If your skin continually becomes red and itchy, and you can’t find any immediate cause for it, chances are good that you have eczema.
Eczema is a condition that affects more than 31 million people in the United States, leads to almost 6 million lost workdays a year, and causes an annual economic burden of $5.3 billion.
Given all this, it’s obvious that eczema can cause some pretty big problems for people. Still, Dr. Melanie Adams and our expert team at Melanie Adams Dermatology in Columbia, Maryland, have learned several good tips and tricks for how to manage eczema.
Keep reading to find out the top ways you can live with eczema.
Eczema is the popular term for a condition known as atopic dermatitis that makes your skin red and itchy. The exact cause isn’t known, but it’s likely due to a combination of genetic predispositions and environmental triggers.
Symptoms include dry skin, itching that may become more severe at night, skin that’s sensitive, and discolored, patches of rough, leathery skin, and skin that’s oozing or swelling. Your symptoms may flare up only occasionally, or they may come often.
The itching can even become so bad that you scratch until your skin bleeds, which makes the eczema worse.
Despite these difficult symptoms, many patients have learned to manage their eczema in a way that lets them function normally each day.
One of the biggest components of this management strategy is finding methods that help block the overwhelming itching messages your body is sending to your brain. Here are a few ideas:
Learn to identify and then avoid triggers that make your eczema worse and increase your itching. These triggers can include sun, heat, sweat, soaps, detergents, dust, pollen, and more.
The idea is to stay away from these things as much as possible. For instance, when you’re outside, remember to wear a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves.
You should moisturize your skin at least twice a day, so find a product that works well for you. Use mild, gentle soaps rather than antibacterial or deodorant soaps that can dry out your skin.
Take shorter baths and showers with warm, rather than hot, water. Stick to your routine as much as possible, and the good habits build up over time so you can keep your eczema under control.
When the itching gets particularly bad, you want to do anything to stop it. To keep yourself from scratching your skin completely off, imagine a pleasant, happy place in your head.
Think of the beach where you went for vacation, the waves rolling in and out, and the sun shining. As you relax in your mind, your body starts to relax as well.
If you need more help in your fight against eczema, make an appointment with Melanie Adams Dermatology. Dr. Adams offers in-office treatments and can prescribe medication to help you manage the frequency and intensity of your eczema flare-ups.
To make your appointment, give us a call or click on the online booking tool on our site.