free when you know that relief is within your reach with an all-natural cream. You’ll be confident that you can easily address your eczema-related discomfort.
National Eczema Association: Eczema Stats
WebMD: Which Moisturizer Is Best for Eczema?