Preventing eczema flares or reducing their severity is a top priority for members of MyEczemaTeam. The first step to preventing or reducing flares is understanding what triggers flares. Members have learned to identify their triggers by noticing patterns over time.
“I suggest keeping a timeline/diary/journal for yourself so you can see when it flares up,” one member recommended. “You will start to notice a pattern.”
Understanding common triggers may help to identify what causes your flares.
Some members of MyEczemaTeam have found that certain foods can trigger eczema flares. “My little boy has eczema which was quite bad until we started to avoid dairy, gluten, nuts, and eggs in his diet,” one parent reported.
“I have an intolerance to alcohol, so when I have a drink or two my eczema on my hands flares up almost immediately,” a member wrote.
These reactions are often related to food allergies, which impact as many as 30 percent of people with atopic dermatitis. Instead of responding to the allergen with hives or swelling, the body might respond with aggravated eczema symptoms.
Eliminating these foods may help reduce symptoms in some people with eczema. However, eliminating foods can cause problems too, especially in children. It’s important to talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet.
Stress is another common trigger for MyEczemaTeam members. “I have noticed that if I have a stressful day I should expect a flare-up the next day,” one member wrote. “Everytime I get stressed, a new rash comes up 😩,” another member commented.
Some members turn to self-care activities, exercise, meditation, and herbal supplements to help manage stress and reduce flares. “My naturopath put me on St. John’s wort herbal supplement to manage stress,” a member shared.
Another member wrote, “I found a little yoga helps keep my head and my skin clear!”
Weather and climate can impact people’s eczema. Dry desert or mountain climates and cold winters can dry out skin and make it more susceptible to eczema breakouts. “Since moving to Utah, the dryness and cold weather has been absolutely brutal for my skin,” a member wrote.
Hot weather, extreme humidity, and sweating can cause itchy and aggravated symptoms. Some people also experience eczema flares due to pollen and other environmental allergies.
Some people find that summer weather can improve their symptoms. One member commented, “The weather is getting better, which means my eczema will clear up from the vitamin D outdoors.” Always take precautions to protect your skin from burning when spending time in the sun.
On MyEczemaTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with eczema, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Preventing and reducing flares is one of the most discussed topics.
Here are some conversations about preventing and reducing flares:
“Does anyone else have a flare-up associated with nerves and temper?”
Can you relate? How do you prevent or reduce flares? Share your experiences at MyEczemaTeam.com.