Tips and Advice Explanation
Avoid scratching instead gently stroke itchy skin Scratching can cause further itching, which can lead to further scratching so exacerbating the itch-scratch cycle and making the condition worse. Scratching can also cause the skin to break leaving it open to infections
Know what your triggers are and, if possible, avoid them
  • Certain foods can trigger the symptoms of eczema however identifying the food culprits is not an easy process and should only be done with the help of a dietician or doctor. Before avoiding any foods you should always consult your doctor or dietician
  • Some people find that contact with pets aggravates their symptoms, this is due to animal dander. Keeping pets outside may help however if they are allowed inside they should be regularly groomed and cleaned, kept off chairs and sofas. You should also make sure that no pets are allowed into bedrooms and that carpets are hoovered regularly
  • Stress can be another trigger so learning to cope with it and avoiding stressful situations can help
  • Other triggers include pregnancy and hormonal changes before a period, unfortunately these cannot be avoided
Apply an emollient in cold weather and use a humidifier Cold weather can cause the skin to dry out and crack so applying an emollient before exposure may help. Humidifiers can also be useful as they add moisture back into the air thus reducing its drying effects
Use a cold compress on itchy and inflamed skin Cold compresses can cool itchy and inflamed skin. It is important to make sure that you do not put the compress directly onto the skin as it can burn it – instead wrap it in a towel before applying
Wear 100% cotton clothing Cotton clothing allows your skin to breathe. Certain fabrics can irritate the skin (e.g wool) and so should either be avoided or cotton clothing can be worn under these so that they are not in direct contact with the skin
Keep the bedroom cool and use cotton sheets People with eczema sometimes have problems sleeping as their skin can get hot and itchy through the night so keeping the bedroom cool will help, as will cotton sheets as they allow the skin to breathe and keep cool
Drink plenty of water Water keeps the skin hydrated thus helping to maintain the skin barrier
People with psoriasis should avoid sunburns Sunburns can cause existing psoriasis to get worse and new psoriasis to form
Wash new clothes before wearing with the correct amount of laundry powder or liquid New clothes contain dyes and fabric finishes which can irritate your skin - washing them before wearing can help alleviate this. Using more than the recommended amount of washing powder or liquid doesn’t make clothes any cleaner but can irritate your skin, so make sure that you follow the directions on the container. You should also make sure that clothes are rinsed properly so that no powder or liquid is left behind on them – it may be worth double rinsing them

Tips & Advice Sheet – General Download PDF

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