Eczema is difficult to deal with all year round. There are so many do's and don'ts its hard to keep up. So it is important to understand that everyone is different and what might work for you might not work for someone else. That's why our number one tip is to keep an eczema diary.
1. Keep an eczema diary
Log your food, water intake, clothing, exercise, weather, skin care, shampoo, and just about everything else you did in the day. This will help you recognise your triggers. Triggers can be just about anything, so it is important to log everything you come into contact with as well as how you felt through out the day, for example, stress is a major trigger for most people. After a while you will start to notice patterns and will start to understand your triggers.
2. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water. You can't expect your skin to stay moisturised and hydrated if you're not drinking. Especially after exercise, it is important to replenish those fluids. A good addition is an electrolyte replacement such as Hydralyte, as this will help effectively hydrate and replenish salts and electrolytes you lose when sweating. You can get Hydralyte from your local pharmacy.
Swimming can be good for eczema, whether it is in salt water or chlorine. However, you need to be cautious as everyone reacts differently. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to trial. The chlorine and salt in water help reduce inflammation and have anti-bacterial effects which can stop infection. The water also has a cooling effect on the skin. It is important to note that, we still sweat when we swim and our bodies heat up, so be sure to moisturise before jumping in to keep skin hydrated. Try using a thick cream with a barrier effect such as the Intensive Krem, as this will keep skin moisturised longer and will provide a barrier for skin if you do not react well to chlorine or salt.
4. Rinse off immediately after swimming and moisturise
The chemicals/salt can strip the natural oils from your skin and cause it to dry out.
5. Keep your eczema cream and lotions in the fridge
This will keep them cool and give a cooling effect which can help reduce itching which can lead to infection. The cooling effect can help reduce inflammation as well.
6. Use cooling towels to cool down skin
Cooling towels can help reduce itching and inflammation. You can buy them online or make your own at home with a eczema friendly cloth and ice water. Just be sure not to leave damp cloth on the skin for too long. The Mission cooling towel below is a good option and affordable.
7. Wear loose fitting, light clothing
Wearing loose fitting, light clothing that doesn't rub, restrict blood flow, scratch or irritate your skin. Make sure to remove all tags, avoid clothing with rigid seams and wash all new clothing before wearing it.
8. Use fabrics that are eczema friendly
Synthetic fibres can trigger eczema and cause severe reactions in some people. 100% cotton, hemp, silk or linen are all good options. Trial and error to find out which fabric works best. The fabric should keep you warm and cool when needed, be breathable and absorb sweat to keep you dry. Check out our How to Manage Eczema in Winter Post for links to fabric options.
9. Wear layers
Layers help you better control your body temperature. You never want to be too hot or too cold. Wearing layers puts you in control of your body temperature. Adding more layers when cold and less when hot, as temperatures change through out the day.
10. Always change damp or wet clothing as soon as you can
Leaving skin damp can lead to infection. If you are exercising make sure to rinse of sweat and change clothing as soon as possible. Carrying a cool water bottle and washcloth and wiping away sweat can help if you can's shower immediately. Pay attention to the insides of elbows and backs of knees and keep them as dry as possible as sweat can collect here and anger eczema.
11. Reduce shower time and temperature
Long showers can strip your body of its natural oils and cause excess drying, reduce your shower time and skins exposure to water. Reducing shower temperature is also very important. Really hot showers and baths are not good for skin, luke warm water is best.
12. Avoid Soap
Soap has a drying effect on the skin. Make sure to use body washes, hand washes and face washes that do not contain soaps. Krem Relief Body Wash contains no soap and has a gentle cleansing effect while moisturising at the same time.
13. Moisturising while your skin is still damp
Your skin will absorb more moisture when it is still damp. Moisturising right after showering or bathing is best.
14. Avoid preservatives, chemicals, parabens, fragrances & colours
Avoid preservatives, chemicals, parabens, fragrances and colours. All these may trigger eczema and cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin. The Krem Relief Range contains none of these ingredients and is a good option for anyone suffering from eczema, dermatitis or just dry and sensitive skin.
15. Use a humidifier especially in winter
Dry winter air can be detrimental to eczema sufferers. Humidifiers add moisture to the air and can help keep skin moisturised longer. Check out our How to Manage Eczema in Winter Post for links to fabric options.