Although eczema is a chronic skin condition, it is possible to reduce the frequency of eczema outbreaks and better control the illness. Below we’ll describe 5 ways you can get a leg up on your eczema and prevent flare-ups before they start. We’ll also share how phototherapy has helped thousands of our patients live better during the day and sleep well at night.
1. Moisturize Your Skin
Dry skin is a common eczema trigger for many people. When your skin gets too dry, it can become rough, itchy, and even crack, allowing bacteria or allergens to penetrate inside. Extreme changes in temperature can also stress your skin.
To help keep your skin moist, make sure you properly moisturize it (especially in winter when the air can be very dry). Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your bedroom when you sleep and apply body lotion after you get out of a shower or bath.
Bonus tip: Keep your moisturizer in the refrigerator—it feels wonderful when applied cold.
When symptoms of dry skin get out of hand, Array Skin Therapy’s medical professionals administer phototherapy as a safe, non-invasive, and effective treatment option for people suffering from eczema. Phototherapy, also called light therapy, is a skin treatment that harnesses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light to ease mild to severe eczema symptoms.
2. Reduce Factors that Trigger Outbreaks
Certain things can trigger or aggravate eczema outbreaks, including specific foods, pollen, pet dander, molds, dust, and mites. Tiny particles in the air can cause a rash or irritate your skin. You might be allergic to pet dander from cats or dogs; second-hand cigarette smoke or a dusty home may also be to blame.
Try to identify the factors that set off your flare-ups and avoid them as much as possible. This may help prevent or delay the next outbreak. If you think you may have an allergy, consult your primary care physician or talk to an allergy specialist.
The most common type of phototherapy used to treat eczema is narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) light. This uses a special machine to emit UVB light, which is the best part of natural sunlight for treating eczema.
3. Body and Facial Products Matter
Cosmetics, soaps, cleansers, hair products, perfumes, scented lotions, and shaving creams may all contain ingredients that can irritate your skin and trigger eczema rashes. To learn what’s best for you and minimize the chance of an outbreak, test products on a small area of skin before using them regularly. Leave the product on your skin for at least 24 hours, then check if you’ve had a reaction.
Keep track of anything you use that seems to provoke a flare up after you touch it. Choose soaps, cleansers, or laundry detergent without added perfumes or dyes. Natural or organic products or those without artificial ingredients may provide a solution, but always test them out first.
If you do experience a flare up, phototherapy can help to:
- Reduce itching
- Soothe inflammation
- Improve skin appearance
By using a narrow spectrum of sunlight, phototherapy is a non-invasive, no-drug alternative that requires no needles, no creams, and has few possible side effects.