The holidays are here, along with the stress…and your eczema is starting to flare up. From putting up Christmas trees to having a house full of relatives, stressful events are enough to make you turn as red as Rudolph’s nose. Eczema affects more than 30% of the population and is term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated.  It’s extremely common in young children and infants…and parents, listen to this…more than 85% of those suffering from it are under 5 years old. The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema. It is estimated that atopic dermatitis affects over 30 million Americans.
Unfortunately, the cause of eczema is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to unknown triggers…and good news, it is manageable. Often, people may suffer “flare-ups” but knowing what to use and when to use it is so important. Also, make sure that you do see a professional like a dermatologist when it comes to eczema. It’s a must. 
Even the weather can play tricks on your skin. Lately it’s been freezing in the Lowcountry and that doesn’t help anyone’s skin but those with eczema have to take extra care because this low humidity combined with cold temperatures can aggravate it. 
Other aggravators are excessive washing without use of moisturizers, and use of harsh, drying soaps – so be sure to moisturize!! Here’s some helpful tips when dealing with eczema. 
Helpful Tips When Dealing With Eczema 
-Moisturize frequently
-Watch your stress level, it can cause it to flare up
-Avoid rough or scratchy materials 
-Stay away from soaps and detergents
-If sweating, shower immediately after 
-Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies like animal dander, pollen, etc.
-Don’t scratch or rub the skin. 
-Wash all new clothes before wearing them. This removes formaldehyde and other irritating chemicals which are used during production and packing.
-Wear garments that are “flowy” against your skin 
Marguerite Germain