There are numerous number of skin problems that are caused because of various reasons. Eczema and flare ups are among some common problems that affect large number of people. Because of this pandemic, people have become aware about importance of hygiene and washing hands frequently. However due to continuous wearing of masks, lack of proper sunlight and excess use of sanitizers, many people have complained of skin problems like eczema and flare-ups. Due to constant use of sanitizers and hand wash, you may have noticed your skin to become dry and itchy at times. To avoid this condition, we will be telling you about few tips by skin expert that you can follow in order to prevent eczema and flare-ups.
What is the link between Eczema and Hand Sanitization?
We consulted skin specialist Dr. K. Swaroop, Clinical Dermatologist from BNK Hospital, Bangalore to tell us about relation between eczema and flare-ups. He told us that even through hand washing and sanitization is really beneficial for keeping proper hygiene, people who have a history of eczema or skin problems may have trouble with it. This is because constant moisture and extreme usage of alcohol based sanitizers react to the skin and increase the skin infection. There are also chances of spreading it to different area due to irritation and itchiness which happens because of frequent use of sanitizers. It is best to use some soft soaps for cleaning and washing your hands and use hand sanitizers only when required.
Hand Washing Tips By Expert
Dr. K. Swaroop gives some tips for hand washing and sanitizing to prevent skin problems-
1. Do not use very hot water for washing hands, try to use lukewarm water as much as possible.
2. You should wash your hands for atleast 20 seconds in order to prevent bacteria growth and infections.
3. Be gentle on your skin, rub and rinse your hands gently after using soap to clean your hands.
4. Do not rub your hands vigorously on towel or dryers. Pat or dab your hands to make them dry with ease.
5. Do not use a dryer for drying up your hands, use paper towels or hand towels instead. This is because dryers increase the risk of bacterial infection and eczema on hands.
6. Apply moisturiser to keep your skin healthy and avoid dryness. Put the moisturisers on damp hands so that it absorbs well.
7. Try to keep your skin hydrated by having more fluids and minerals in your diet.
Factors to Prevent Eczema and Flare-ups
1. Choice of Soap
It is important to choose the right soap for your skin to avoid flare-ups and dryness. Eczema can spread because of using harsh soaps that have too much chemicals in them. You can go for soap-free cleansers especially for your hands; they are much more beneficial for your skin. Also avoid using soaps with fragrance or added preservatives; it can increase eczema and flare-ups very quickly.
2. Use Moisturisers on your skin
If you have eczema, your doctor may also give you medically prescribed moisturiser. You can apply other moisturisers as well on your hands that can keep the skin healthy; it prevents dryness, itching and irritation which are symptoms of eczema. However not all moisturisers are good for the skin, there are few parameters on which you can decide your moisturiser. They are-
- It should be thick and greasy cream based moisturiser
- Avoid using water-based moisturiser
- Try to take hypo-allergic moisturising products instead of normal moisturisers
3. Try to use natural hydrating agents
Natural hydrating agents are those that keep the skin moisturised for long time without any chemical based cream or medicated ointments. Eczema and flare-ups can be prevented with use of natural hydrating agents such as natural oil including coconut oil, shea butter, chamomile oil, etc. These natural hydrating agents also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which aids in keeping skin problems away for longer time.
Coconut Oil- It decreases severe problems of eczema and helps to control the infection. You should apply it twice daily, but use only natural coconut oil and not those packed products.
Chamomile oil- This oil is beneficial for the skin as it prevents many problems related to dermatitis. It can help you get rid of symptoms of atropic dermatitis and flare-ups.
Shea Butter- This special butter has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which does not let eczema spread to other areas. It also keeps skin moisturised which prevents skin issues from getting elevated.
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