Eczema is a skin condition which causes itchy, red, and swollen patches of skin on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet. The most common type is called atopic dermatitis. Everyday things in your environment — cigarette smoke, pollen, and even your clothes — can cause eczema to flare. Avoiding your personal eczema trigger, or triggers, is an important part of your overall eczema treatment plan.
1. Avoid the Cold and Keep Moisture
In many people, extreme cold can cause eczema breakouts because skin becomes too dry. Moisturizers are an important eczema treatment, especially in cold weather. They help keep skin from drying out, cracking, and itching.
2. Clear the Dust
Some studies have shown that dust mites can cause eczema, especially in kids. You should wash bed linens and curtains weekly in hot water, and giving the entire room a thorough cleaning once a week.
3. Be Choosy About Detergent
Harsh ingredients in some laundry detergents can cause eczema symptoms. You should choose a fragrance-free, neutral pH detergent for your clothes. Then make sure you get all the soap out of your clothes by choosing the double rinse cycle. Be careful with other household cleansers, too. Wear gloves if you have to use an item that may contain an eczema trigger.
4. Ease Stress
Stress can be an eczema trigger in some people. Ease stress and anxiety not only relieve eczema symptoms, but also cut down the number of eczema attacks. Deep breathing, yoga, and joining a support group are a few options.
5. Keep Cool
Heat and humidity are common eczema triggers. Keep your house cool and use a humidifier in the winter to avoid dryness. Wear loose-fitting cotton clothes that breathe and are easy on your skin. Find a shady spot to beat the heat and keep your cool when you are outside.
6. Watch What You’re Eating
Food allergies could cause eczema symptoms in people with atopic dermatitis, so avoiding foods that trigger flare-ups can be helpful. At the same time, eat more food that is rich in the antioxidant vitamins A, B, C, E and the omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Avoid Pollen
For people with atopic dermatitis, pollen is a common eczema trigger. Stay indoors when pollen counts are really high and keep your windows closed. If you have to go outside, take a quick shower when you come back home in order to remove pollen from your skin and hair, and wash your clothes.
8. Check Your Cosmetic Bag
Products containing alcohol, perfumes, lanolin, or preservatives tend to cause eczema breakouts in many people. When trying out a new cosmetic, cleanser, or lotion, test it out on a small patch of skin.
9. Stay Out of Hot Water
Wash your skin with warm water and use a mild soap. Avoid hot water and scrubbing, both of which can irritate your skin. Pat skin dry with a towel. While you’re still damp, smear skin with rich moisturizer.
10. Reduce Pet Dander
It may be best to keep pets outside. If you let them in, keep animals off sofas and chairs and ban them from the bedroom. Frequent vacuuming of carpet and rugs may help reduce pet dander, a common eczema trigger. Regular bathing and grooming of pets may also make your treatment for eczema more effective.