health

The 5 everyday things that could be making your eczema worse.

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Thanks to our brand partner, QV

Those dry, itchy patches of angry-looking skin, and the unpredictability – having eczema is hardly an easy ride.

But it’s a ride that a staggering one million Australians are on, with one in five children developing eczema before the age of five.

It’s believed to be largely genetic and there’s no cure, only management, such as keeping an eye on the skin’s moisture levels and good hygiene.

And yet, even the slightest, innocent thing in your day, like a little spritz of perfume or the temperature of your morning shower, can trigger a bad episode.

You may already know your triggers, however, we’ve compiled five everyday things that may help you find the source of what could be making your eczema worse.

That hot soapy shower.

eczema
Hot, soapy showers might feel great but they aren’t great for your skin, especially if you have eczema. Image: Getty.

There’s nothing better than starting the day with a nice hot shower, is there? But hot water actually dries out the skin. And when you add in certain soaps, it can really cause problems for eczema sufferers.

Instead, opt for a lukewarm shower and use products that gently cleanse the skin without soap and common irritants.

When a flare up occurs, opt for a specially formulated product such as QV Flare Up Wash in the shower, or for those who prefer a bath, try QV Flare Up Bath Oil. Both help to reduce the amount of eczema-associated bacteria on the skin, helping to relieve the symptoms of eczema. You can then slather yourself from head-to-toe with QV Flare Up Cream, which is packed with moisturising ingredients.

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Cleaning the house.

OK, before you hand over all your cleaning duties to a pay-per-hour cleaner, it’s not the actual act of cleaning itself but the chemicals used during your home blitz. According to ASCIA (the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy), constant exposure to water, soap, grease, food or chemicals can damage the protective function barrier of the skin.

So, the constant cleaning may take a toll on your hands. What might help though is to wear some cotton gloves while cleaning. When the gloves get dirty, you can wash them in perfume-free and dye-free soap. For anything wet, like cooking, wear waterproof gloves but only for 15 or 20 minutes at a time.

Your self-care routine.

A patch test will help you figure out if the perfume is good for your skin. Image: Getty.

Ah, there’s nothing better than a bit of at-home pampering. A DIY facial, a beautiful moisturiser and perhaps a spritz of perfume at the end.

But the average woman will put a staggering amount of chemicals on her body via personal care products - around 168 chemicals a day, according to US nonprofit, the Environmental Working Group.

In fact, it’s important to take a truly tailor-made approach to beauty products. The biggest trigger is perfume as it's alcohol-based and dries out the skin.

Looking for products that are perfume-free or fragrance-free may take a little more time but hopefully your skin will thank you for it. It's trial and error really - patch testing will help you figure out which fragrances you're more sensitive to than others.

Fabrics we wear every day.

Cheap and cheerful clothes might be perfect for the hip pocket, but some peoples' triggers are woollen or synthetic fabrics, according to ASCIA.

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That's why it's important to wear clothing that doesn't cause irritations to your skin. Medical News Today recommends 100 per cent cotton clothes and bed linens, as they're gentler on the skin.

Top tip: If you love dry-cleaned clothes, take the plastic bags off and air them out for 24 hours before wearing them as it helps rid of the chemicals used.

Specific foods that can cause flare-ups.

Sometimes our triggers are hidden in our daily meals. Image: Getty.

When it comes to foods that cause eczema flare ups, it really varies from one sufferer to the next. But for the best part, it’s a good idea to check out the following: nuts, milk, soy, wheat, fish, and eggs. These are the most common culprits.

What about foods that can help with eczema? Well, according to Medical News Today, a diet featuring anti-inflammatory foods is helpful. These may include fish like salmon or tuna, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation in the body; foods or drinks that are high in probiotics, such as yoghurt, miso soup, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha; and fruits and veggies that have inflammation-fighting flavonoids like apples, broccoli, cherries, spinach and kale.

What do you find works best for your eczema? Please share with us below.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.

Feature image: Getty.

QV

Australian made and trusted by generations, QV has been specially formulated for people with sensitive and problematic skin. All products being dermatologically tested, QV has developed a full range of products that are suitable for use with eczema-prone skin, including daily maintenance, and in a flare up. At QV, we understand that eczema is not only a physical skin condition, but also has an emotional impact on quality of life. That's why at QV we are backed by science to deliver the most effective products to help manage problematic skin. QV - Together we're stronger.

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