Why Is Eczema Flaring Up Now? Insights From an Allergist

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Eczema is a skin condition that results in itchy and inflamed skin. It affects millions globally, with symptoms varying from mild to severe. While it may develop at any age, it typically starts in childhood and may persist into adulthood. 

Having eczema leads to significant physical, emotional, and mental distress. According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, skin conditions cause people to feel self-conscious and embarrassed. The constant itching and discomfort also affect daily tasks and social interactions, leading to a loss of confidence.

We’re here to help you overcome these challenges and effectively manage eczema with expert tips from an allergist. While consulting an allergy specialist is still your best option for treating eczema with a personalized treatment plan, learning the best practices to prevent and manage eczema flare-ups significantly improves your quality of life.

Understanding Eczema Flare-Ups

People with eczema have a weakened moisture barrier that causes irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin. This condition leads to an immune response that triggers inflammation, increasing the symptoms. Various factors, including the environment and genetics, trigger these flare-ups. The skin becomes red and itchy during a flare-up and may develop blisters or crusts. The severity and duration of flare-ups depend on the person’s sensitivity, making it essential to identify and address the triggers.

 

What Triggers Eczema Flare-Ups?

Environmental Triggers

Exposure to irritants like soaps, detergents, and certain fabrics can trigger flare-ups. Weather, humidity, and temperature changes also impact the skin’s moisture levels, potentially leading to flare-ups.

Allergens

Allergic reactions to animal dander, dust mites, pollen, and certain foods may trigger flare-ups in people with eczema.

Stress

Emotional stress and anxiety exacerbate eczema symptoms, increasing inflammation and itching.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations, especially during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, may cause a bad eczema flare-up.

Microbial Infections 

Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections may worsen eczema symptoms and lead to flare-ups.

 

Insights From Allergists on Eczema Flare-Ups

Consulting with an allergist ensures effective symptom management, leading to better mood and quality of life. To determine the underlying cause of your flare-ups, allergy specialists perform thorough evaluations, including allergy testing, skin patch testing, and blood tests. Based on the results, your allergist may recommend lifestyle modifications, skincare routines, and medications to manage eczema effectively. Follow their tips and strategies thoroughly to increase the effectiveness of your treatment plant. 

 

Managing Eczema Flare-Ups

Managing skin allergies and eczema flare-ups involves a combination of preventive measures and treatment strategies. 

Skin Moisturizers

Keep your skin well-hydrated with emollients and moisturizers to prevent flare-ups.

Trigger Avoidance

Identify and avoid triggers such as harsh chemicals, allergens, and stressors to reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

Topical Treatments

Apply corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, or other prescription medications to the affected area to help ease inflammation and itching during flare-ups.

Antihistamines

Oral antihistamines help relieve itching and improve sleep quality during flare-ups.

Phototherapy

In some cases, direct exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light under medical supervision may help improve symptoms of eczema and reduce flare-ups.

 

Avoiding Eczema Triggers

You can encounter eczema triggers in everyday objects and activities. To avoid triggers and reduce the risks of flare-ups, we recommend the following precautions and practices: 

  • Use mild, fragrance-free soaps and detergents.
  • Avoid extended exposure to hot water and harsh chemicals.
  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes. Try yoga, breathing exercises, or pilates. 
  • Wash bedding and clothing to remove allergens.
  • Eat healthily with a diet of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Importance of a Skincare Routine

Maintain a regular skincare routine to manage eczema and prevent flare-ups. Skincare plays a crucial role in alleviating eczema symptoms by keeping the skin moisturized. Allergy specialists recommend moisturizing the skin to help prevent dryness, itching, cracking, and flaking and to reduce the recurrence.

Here’s how:

  • Cleanse Gently: Use mild, non-irritating cleansers to wash the skin.
  • Maintain Skin Hydration: Apply moisturizers immediately after bathing to lock in moisture.
  • Use Skin Protection: Use sunscreen and protective clothing to shield the skin from UV rays.
  • Avoid Irritants: Avoid harsh skincare products, fragrances, and exfoliants that irritate the skin.

 

Diet and Eczema

Certain foods trigger flare-ups in some people. To reduce eczema flare-ups due to trigger foods, ask your allergist about what to eat, avoid, and food cross-reactivity

Common trigger foods include:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish and shellfish

If you suspect certain foods may trigger your eczema flare-ups, consult your allergist.

 

Psychological Impact of Eczema

Living with eczema has a significant psychological impact. The chronic nature of the condition, along with its visible symptoms, may lead to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem. It is challenging to cope with the constant need to manage symptoms and the unpredictability of flare-ups. 

Addressing the psychological aspects of eczema is as crucial as managing its physical symptoms. Trigger avoidance and providing support to people with the condition make a significant difference. Connecting with others living with eczema or joining support groups helps you feel less isolated and develop a sense of community. 

Counseling or therapy helps people with eczema manage the emotional and mental effects through a holistic approach, fostering coping strategies to help overcome the condition’s negative mental impact. 

 

Final Thoughts

Eczema flare-ups may be challenging to manage, but they are treatable with the right approach, incorporating tips and insights from allergy experts in your management plan. People with eczema may lead healthier, more comfortable lives by understanding the factors contributing to flare-ups and implementing effective management strategies through informed expert decisions. Do not hesitate to consult an allergy expert for the most effective, long-lasting methods to manage eczema.

 

FAQs on Eczema Outbreak

Q: Can eczema flare-ups be prevented entirely?

While it may not be possible to prevent eczema flare-ups entirely, following a proper skincare routine, avoiding triggers, and seeking medical advice may help minimize their occurrence.

 

Q: Are there any home remedies for eczema flare-ups?

Natural remedies like oatmeal baths, coconut oil, and aloe vera may relieve mild eczema symptoms. However, consulting with an allergy specialist before trying new treatments is essential.

 

Q: Can stress make eczema flare-ups worse?

Yes, stress exacerbates eczema symptoms and leads to flare-ups. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, mild exercises, and counseling may reduce the effects of stress on eczema.

 

Q: Is eczema contagious?

No, eczema is not contagious. It is an adverse skin condition caused by genetic and environmental factors.

 

Q: Can food allergies trigger eczema flare-ups?

Yes, some people experience eczema flare-ups due to food allergies. Identifying and avoiding trigger foods helps manage eczema symptoms.

 

Regain Confidence With a Healthier Skin!

If you want to know about what causes eczema flare-ups and are searching “allergy doctor near me” online, you’ve come to the right page!

Dr. Paul Jantzi and his board-certified allergy experts provide quality treatment options for eczema and similar skin conditions. We aim to help you regain confidence against eczema by ensuring healthier skin. Our Brazos Valley Allergy & Asthma Clinics is here for your needs.

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