Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, is a skin condition where your skin becomes dry, red, inflamed, irritated and itchy. It usually occurs on your facial skin, around your elbows, neck, back, hands and legs. Although eczema is more common in children, people of any age group can be affected by it.
While there is no known cure for this skin condition, there are certain things you can do to prevent it. We spoke to Dr. A.K. Sarkar, MBBS and FIAMS, who gave us some effective tips to prevent eczema flare-ups...
- Stay moisturised
- Use gentle products
- Wear breathable fabrics
- Avoid scratching
- Be mindful about what you eat
Dr. A. K. Sarkar says that it is very important to keep your skin well hydrated, as dry skin tends to aggravate eczema. To help prevent this, ensure that your skin is well moisturised and nourished. Apply a hydrating moisturiser at least twice a day, preferably right after a shower, to help seal in moisture.
Use gentle products
Dr. A.K. Sarkar strongly recommends using only gentle products. He says, “Do not use scented products like soaps and perfumes and do not use soaps excessively.” This is because the ingredients used in harsh soaps, hair products, perfumes, and scented lotions may contain ingredients that can irritate your skin and trigger eczema outbreaks. In case you’re using a product for the first time he says; “Test a new product before applying” to be sure that it doesn’t adversely affect your skin.
Wear breathable fabrics
Another way to avoid eczema flare-ups is to avoid fabrics that can irritate your skin. Wear loose clothes made of cotton or other natural materials as it allows your skin to breathe. It is also important to wash new clothes before you wear them. Avoid wearing woollens or synthetic materials as they irritate your skin cause outbreaks.
Dr. A.K. Sarkar says, “Do not scratch the affected areas or rub it dry.” Scratching damages your skin and gives you rashes as well makes your skin itch more. After a shower, be careful about how you dry yourself. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing and do not forget to moisturise immediately after.
Be mindful about what you eat
“Do not eat foods that have allergens”, Dr. Sarkar warns. Certain foods such as soy, milk, eggs or wheat irritate the skin and aggravate eczema breakouts. Identify such triggers and consuming them for better prevention.