Skincare means different things to various people. For many, skincare involves washing their faces at the end of the day and applying hand cream as needed. For others, taking care of their skin involves a little more work. Individuals with eczema need to follow specific steps to maintain their skin.
The National Eczema Association reported that approximately 31.6 million Americans – or 10% of the population – have eczema. The fact that this skin irritation is common doesn't make it any less uncomfortable. When you are dealing with eczema, you should follow a number of strategies to prevent your skin from flaring up and becoming itchier.
1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
One of the best things you can do to help control your eczema is to keep your skin moisturized. According to the National Eczema Association, moisturizers work to protect the outermost layer of skin, also known as the skin barrier. When someone has a damaged skin barrier, they might not be able to retain as much moisture in their skin as someone with an intact skin barrier. Because individuals with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, regularly applying moisturizers to sensitive areas can prevent eczema from getting worse.
It's not enough just to use a moisturizer from time to time. When you have eczema, you need to make sure the moisturizer you're using and the time you're applying it are best for your skin. The least irritating types of moisturizers you can buy are free of dyes and fragrances. When you're trying out a new moisturizer, you can check to make sure it will work for your skin by applying a pea-sized amount to a small area of your skin and waiting several hours before washing it off to make sure you don't get a bad reaction from the product. The National Eczema Association recommends applying a thick layer of moisturizer within three minutes of showering or bathing to lock in moisture.
2. Try out coconut oil
Something you probably have lying around the house that can help soothe your skin is coconut oil. Even though this material hasn't been proven as a way to decrease the appearance of eczema, it has been shown to prevent eczema flares from getting worse, as it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Manage your stress
One of the major causes of eczema flare-ups is stress. If you've been having a tough few weeks at work or haven't been getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, you might have noticed a slight difference in your skin. Even though not all causes of stress can be avoided altogether, there are plenty of components you can add to your life to lower your stress levels. Incorporate relaxing activities into your routine, like meditating or light yoga, to remain calm and mindful, not allowing your stress to overpower you. Most importantly, try to get to bed earlier than usual so lack of shut-eye doesn't contribute to your skin's health.
4. Watch your diet
Your diet might have a significant impact on your skin's health. Now, we're not saying you have to switch to a raw or vegan diet to keep your eczema from flaring up. However, you might want to track what you've been eating recently if you've noticed any eczema flare-ups. There might be a food trigger that you've added more of to your diet, such as soy, milk or eggs. Keeping a food diary can help you keep track of what foods might be irritating your skin and might cause your dermatologist to refer you to an allergist for testing.
5. Clean your makeup brushes
If you like to apply makeup on a regular basis, you need to be sure your makeup brushes are clean. It's so easy to forget to wash the bristles on a regular basis, but doing so is so important, especially when you're dealing with a skin condition like eczema. Unwashed makeup brushes are a hub for bacteria, which can be really detrimental to your skin. Additionally, when you don't wash your makeup brushes, you're likely spreading small amounts of old makeup across your face, which can clog your pores and irritate your skin. Make sure you're cleaning your makeup brushes at least once a week to keep your eczema from progressing.
If you'd like to get solutions to improve your eczema, schedule an appointment with Maryland Plastic Surgery today.