Eczema is a chronic atopic skin disease that, for me, can only be managed, not cured. The only pro of living with eczema for so long is that I've found core products which allow me to cope with it, and learnt lots of lessons along the way.
Something which I tell myself every day. And so does Ash. And so do Mum and Dad. My 5 year old niece even tells me to stop. Scratching causes the skin to break up, bleed and risk infection. I have cotton gloves from The Body Shop which I wear to bed when I've had a particularly bad flare up, to try to reduce the damage I do when I scratch in my sleep.
Know what makes you flare up
It's quite simple for me. My eczema is worsened by heat, water, touching animals and using fragranced products. Heat and water is the biggest issue, as every time I wash my hands or shower, I get itchy. Animals and fragranced products I can avoid as much as I want to, but it's pretty hard when you live with 5 dogs and 2 cats and REALLY like Lush skin products.
Anti-histamines aren't just for hayfever
Those with atopic eczema like myself are prone to suffering from hayfever and asthma as well. I take an anti-histamine most days as it lessens the chance of a reaction and means I can spend time with our animals without having a flare up.
Know how to treat
I always have a moisturising lotion with me to apply once I've washed my hands. My favourites are E45 Intense Recovery hand cream and Norwegian Formula's Fast Absorbing hand cream. Both have a neutral pH balance and have no perfumes. For after a shower, I will use E45 lotion or Lush's Dream Cream, which is a new paraben-free discovery of mine! When my eczema is particularly bad, I have 2 prescribed steroid creams from my GP which work almost instantly in controlling the flare up, but I have to avoid using too often as they can be damaging in the long-term.
Do you suffer from eczema? How do you manage it?