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Eczema - How To Prevent Its Flare-ups?

Written and reviewed by
MD, D.V.D, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai  •  30 years experience
Eczema - How To Prevent Its Flare-ups?

Eczema is a common skin problem that appears as red, raised rashes on the skin, commonly the face, neck, elbows, hands, and feet. Considered as an allergic response, it is often seen in people who have a predisposition to other allergies like asthma, hay fever, hives, etc.

The good news is that these have identified patterns, and there are things that can be easily done which can prevent flare-ups.

  1. Reduce soap: Soaps are known to dry the skin up and irritate the skin, so eczema flare-up is common in those who love to lather themselves up. If possible, switch to soap or body wash that contains moisturizer as reduce the bacterial load on the skin. People who live in hot and humid locations, such as Mumbai it is important that they cleanse their face completely, else it can lead eczema eruption. 
  2. Moisturize: Keep a moisturizer handy at all times. Eczema is common when the skin is dry, so keep applying moisturizer at regular intervals and keep eczema at bay. Make it a habit to apply moisturizer soon after the bath. The moist skin soaks it in nicely and provides maximum benefit when applied this way.
  3. Avoid artificial fragrances: While deodorants and skin care creams which contain fragrances smell appealing, they also cause irritation and are harsh on the skin. This exacerbates eczema, and so avoiding these products is advised.
  4. Know your trigger: This could be anything from a dishwasher liquid to a bath soap or a deodorant to some plant in your garden. Over a period of time, you will be able to identify the trigger, and avoid it so that eczema does not flare up. Remember, it is a type of allergy after all.
  5. Detergents for washing clothes: Using milder detergents, especially for undergarments, greatly helps. Also, wash these twice to get rid of all the soap. Avoid fabric softeners as they are fragrant and can cause irritation.
  6. Avoid hot baths: While a hot bath at the end of a long day sounds very relaxing, it also leaves your skin dry. This can worsen the condition of eczema. Add to this the irritation from your bedspread and pillow covers. Unless you have the habit of applying copious amounts of moisturizer before going to sleep.
  7. Cover up your hands and face: When possible, use gloves and a mask especially when washing dishes and using laundry detergents. This way, you can prevent dryness and irritation of the skin on the hands and prevent eczema.
  8. Soak it in the tub: When you stay for about 20 minutes in a tub (no hot water though, but lukewarm), the skin absorbs moisture which prevents it from drying. This greatly helps prevent eczema.
  9. Cut down stress: Like any allergy, eczema acts up when stressed, so manage it. There is no point stressing anyways!

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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