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Top tips for controlling eczema – Removing irritants

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Most people will be familiar with the key characteristic of eczema- the inflamed, itchy, dry skin. Eczema is often described as a ‘vicious circle’; the inflamed skin is itchy for the sufferer, who then scratches it, causing weeping and infection. As the skin heals, it itches, resulting in more scratching and irritation. Ultimately, this cycle leads to chronic thickening of the skin (lichenification) and pigmentation changes in the skin.

A wholistic approach

Nobody should have to ‘just live with’ eczema. For those suffering from this irritating condition, the following actions can help to control it:

Assessing diet

Milk, wheat, eggs and food colourings are among the most likely offenders, particularly in children, but any food could potentially cause a problem. It may be advisable to visit an allergy specialist to find out whether food is an exacerbating factor. 

Removing home allergens

Possible allergens can be found in the home, including house dust mites, moulds, airborne chemicals, pollens and pets.

  • Chlorinated water coming from your bathroom tap at home may be exacerbating eczema, due to the toxic and abrasive qualities of chlorine. Although the amount found in household water supplies is significantly less than in a swimming pool, using a water filter can help to reduce the external irritation. 
  • Cleaning products such as detergents, washing powders and toiletries can include irritants for eczema sufferers, so it may be a good idea to use gentler alternatives free from petrochemicals and preservatives.
  • Dust mites can also present a problem, as scratched, broken skin is more vulnerable to the allergen from dust mite faeces. Try dust mite proof bedding or anti-dust mite products.
  • Non-toxic allergy sprays help to reduce the impact of allergens, whether airborne or on furnishings and in the washing.

Information included in this website is intended for information purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner.

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