Best Way To Prevent An Eczema Flare Up? Our 5 Top Tips
It’s the worst, isn’t it? Life seems to be floating along quite nicely and then all of a sudden - BAM! You’re hit with a flare up.
No warning. No niceties. Just itchy, red, inflamed skin.
That relaxing weekend you were planning in front of the TV? Not so fast. As ever your skin (and eczema) has other plans in store.
This never-ending cycle is something that all eczema sufferers can relate to. It’s tiring. It’s stressful. And most of all, it's emotionally draining and difficult to cope with, especially when others close to you might not understand how much it impacts your life.
But as luck would have it, there’s lovely people in the world (like us) trying our best to come up with treatments and strategies for people that need it (like you).
In this article, you’ll find:
1) What is eczema? (Just briefly)
3) What can trigger a flare up?
4) 5 top tips for treatment
5) Final word
Let’s get to it!
So, what is eczema?
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic, long-term condition that causes your skin to become itchy, dry and inflamed. It’s thought that those who suffer from eczema have a weakened skin barrier, leaving them more open to allergens and irritants entering the body.
Eczema is not contagious and doesn’t mean your skin is dirty or infected, but more sensitive and likely to over-react to certain triggers.
More often than not eczema will appear in ‘flare ups’ - where your skin becomes progressively worse and your symptoms seemingly uncontrollable. This in particular can be especially draining for those suffering.
The main symptoms to look out for with eczema are:
- Severe itchy skin (especially at night)
- Dry, scaly patches that can be red or grayish-brown
- Small raised bumps that may leak fluid when scratched
- Raw and sensitive skin
- Thick, leathery patches that may look fissured
- Crusting skin
This is not an exhaustive list and there are many more symptoms to look out for depending on the form of eczema you’re suffering from. Head over to our Resources page for a more in depth look at the 7 different types of eczema and how they show up on the body.
What can trigger a flare up?
Right then, the interesting part.
What can cause or trigger a flare up is the biggest source of frustration for all those who suffer with eczema.
And you know what? It’s probably the most important part to understand. Get a grip on this - and you can hopefully begin to take back control of your own skin.
Although triggers will vary widely from person to person, it’s believed the causes of eczema will fall into one of the following groups:
1) Immune system activation. If you have an overactive immune system, your body can overreact to small irritants and allergens. This will in turn cause inflammation in your skin.
With irritants you should look out for: soaps or detergents, fragranced products, wool, synthetic fabrics, bleach, nickel and the list can go on and on!
2) Genetics. You’re more likely to suffer from dermatitis if there has been a history of such in your family. If you can count hay-fever or asthma in there too, you’re also at higher-risk.
3) Environment. Difficult to pin down, but things like the weather (both hot and cold), dampness, dust mites and pollen are the usual suspects.
4) Stress. Emotional anxiety leads to a number of physiological responses in the body which have been tied to inflammation, a clear red flag for eczema sufferers. Bottom line? Stress and your skin are intrinsically linked.
This is not a comprehensive list and identifying your triggers is very much a trial and error process. If you can get an appointment with a dermatologist then a patch test is a good plan. Besides that, a food diary and elimination diet are something you can set up and start yourself at home.
5 top tips for treatment
1) Stop itching!
We know we know, this ain’t easy. But when you fall into the itch-scratch cycle, it can break open the skin, lead to infection and make it impossible to escape from a flare up.
As luck would have it, our very own calming spray is your new best friend here.
Enriched with a blend of 3 traditional Chinese herbs trusted for 1000’s of years in Asian medicine, our plant-based formula is especially designed to combat the symptoms of eczema-prone skin.
How? Through deeply hydrating dry skin and enhancing the skin’s natural barrier through a range of restorative ingredients, namely cholesterol and ceramides.
So stop relying on will power alone (we all know that isn’t enough) and rely on us instead.
2) Moisturise (like it’s going out of fashion)
All day every day baby. Ok not all day - but at least after your morning shower and before bed. It’s crucial in helping to form a protective layer over the skin and warding off allergens or irritants.
3) Identify your triggers
We said it above. We’ll say it again. Identify your triggers and when you do, stay far far away for the rest of time.
4) Relax and de-stress
We know this can be tough - especially with everything that life can throw at you. But it’s crucial to prioritise your mental health and try to de-stress whenever possible. Meditation and mindfulness are great strategies to leverage here - jump over to our social channels @yanyeeskincare to find out more.
5) Drink enough water and get your 8 hours
Simple but effective. Drink lots of water and get enough sleep and your skin will thank you.
And finally, be CONSISTENT! This ain’t no 100m race. This is a marathon. And we’re with you.
So if you truly want to see improvements in your skin and your eczema, the above 5 points need to become ingrained into your psyche.
We did it! Best ways to prevent and treat a flare up covered.
What have we missed? Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know!
The yan-yee team
- Disorders of the immune system. (n.d.). Link
- Asthma. (2018). Link
- Should you try an elimination diet to determine the root cause of eczema? (2019). Link
- Eczema causes and triggers. (n.d.). Link
- Atopic eczema. (2019). Link
- Rozalski M, et al. (2016). Atopic and non-atopic eczema. Link