What started off as just a few tiny little bumps on my left hand turned into a nightmare.
At first, I suffered in silence (only my immediate family and close friends knew and some only knew a few minor details). I scoured the web and YouTube to find others who had it and were able to successfully treat it.
While there is no cure for dyshidrotic eczema, the tips I’m sharing have kept me free of flare-ups about 98% of the time. And when I do get them, they are not as bad and I can get them cleared up within a day or two.
So, if you’ve been struggling like I have, please consider these tips because they have completely transformed my life.
Keep a journal to track your triggers.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to track what you’re eating, products you’re using or environments you’re exposed to. This way, you can start to pinpoint what things make your eczema better or worse.
For example, when my skin is completely clear, I take note of what I’m doing or not doing. Over the summer, I took my kids to the pool when my skin was clear. I barely went into the water and was mostly sitting out in the sun.
By the time we were getting ready to leave, a flare-up had started. The same thing happened when I went to Turks and Caicos a couple of months ago and the only time I flared up was the one day I spent at the beach. I hadn’t had a breakout for a long time prior, and quickly realized that my body now has a sensitivity to the sun.
Within two days after coming home and staying out of the sun, my skin completely cleared up.
Use natural products free of harsh chemicals.
In addition to paying attention to my environment, the first thing I did was make note of the products I was using on my body. Natural black soap is what I use 100% of the time when washing my hands or showering. I even travel with a small bottle to keep from having to use the generic soap in public restrooms.
I don’t allow my hands to come in contact with any products that have harmful chemicals. Check out NEA’s product directory to search for products that have been recognized as safe for eczema skin. You can even filter out ingredients that you are allergic to or that irritate your skin.
You can also click here to see some products that I am currently using. In addition, I’ve also had great results with Vegan Skin and Raw Organic coconut oil. The coconut oil alone does wonders to almost immediately stop the itch or burn when a flare-up occurs.
Be obsessive about your hygiene.
This was the absolute BEST advice I was given during my frantic YouTube search. When you have a breakout of dyshidrotic eczema, your hands are cracked and bleeding, and it hurts for anything to come in contact with your skin. So, the last thing you want to do is wash your hands (or feet if it’s on your feet).
But I assure you — the cleaner you keep the area of your breakout, the quicker it will heal. In my experience, dirt and germs will keep the breakouts coming.
Use the layered glove method when showering during flares.
Once you’ve thoroughly washed your hands and put on the cream that works best for you, put on a pair of cotton gloves. Then, if you need to shower, add a layer of plastic gloves over them (seal at the wrists with a simple rubber band to keep water out). That way, your hands are protected and not irritated when showering.
This is an excellent method to follow for washing your hair because, again, it keeps any potentially harmful chemicals away from your skin. I use gloves even when I don’t have breakouts if I’m using anything other than black soap and the products mentioned previously.
You may have eczema, but don’t let it have you!
A year or two ago, you couldn’t tell me this. But now that I’ve worked through it and found some relief, I’m a prime example. Know that you are not alone even though it may feel like it (it sure did to me).
It wasn’t until I wrote my first blog post and people were contacting me left and right saying they were struggling with the same thing that I realized I wasn’t alone after all. So, I changed my mindset and set out to find some answers and get some relief. I hope the tips in this post helps you to do the same.
As someone who uses my hands daily to make a living (typing, speaking, etc), I can honestly say that these tips and habits have given me my life back!
Christine K. St. Vil is an eczema warrior currently residing in White Plains, Maryland, with her husband and three kids. She operates the blog Moms N Charge® as well as the social media agency, Purpose Driven Media. You can connect with her on Instagram @MomsNCharge.