Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a skin condition that may cause irritated, dry and itchy skin. The irritation may occur on any area of the body, but is more common on the face, neck, elbows, knees and ankles. There are 2 types of eczema: atopic and contact eczema. Depending on the type, you may want to try some different methods of preventing the eczema outbreaks.
1. Identifying the Irritants
Atopic eczemas occur due to different irritants including cigarette smoke, chemicals, pollens, mold, pet hair and dander or dust mites. Contact eczemas are caused by different irritant materials that you may come in contact with, such as polyester, wool, feathers, certain metals or detergents.
Once the irritant is known, you should make sure to avoid them. Get cotton clothes and bedding, avoid smoke and chemicals or get an air purifier that can reduce the amount of pet dander or pollens. If avoiding contact with the irritants is impossible, you should wear protective gear such as masks or cotton or rubber gloves.
2. Avoid Certain Foods
The ingestion of certain foods has been associated with outbreaks of eczema. These foods may include milk, yogurt, cheeses, buttermilk, seafood, beef, cranberries, wheat, plums, prunes or wine. Additives, preservatives and food colorings may also cause dermatitis. Any type of food may present a potential danger to cause eczema, so identifying the exact foods that lead to it should be a priority.
The dermatologist will recommend an elimination diet. This means that the suspected food is eliminated from the diet for 2 weeks and then reintroduced. If the eczema reoccurs after the reintroduction of the culprit food, this means that the eczema is caused by that certain ingredient.
3. Immunity Boosters
Atopic eczema is caused by the negative reaction of the immune system and is thought to be a hereditary condition. However, strengthening the immune system may prevent the occurrence of frequent eczema outbreaks.
Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids are good immunity boosters. There is also a wide range of natural plant extracts that may boost the immune system and prevent eczema flareups.
4. Drink Water
Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy can prevent the occurrence of dermatitis. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day, or 10 glasses of liquid. Vitamin E oil may also help in hydrating the skin.
5. Take Showers instead of Baths
Too much water may trigger the occurrence of dermatitis. Consequently, you should replace baths with showers and make sure that the water is lukewarm or warm, but not hot. Hot water may be damaging for the sensitive skin.
Humidity may also affect the skin and you may consider spending more time indoors during the summer when the weather is more humid.
As eczema may be an inherited condition, the prevention of outbreaks may be impossible in some cases. However, managing the irritants, boosting the immune system and keeping the skin healthy and hydrated can reduce the severity of the outbreaks.