|photo by abbyladybug|
A study showed that over 40% of people with eczema have skipped work due to a flare up and 75% have avoided social events for the same reason.
One of the big frustrations I hear from people who suffer from the Itch-Scratch Cycle is the lack of understanding the encounter from others who don’t have a skin condition—they don’t seem to grasp how deeply it can affect someone emotionally and physically.
As our largest organ, the skin is an important part of our health. Those who cope with eczema are often allergic to food and environmental irritants, and discovering which ones trigger flare ups can be a tedious task. In an earlier post, we discussed an obvious but often overlooked environmental trigger for eczema: laundry soap and artificial fibers in clothing, both of which may be next to one’s skin all day. But there are many other things to watch out for, including dry skin.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that, “Researchers don’t know for sure what causes eczema. It may be a combination of hereditary (genetic) and environmental factors. In some people, having allergies may trigger eczema. Exposure to certain irritants and allergens can make symptoms worse, as can dry skin, exposure to water, temperature changes, and stress.”
That’s a lot to have to deal with, so if you don’t have eczema, now you can understand what some of your friends may be going through. If you do have eczema, be encouraged that methods of managing it are getting better!
Most of my friends have found out by trial and error which foods tend to trigger a flare up, which often means giving up a favorite or common food for awhile. Do use a really good quality moisturizer, be gentle with your skin, be alert to changes in weather, and try a de-stressing program, such as yoga, hiking, dancing, playing music, or whatever helps you to handle stress. Do you have any tips about what you’ve found most helpful? Please feel free to share them here.