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Eczema health centre

10 tips for women living with eczema

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6. Recognise and avoid your triggers

Eczema can flare up for a range of reasons. The culprits could be things like dust mites, pet dander, grass and certain foods.

"In a small percentage of cases, eczema can be linked to diet," says Dr Mahto. "It is therefore worth keeping an eye out for any patterns and problem foods. Potential culprits include dairy products, chocolate, eggs, peanuts, citrus fruits and colourings."

The important thing is to know your own triggers and avoid them.

7. Beauty no-nos

Strong perfumes are generally best avoided if you have eczema, as are highly fragranced beauty products. So choose make-up that's hypo-allergenic or fragrance-free. Make sure the creams and serums you use on your face are not going to cause a flare up.

"There are plenty of chemicals in products that can worsen eczema," says Dr Sweta Rai from the British Association of Dermatologists. "One currently in vogue is MI which is short for methylisothiazolinone. It's found in some face washes and other products."

She says: "Keep skin nourished and moisturised with non-perfumed, bland products."

Fake tan products may cause a problem because of some of the chemicals they contain. Check that the sunscreen that you are using is suitable and won't make your eczema worse.

8. Don't stress out

The relationship between stress and eczema isn't fully understood, but it's often reported that stress does trigger eczema for some people.

"There are studies that show stress does exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. You can't develop eczema through stress but it can definitely worsen because of it," says Dr Rai.

So take time out to relax, meditate, and do some yoga. Whatever makes you feel calmer and less stressed.

9. Act fast on sweat

While exercise can be an effective way to deal with stress it can also make you hot and sweaty. Just have a lukewarm shower as soon as possible after exercise to stop the likelihood of added itchiness.

10. Treatment options

If you are having a hard time with your eczema and are experiencing worsening symptoms and more flare-ups that don't seem to be responding to your usual routine, seek medical advice from your GP or dermatologist.

"Flare-ups typically make me feel awful, low, tired and miserable", says Rebecca who runs a website Beczema based on her life living with eczema.

She adds: "I don't like to leave the house as it is usually right up there on my face for the world to see. I've battled with self-confidence for years and do my very best to put my best foot forward during a flare-up as I don't want this eczema to hold me back from living life to the full."

There is a whole armoury of moisturisers and treatments that can be used to treat eczema from topical steroids and antibiotics to oral steroids and topical immunosuppressants. Ultra-violet light treatment may also help. Some may have side effects so it's important to discuss options with a healthcare professional. There's also a lot you can do to help yourself.

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Reviewed on April 01, 2016

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