Eczema is a chronic skin condition that has no cure. However, there are measures you can take to prevent an outbreak. Here are some helpful guidelines:

•    Skin that is prone to developing eczema is often very sensitive to certain substances and materials.  Chronic eczema sufferers usually know what types of triggers cause their flare-ups.  If you are not sure, some things you may want to stay away from include fragrances, soaps that dry out the skin, detergents, and harsh fabrics, to name a few.
•    It is also a good idea to wash your face and body with a gentle, non-fragrant cleanser.  Use a facial cleanser that is noncomedogenic and oil-free.  Since, eczema suffers generally have dry, dehydrated skin it’s very important to moisturize using a fragrance-free moisturizer.  Moisturizers help to lock moisture in the skin and provide a layer of protection against irritants and allergens.  Wearing hypoallergenic makeup and sunscreen are also helpful in suppressing eczema symptoms.
•    When showering or taking a bath avoid using hot water.  Luke-warm water is always best as hot water can severely dry out the skin.  Also make sure to gently pat your skin dry as opposed to rubbing it which can cause irritation.
•    When doing work around the house that involves exposing your hands to detergents, dirt, and grime, it is a good idea to protect your hands by wearing gloves.  This will also minimize the need to wash your hands consistently.
•    Avoid wearing harsh fabrics that can aggravate the skin such as wool.  Try to incorporate more cotton clothing into your wardrobe as cotton allows the skin to breath better and is softer for the skin.
•    Itchy skin is a common symptom of eczema.  However, scratching that itch can make eczema symptoms worse and can actually cause a break in the skin, allowing bacteria to enter the body.
•    Avoid long exposure to extreme temperatures that can cause the skin to excessively sweat or dry out.  Both conditions can lead to an eczema flare-up.

By following these guidelines you can help keep your eczema in check and protect your body from skin irritation and infection.