In our last eczema post, we covered what the condition is and what the common triggers are. Once familiar with what outbreaks are and what can cause them, it is important to create a management plan for the variety of symptoms that eczema can cause.
A basic management plan can be created with help from your provider, but the breakdown is usually similar to this: 1. Know your triggers, 2. Implement consistent bathing and a moisturization routine, 3. Use over the counter products and prescriptions consistently, and 4. Watch for signs of infection.
Knowing your triggers not only encompasses knowing exactly what causes an outbreak, but also how to handle it. It is important to learn how to avoid and cope with stressful and triggering situations. There are multiple support groups that help connect people dealing with eczema to give support and tips. For example, National Eczema Association has an online support group called Eczema Wise.
With bathing, it is recommended to use lukewarm water over hot water, because hot water can be very drying. You can also help combat specific symptoms of your eczema by adding products such as bleach, vinegar, oatmeal or baking soda to bath water. Soak in a warm bath or take a shower and moisturize within three minutes after bathing, while your skin is still wet. This will not only help the moisturizer penetrate deeper into your skin, but also will protect the barriers of your skin from external triggers. Prescription topical creams can also help ease symptoms such as redness, rash, drying, and itching.
Another type of treatment would be Phototherapy. This is a procedure done in-office or with a home light unit, where UVB light is emitted to help reduce itching and inflammation. Exposure to this light increases vitamin D production and bacteria-fighting systems in the skin, which can help with eczema symptoms. Any treatment plan should be worked out with your doctor. To schedule an appointment to form a treatment plan for your eczema, give us a call at 804-549-4040.