The daily struggle with atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is real. For nearly 30% of the American population who are living with eczema, it can be a challenge to get through the day or sleep restfully at night while battling the itchy symptoms of eczema. Expert dermatologist, Dr. David A. Bushore, of Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics, in Austin, Texas, wants you to know that there are practical ways to manage this chronic skin condition so it doesn’t keep interfering with your daily life.
It helps to remember that eczema affects individuals very differently, so taking a multidisciplinary approach to reducing the frequency and severity of your symptoms may be the best way to get long-term relief. Since there’s not one single cause, there’s often not one single way to successfully manage eczema. So, with that in mind, consider the numerous strategies you may need to take in order to live with eczema the best way you can.
Eczema often comes in waves or flare-ups triggered by environmental factors, foods, and numerous other catalysts including:
Once you’re aware of any specific triggers, you can take care to avoid them or make necessary lifestyle adjustments.
If you’ve found a skin care routine that works well to minimize eczema flare-ups, itching, and irritation, stick to it. Or, if a daily medicine works best, be sure to take it religiously. Practicing self-care can go a long way toward living with and diminishing uncomfortable symptoms.
Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness activities can help you relax and take your attention away from the itching and irritation of eczema. Guided imagery is often helpful to give yourself a “mini-vacation” in your mind. This is particularly helpful if stress is one of your triggers.
Anxiety and depression are typical for those suffering from the social discomforts of living with eczema. It’s easy to feel self-conscious about visible eczema symptoms when you’re at work or in social settings. Many adults avoid certain situations because of the risk of embarrassment over dry, flaky, red skin.
Don’t isolate yourself. Join an online support group, or speak with Dr. Bushore about available treatment options so you can feel comfortable with your symptoms and with others. Psychologically, it helps to know that you’re not the only one dealing with itching and perpetual skin irritations.
Coconut oil is one of the most natural ways to soothe and moisturize your skin without the irritants found in cosmetic products or body lotions. Sunflower oil also has healing properties. Try some of the natural remedies to see if you get relief from itching and redness. When you find something that works, make it part of your morning or nightly moisturizing routine.
You may want to avoid essential oils and aromatherapy oils, as they may irritate your skin, rather than helping. But, as we noted earlier, eczema symptoms and remedies are not one-size-fits-all. Find options that are most helpful to your specific condition.
Finally, if you’ve tried everything from prescription corticosteroids to oral antibiotics, lotions, and skin creams to no avail, Dr. Bushore may recommend narrowband UVB therapy. UVB stands for “type B ultraviolet light.” UVB therapies treat the symptoms of eczema with a controlled light source that targets only the areas of your skin that need to be treated. Narrowband UVB light therapy uses a very small part of the UV spectrum, so it cuts down on exposure to UV radiation.
With narrowband UVB, Dr. Bushore can safely treat eczema with minimal side effects and a fairly short course of treatment.
If you’ve been struggling to manage your eczema symptoms, you’re not alone. To get started on an effective treatment plan, call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Bushore, today.