How you might be making your Eczema Worse

New York City and Manhattan, NY

More than 31 million Americans have some form of eczema. If you’re one of them, you know the struggle. Living with eczema can be uncomfortable, painful, and embarrassing. Even if you’ve sought treatment for your eczema, you may not have experienced improvement in your symptoms—or your condition may be getting worse. Board-certified dermatologists in NYC, Drs. Debra Wattenberg and Ilyse Lefkowicz want to educate you on a few lifestyle choices that may be exacerbating your eczema, and how you can make changes that improve your condition.

What causes eczema?  

how you might be making eczema worse

There remains no scientific consensus answer to this question, although past medical research suggests that heredity and external triggers both play a role. There are seven different skin problems that classify as varieties of eczema. Common eczema symptoms include itchiness, dry skin, rashes, flaky skin, inflammation, fissures, cracks in the skin, peeling skin, and redness. The disease will affect approximately 10 percent of the population at some point in their lifetime. Eczema can affect people of any skin color or ethnicity.

Know your triggers

Certain lifestyle choices can trigger eczema. To manage your eczema, you must pay attention to anything that could cause a flare-up. Everyone is different, but it is essential to understand how certain lifestyle factors may impact this irritating skin condition.

  • Dry skin – What would be just regular dry skin for someone without eczema can lead to a flare-up for someone who suffers from this common skin disease. Your dry skin can become scaly, tight, or rough in texture. Using soaps made for sensitive skin and applying a good moisturizer on a daily basis is your best defense against eczema irritation.
  • Irritants – It can be difficult to identify the specific irritants that cause your eczema to flare-up, but the trigger can come from any of a host of different products, substances, or compounds. Common irritants of eczema include soaps, household cleaners, fragrances, cigarette smoke, and certain types of fabric. A metal allergy—especially nickel—can trigger your eczema. So can certain antibacterial ointments such as neomycin and bacitracin. Even wearing leather or temporary tattoos can trigger a flare because one of the dyes used: paraphenylenediamine. Wearing clothes with natural fabrics, and using household cleaners that contain milder chemicals can be a great way to minimize your triggers.
  • Diet – Did you know that up to 30 percent of all eczema patients also have some type of food allergy? Some of the most common triggers include dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, gluten, and shellfish. In general, you want to eat foods that have anti-inflammatory qualities, such as blueberries, cherries, oranges, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and fatty fish. Foods that are refined or fried, fast food, red meat, margarine, and sugar are known to cause inflammation, and should be avoided as much as possible.

Eczema Treatment in Manhattan

At NY Skin RX, our medical dermatologists Dr. Debra Wattenberg and Dr. Ilyse Lefkowicz are here to treat your eczema and give you relief from its symptoms. We’re experts in identifying eczema triggers. We also offer topical and oral medications that are stronger than any over-the-counter remedy you can find. Schedule your consultation today by calling (212) 288-3200 to find relief for your eczema if you live in Manhattan or throughout New York City.

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