Skincare tips for Monsoon: Tackling brutal eczema

Updated: September 4, 2019 8:34:54 PM

Visit your dermatologist if you don’t get any relief in your eczema even after so many precautions. It’s important to recognize the condition early so that it can be prevented, or stopped from getting worse.

Monsoon, monsoon skincare, eczema, how to control eczema, monsoon healthcareMonsoon season can also trigger an eczema flare-up and aggravates the associated discomfort to a great extent.

By Dr. Poornima Ramakrishna

Eczema refers to a number of different skin conditions in which the skin gets red, irritated and get small, fluid-filled bumps. Eczema can come and go. One day your skin may be fine and the next day, you may experience a flare-up. It can be triggered by many factors, including alkaline soaps and cleansers, fragranced detergents, wool used in carpets, blankets and clothing, dry climate, solvents, sweat, stress, bacteria, and viruses. Monsoon season can also trigger an eczema flare-up and aggravates the associated discomfort to a great extent. Although there is no cure for Eczema, there are few things that can be done to decrease the risk of inflammation:

Soap – Normal soaps, being alkaline in nature, can further dry out your skin. So, limit the use of soap on your body and try to use only on those body parts where you need them. Instead, try shifting to mild and non-irritating soaps. Soap and fragrance based shampoos should also be avoided. Glycerinated soaps are also a good substitute.

Moisturizing – It is one of the best ways to reduce itching and scratching of the skin. Moisturizers containing perfume, additive, color, or preservatives should be avoided as they can aggravate your skin. The moisturizer should be applied all over the body frequently or else at least twice a day. The best time to daub moisturizers on the skin is just after coming out of a bath or shower, it will help in retaining the lost moisture back to your skin.

Wet dressing – Wet dressing is an effective method to prevent the occurrence of Eczema. First, apply steroids or moisturizers to the skin and cover it with wet bandages. It is best to use when you are suffering from severe Eczema flare-ups. The wet bandage should be kept on the skin for about 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Repeat this 3- 4 times a day for effective results.

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Wash your clothes to get the itch out – Washing clothes with mild detergents, followed by rinsing them twice with normal water helps in reducing itching. It is essential that all traces of detergents from the clothes are wiped out. Use of fabric softener should also be minimized as they contain fragrances that can cause skin irritation.

Make a habit of wearing gloves – It is important to wear gloves while doing dishes or doing other household works as the soaps contain many such agents that can cause itchiness or irritate your skin. So, it is advisable to use a cotton glove liner inside the rubber glove to absorb the sweat generated from rubber.

Avoid frequent baths – If you are an Eczema patient, then it is essential that you should avoid frequent baths. One or two showers per day are enough.

Pat dry – Don’t be too harsh on your skin after taking a bath. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel or brush your skin rapidly with the palms of your hands, rather than rubbing the skin dry.

Avoid hot water baths – Bathing in hot water might feel soothing and relaxing, but it is one of the primary reasons for dryness in your skin. Hot water snatches away the essential oil from your skin and makes it extremely dry. So, it is better to take a bath in lukewarm water or cold water.

Hydrate your skin – Drink lots of water. Also, stay in the water for at least 10 to 20 minutes while bathing, so that your skin can soak up water. It will help your skin cells to absorb the water via their membranes and thus helping them stay hydrated.

Nutritional supplements – Various types of nutritious supplements like primrose oil, borage oil, etc. are considered to be effective for treating eczema symptoms.

Use antiseptics – Adding anti-septic solutions to your bath water helps in killing away the germs and treats skin infections. But keep the concentration of antiseptics moderate as a higher amount of antiseptics can harm or irritate your skin.

Lifestyle – Avoid stress if you have eczema and take time for activities like running, walking or yoga. It will help control stress and boost blood circulation. Keep your fingernails short to avoid scratching. Use a humidifier at home to help add moisture to dry winter air.

Breastfeeding – It is better to breastfeed your child for the first 6 months or 1 year if he or she is at risk of eczema due to family history. Babies should also be protected from potential allergens such as molds, mites or pet hair.

Visit your dermatologist if you don’t get any relief in your eczema even after so many precautions. It’s important to recognize the condition early so that it can be prevented, or stopped from getting worse.

(The author is MBBS, MS (Mumbai), Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Apollo Cradle, Koramangala & Jayanagar. Views expressed are personal.)

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