As you know, eczema can be triggered and prevented by your everyday lifestyle. A better understanding of these “triggers” may help you best manage your skin concerns. It can also help by reducing the severity, frequency and duration of your flare-ups. At Koéna, we want to help you with your understanding of eczema because knowing more about it and your body gives you back the control of your condition. This article provides you with 5 simple and practical tips to help empower you to take control of the management of your eczema.
1. Implement a daily bathing and moisturising routine
Crucial to the ongoing management of eczema is a daily routine aimed at hydrating your skin. ‘Dry skin’ means that your skin is not effectively preserving its moisture, so it is important that ‘lost’ moisture is replaced. One of the most efficient ways to replace your skin’s moisture is to ‘Soak and Seal’. Whether you shower or bath, it’s important that the water is lukewarm and that you use an appropriate cleanser. After bathing or showering for five to ten minutes, gently pat your skin dry. Rubbing your skin can cause irritation. If your doctor or dermatologist has prescribed a medicated topical treatment, apply it to your skin as directed.
Essential to the success of this process is to generously apply a good quality moisturiser within three minutes of bathing, any longer could result in your skin being even drier. Try to maintain a consistent bathing routine. Bath or shower at the same time & for the same time each day. Make ‘soak and seal’ part of you bathing routine to help your skin replenish lost moisture and to assist your body to reserve moisture. Sticking to a regular bathing time will help ‘seal and soak’ become a healthy skin habit.
A key factor of dry skin is loss of moisture so to make the most of your soak and seal routine it’s important to continue to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. After bathing isn’t the only time you should moisturise your skin. Liberally re-apply koéna throughout the day, especially when your skin starts to feel dry or begins to feel itchy. To help keep your skin hydrated, it’s also recommended to re-apply moisturiser after your skin comes in contact with water such as washing your hands.
2. Avoid Rapid Changes in Temperature
You might notice that your skin can become instantly irritated by quick changes in temperature, including hot-to-cold and cold-to-hot temperatures. One moment you’re comfortable and the next minute your skin is itchy. Sometimes it feels like the onset of your itch has happened for no apparent reason. This can often occur because of a rapid change in the temperature of your skin. Your skin can have a response to temperature change even in situations where you’re not expecting it.
There are many scenarios where sudden temperature changes can result in itchy-ness, but here are some of the more common examples:
- Getting into bed with your electric blanket switched on
- Entering a heated or air-conditioned room
- Hot baths, spas, saunas
What can you do? Wherever possible ensure that you retain an even skin temperature. In situations where you have control over the temperature of your environment, keep the temperature as constant as possible. When you don’t have control over your external temperature, layer your clothing. Removing one layer of clothing at a time will help maintain your skin’s temperature and increase your comfort level. Whether you are experiencing colder or warmer weather, maintaining your skin’s moisture with a reputable moisturiser is paramount to minimising the effects of rapid temperature change.
3. Avoid Scratching if Possible
Although this is easier said than done! Thinking about ‘not scratching’ only makes your urge to itch worse. Some people find themselves scratching until they bleed or you may even find yourself scratching while you are sleeping. You are probably all too familiar with the feeling of an itch ‘building’, then all of sudden willpower fails and your hand is scratching. This is because scratching is an automatic response.
Things you can do to alleviate your itch:
- A cold compress applied to the affected areas can alleviate the itch
- Wet Wrap Therapy (see more information below)
- Distract, distract, distract! Engage your mind in something you love and keep your hands busy. Whether you are squeezing a stress ball, using a fidget spinner or solving a rubix cube, stopping your hands from ‘automatically’ scratching is crucial to breaking the cycle
Feeling like your itch is uncontrollable can leave you feeling hopeless. It is possible to break the itch cycle, but it is always recommended that you seek medical advice.
4. Look After your Health, Especially Your Psychological Health
The National Eczema Association conducted a survey which concluded that over, “30% of people with atopic dermatitis were diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety.” If you’re concerned about your mental health talk to a healthcare professional. In addition to speaking to a healthcare professional, you might find other ways to alleviate your symptoms. What works for you, might not work for others - and vice-versa - but it is important to keep an open mind when finding what works for you.
Here is some inspiration to get you started:
|Deep Breathing||Calming Music||Reading|
|Creative Projects||Spending time with your pet|
Make time each day to engage in an activity that distracts your mind and offers you ‘space’ from your stress and anxiety. Caring for your mental health will help your stress and anxiety, which in turn can assist in managing eczema. However, if you are concerned about your mental health it is always recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional.
5. Wet Wrap Therapy; How to Help with Skin Flares
Experiencing an intense flare-up can feel absolutely debilitating. When your skin is reacting in this way it is crucial to help your skin rehydrate by enhancing its response to moisturising and topical medications. Many people with severe eczema have claimed Wet Wrap Therapy to be life changing. This involves applying wet wraps to the affected parts of your skin, straight after bathing, and then applying a quality moisturiser and medication. There are different methods of applying the wraps depending on which part of your body is affected.
What are the benefits of wet dressings?
- Your previously inflamed skin is soothed and better equipped to cool down
- Severe eczema is prone to infection, but the wet dressings clean your skin and help treat and prevent infection
- The application of a quality moisturiser can replace the lost moisture in your skin and reduce symptoms
- Intense flare-ups result in an intense desire to itch, however the dressings act as a barrier to scratching and help calm your skin day and night
It is recommended that you always seek the advice of your healthcare professional before using wet wrap therapy.
We hope this article has provided you with some practical eczema management tips. If you have any suggestions for other blog topics you’d like us to cover, we would love to hear from you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This material is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, treatment and/or treatment recommendations. Should you have any concerns, it is always recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional. we recommend consulting your healthcare professional.