Eczema is a relatively common skin condition also known as dermatitis. This condition can affect all parts of the body but is most commonly found on the face, knees, ankles face and chest. Preventing eczema depends on the type of eczema you have: atopic or contact eczema. Here’s a guide on how to prevent the different forms of eczema.
Identifying the type of eczema you have is essential in the prevention of irritation.
Atopic eczema is caused by a number of irritants found in the air, such as chemicals, pollen, animal dander, dust mites and so on.
As the name suggests, contact eczema is caused by coming into direct physical contact with materials that may cause irritation – from synthetic materials to wool, feathers, metals and chemicals such as clothing detergents.
Once you’re aware of the irritants that affect you – make sure that you avoid them at all costs. Atopic eczema sufferers should use air purifiers to help reduce the number of irritants in the air – regularly airing out rooms to help ensure that the air is as clean as possible. Contact eczema sufferers should buy bedding and clothing that will not cause irritation outbreaks.
Food is often a trigger for eczema outbreaks. The most common problem foods are dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and buttermilk as well as seafood, red meat and pitted fruit. Additives can also be a problem for some sufferers, meaning you have to very careful about the foods you eat, checking the packaging for ingredients.
The problem with food-based allergies is that they are difficult to isolate. You can speak to a doctor about having some tests done. Dermatologists will also ask you to cut out certain foods from your diet to help eliminate problem ingredients.
Dehydration can make eczema outbreaks much more common, as the skin is already dry. By drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, you can keep your skin fully hydrated – this is the equivalent to about 10 glasses of water during the course of the day.
Some forms of eczema are incredibly hard to prevent and using an eczema treatment such as an eczema cream is the best way to help manage outbreaks. There are many different creams on the market – for children and adults. The active ingredients vary – some contain steroids or emollients. There are, however, creams that do not contain either and focus on reinvigorating your body’s own repair mechanisms, allowing your skin to protect itself from further outbreaks.
If you have any questions, be sure to consult your GP for further treatment options and advice.