Eczema is typically described as thick, red, itchy and flaky skin. It can be hereditary or it can be brought on by environmental conditions, and it can certainly be irritated by the latter. An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from eczema, but it seems to be most prominent in children and babies. That being said, over half of people who have eczema as babies continue to see symptoms throughout their adult lives. Living with eczema isn’t only uncomfortable, as it can cause incessant itching, but it can also be embarrassing. Summer time can be especially rough for eczema sufferers because they don’t want to show off their dry, flaky skin in a tank top. While eczema is not curable, there are things you can do to keep it from flaring up. Here are the dos and don’ts for eczema sufferers.

Do stay clean and moisturized

There’s no knowing what sort of irritants you pick up when you walk around in the world. Bathing or showering every night (so as to not bring those irritants into bed) is important. Add moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower so it can trap hydrating water in your skin.

Don’t use scented products

Unfortunately, perfumes, scented moisturizers and the like are off-limits for you. Fragrance typically contains irritants that will make your eczema flare up.

Do wear fabric that breathes

Excess sweat is not good for eczema, which is why it’s important to wear organic fabric that breathes and avoid synthetic or heavy fabric that doesn’t.

Don’t wear new clothes without cleaning them

Other people, carrying things like perfume and other irritants on their skin, have tried on those clothes. Furthermore, there could be chemicals leftover from the manufacturing of those clothes.

Do get a humidifier

If you live in a dry climate then you especially need to sleep with a humidifier on. Dry air can irritate your eczema.

Don’t take extra hot showers

Hot water can actually dry out your skin. Hot water can also open your pores up too much, allowing irritants in the air to get in.

Do keep up treatment, even if symptoms subside

Find out what skincare routine and products keep your eczema at bay. Stick to your routine every day, even if symptoms subside.

Don’t put petroleum on your skin

While it is extra greasy and sticky, it actually isn’t moisturizing at all and can clog your pores, making your eczema flare up.

Do keep a journal of irritants

Just like you keep a food journal to see what meals make you sick to your stomach, you should keep an eczema journal so you can see which activities, fabrics and products made your condition flare up.

Don’t scratch, no matter how irritated you are

Never, ever scratch. The more you scratch, the more you’ll itch and you’ll get trapped in a vicious cycle.

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