Did you know that about 10 percent of people in the United States are living with eczema? More than just itchy skin, eczema affects people’s quality of life, having a negative impact on their emotional, physical, and mental health, and interfering with their social activities. There is no cure for eczema, but eczema preparation, along with other strategies, can help with managing this condition. Here, we discuss how to prepare for eczema, whether you are at home or away.
Eczema and its impact on daily life
Eczema typically begins in early childhood, so the impact it has on a person’s development can be extreme. A breakdown in the skin’s natural barrier, eczema can be the result of genetic or environmental factors, and causes the immune system to overreact to small irritants or allergens. Eczema can affect the way a person looks, and people with eczema can experience difficulties in the way they feel about themselves, other people, and the world around them. While it is a physically uncomfortable ailment, it also affects a person’s social, emotional, and personal wellbeing, disrupting personal relationships, family life, leisure, holidays, social situations, and everyday life. This condition can cause sleep disturbances and affect a person’s performance at work, school, sports activities, and more. People with eczema often suffer from emotional and psychological difficulties stemming from their condition, including embarrassment, shame, anxiety, and depression.
Eczema Preparedness at Home
While eczema has no cure, preparing for eczema can help you take control of your situation. While your doctor can help you with medications, emollients, and topical treatments, there are other measures you can take to help manage the impact of eczema on your life. Meditation, mindfulness exercises, distraction techniques, or breathing exercises can all be helpful, as can finding other ways to reduce anxiety and stress. Prioritize self-care, and know which foods to avoid with eczema, and how to best manage a flareup. Preparedness is another strategy for managing your eczema, and this involves things like stocking up on essentials at home and packing a “go-bag” to take with you when you leave the house.
Well-stocked Essentials at Home
It is wise to keep topical medications and moisturizers on hand at all times, and buy in bulk, in case your favorite products are discontinued or out of stock. Fill your prescriptions in advance so that you won’t have to wait for a refill while you are experiencing an eczema flare. Having a humidifier at home can also be helpful. If you find that home remedies like colloidal oatmeal baths help you, make sure you have what you need in case of a flareup.
Maintaining a Clean and Allergen-Free Environment
Stay on top of housework, because frequent housecleaning can help keep allergens from aggravating your eczema. Clean your house at least once a week, and on a monthly basis, do a deep clean. Pay special attention to dust, since dust mite allergy is very common. Reduce the number of dust-collecting items in your home, and consider investing in an air purifier. If you have pets, bathe them weekly and establish pet-free zones to protect those who are allergic. Learn which foods to avoid with eczema by removing common triggers from your diet, including nuts, dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, citrus, and tomatoes. You can add things back one at a time to determine which are triggers for you. Adding fatty fish, foods that contain flavonoids, and probiotics can also help you manage flareups.
Ensuring sufficient medication and skincare products during trips
What should be in your “go bag” before you leave the house? Topical steroids are essential for quick relief from itching. It is also extremely important to bring moisturizer, because keeping skin well-hydrated can help prevent eczema flares. Make sure to pack sunscreen, because when you reach your destination, you may not be able to find a sunscreen that does not irritate your skin. It is better to buy your favorite ahead of time and carry it with you.
Emergency Preparedness for Flare-ups
Having certain supplies easily accessible can make all the difference during a flareup. These include gloves, moisturizing cream, antibiotic ointment, mild cleanser, alcohol-free hand sanitizer, bandages and gauze pads, protective clothing, eczema medications, bleach for bleach baths, and wet wrap dressings and clothing. Amend this list as needed, to meet your particular needs.
What happens if you cannot refill your prescription due to travel, illness or inclement weather?
No matter how prepared we try to be, sometimes the unexpected happens. If you cannot refill your prescription, don’t panic. You may have some variation of what you need on hand already. If you have over-the-counter topical steroids, they can fill in until you can get your prescription refilled. What’s more, the expiration date on topical steroids is not exact, and while they may lose some efficacy, they’re still safe to use for a few months after the expiration date.
Trust the Eczema Experts in Fort Collins and Loveland, CO
When you need skincare help or advice, including treatment for eczema, trust Divine Dermatology and Surgical Institute, Fort Collins’ best name in dermatology. At Divine Dermatology, we provide the highest quality care and the most advanced techniques available, in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Our experienced team works under the leadership of the founder of the practice, Dr. Jennifer Divine, who is board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American College of Mohs Surgery. By tailoring treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs, and providing personalized attention, we’re able to provide effective care for a wide range of conditions. We treat skin, hair, and nail conditions and provide medical, cosmetic, and surgical services, providing comprehensive for people of all ages. Our expert skin cancer care includes diagnosis and tumor removal using standard surgical techniques and Mohs micrographic surgery, and we treat both common and rare skin conditions, as well as offering a wide array of cosmetic and aesthetic procedures. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment, call us at 970-399-7744 or contact us through our website.