Whether you have eczema or just want to help a friend with eczema out, feel free to use this list as a basis for eczema don’ts!
1. A IS FOR AVOIDING ALLERGENS
Allergens, may they be food or things from your surroundings, can trigger eczema flares. If you notice skin inflammation, consult a physician and a dietician immediately so that you can get on the right track.
Some of the most common allergens to look out for are:
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust Mites
- Wool and polyester
- Formaldehyde (found in glue and furniture cleaners)
- Soaps, detergents, and household disinfectants
- Seasonal Pollen
- Some food e.g. peanuts, milk, eggs, and soy
2. AVOID BEING HIGH AND DRY...TEMPERATURE-WISE
Enjoying a hot bath at the end of the day is one of the quickest, easiest, and most inexpensive ways to unwind. However, hot water can strip the skin of its protective oils, weakening its immunity to bacteria. Similarly, the skin gets dry and irritated during cold winter months as well. It’s really all about adjusting to your surroundings. If you’re reading this, it means you’re no stranger to eczema; and you also know that extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures can severely trigger those frequent visitors—flare-ups.
3. CHEMICALS = CULPRITS
This one is pretty self-explanatory. All-natural products are all the rave right now for a reason. The more chemical ingredients and fragrances there are in a product, the more irritants there are. Always check the label. Do your research basically on everything that touches your skin—makeup, skincare products, dishwashing soap, detergents, etc.
4. STEER CLEAR OF (EXCESSIVE) SUNLIGHT
We’ve already established that being high and dry, as well as low and humid, can trigger eczema flare-ups. In addition to the heat itself causing prickly heat, it’s the temptation to scratch your rashes that can make things worse. Many people, particularly people with skin conditions (e.g. eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis) experience prickly heat when they stay under the sun for a period of time. We know, it itches like hell. Make sure to consult your dermatologist for proper rash creams and necessary medication. Better yet, wear sunscreen and avoid staying under the sun from 10am to 4pm to completely rule out prickly heat.
5. STRESS LESS ; SLEEP MORE
“Stress less” is something we’re tired of hearing. It’s so easy to advise; yet so hard to do. However, a healthy balance between our internal and external environments is vital for skin healing. It’s no secret that getting enough sleep can help improve your mood. While we’re fast asleep, our brain, together with our other body parts regain their strength. Getting a good night’s sleep supports cell regeneration, which will then ensure skin healing and rejuvenation. In simpler terms, what happens on the outside greatly impacts what happens on the inside and vice-versa.
6. NO SOAP? NO PROBLEM!
Contrary to popular belief, our skin doesn’t require soap. Surprisingly, soap tends to strip the skin of its natural oils, taking away moisture. Dermatologists recommend using either a milk or an oil cleanser, and then washing the skin off with water. That’s it.
7. DON’T BE EXTRA
In relation to #6, the less products we use on our skin, the better! If you have eczema, Less is More should definitely be your bumper sticker. Using soaps, strong detergents, and scented skincare products = recipe for disaster! Bee Natural (no pun intended).
8. MAKEUP OR BREAK...OUT
Removing your makeup at the end of the day is probably one of the two cardinal rules of skincare (the other one being Using Sunscreen). Cleansing is Caring. If you’re a makeup lover, you probably use primer or bb cream underneath your powders. Since primers and bb creams usually have SPF (therefore protecting the skin), it’s okay to remove makeup with just cleansing wipes, right? Wrong! Cleansing wipes are okay to use for the surface of your skin. However, there are inner layers that need more attention. As we’ve mentioned before, cleansing milks or cleansing oils are perfect for removing makeup because they actually break down the particles, leaving your face with little to no residue.
9. LET YOUR SKIN BREATHE
Another obvious but very important one; Let your Skin Breathe. We all need space, right? Even if you’re an extrovert, you need alone time. Well, so does our skin. It’s so tempting to buy all these amazing-smelling mineral oils especially when they’re on sale. But these tiny bottles of goodness aren’t so good after all; they can create a thick barrier for the skin, preventing it to breathe. Yes, you guessed it: clogged pores can also cause acne, irritation, and eczema.
10. WINTER IS COMING: Make sure you’re prepared!We’ve already established cold weather as one of the causes of eczema. Don’t worry; this isn’t about winter; it’s about preparing. We usually address eczema when it’s actually there, sneakily settling down on our skin. It’s time to take the initiative. As soon as the weather starts getting hot or cold, suit up! Prepare your eczema gear—may it be homeopathic soothers, body balms, or rash cream. Be mindful of what you apply to your skin. For instance, don’t use alcohol during winter time. That’s basically asking for dry skin.