How to Reduce Eczema Flair Ups

Dermatologist examining hand with severe eczema

(DGIwire) — It doesn’t matter who we are, what we do or where we’re from: stress is a part of our everyday lives. There is, of course, joyful stress such as trying to build a successful business in an endeavor we love. Or dealing with the details that go into planning a party for a happy occasion.

Unfortunately, most stress isn’t joyful, particularly if we are dealing with a persistent medical condition such as eczema. Eczema is actually an umbrella term for a group of dermatologic symptoms that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated.

If someone finds that eczema flares up right before a big presentation or in the middle of tax season, it’s no coincidence. Experts have known for years that stress can make eczema worse. In fact, there is even a branch of medicine called psychodermatology that examines how the mind affects the skin. Treating stress is a lifelong process, but through careful management we can avoid its destructive consequences. The key is in learning how to manage it. With that in mind, here are some useful tips from WebMD:

  1. Get enough sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce stress. But it’s not always easy to sleep when eczema is itchy and flaring. If eczema is keeping someone up at night, they should talk with their doctor about controlling their symptoms.
  1. Try a relaxation technique. From deep breathing to yoga and visualization, there are many ways to relax. Other options include progressive relaxation and listening to a relaxation CD. Another idea is to take a few minutes each day to write concerns down on a piece of paper.
  1. Get some exercise. Exercise is another great stress buster. Whether one’s exercise of choice is walking, running or playing tennis, it can improve physical and mental health. Exercise also releases chemicals in the brain that can make us feel good. 
  1. Talk about it. If stress is routed in deeper problems with marriage, family or job, it might be worthwhile to talk with a counselor or therapist.

The good news is that eczema is rarely life-threatening and it can be vastly improved through these lifestyle changes and a few others, according to Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel, co-authors of the TurboCharged™ series of health and meditation books.

The Griesels recommend reducing the majority of processed, boxed and canned foods from your daily diet and increasing your fruit, vegetable and raw nut consumption along with lean meats, fish and eggs. “The skin is the largest organ of elimination,” explains Tom Griesel. “If your digestive system is overburdened with the chemicals and preservatives that are common in packaged goods, your body’s digestive and cleansing systems will be overburdened.   Unfortunately, this toxic situation is often reflected through all kinds of skin blemishes—including eczema.”