If you have eczema (atopic dermatitis*), taking care of your skin is important for maintenance and treatment of the condition. Eczema is an allergic skin reaction resulting in a red, scaly, itchy rash. The rash often appears on the face, elbows, knees, hands or scalp. Triggers include allergens, overheating or sweating, emotional stress, food and contact with wool, pets or soaps.
If you have eczema, avoid drying soaps or harsh detergents. The average pH level (acidity or alkaline) of soap is 9 to 10. The skin’s normal pH level is 4 to 5. Because of this difference, soap increases the skin’s pH to an undesirable level and can worsen eczema symptoms. It is best to use a non-soap cleanser because they are usually free of sodium lauryl sulfate. This chemical creates soap’s foaming action and can irritate skin.
Examples of non-soap cleansers:
- Dove® Sensitive Skin Unscented Beauty Bar
- Aquaphor® Gentle Wash
- AVEENO® Advanced Care Wash
- Basis® Sensitive Skin Bar
- CeraVe™ Hydrating Cleanser
- Cetaphil® Gentle Cleansing Bar
Other Eczema tips:
- When bathing or showering, avoid using anything that will scrape the skin, such as a washcloth, sponge, or loofah.
- Do not use bubble bath.
- Pat skin dry rather than rub.
Moisturize immediately after bathing/showering to seal in moisture.
Epinephrine is an injection-based medication used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions called anaphylaxis* (an-a-fi-LAK-sis). These very serious reactions are most commonly caused by foods, drugs and stinging insects. People with severe allergy or a history of anaphylaxis should carry (2) auto injectable epinephrine with them at all times. Epinephrine typically comes as a single-dose pre-filled automatic injection device to be injected into the thigh. In some very severe cases, patients may require a second dose of epinephrine after a few minutes to stop the anaphylactic shock and avoid death. After you use the automatic injection device, go the closest emergency room immediately. Later, check back with your allergist.
Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (also known as exercise-induced asthma) is a narrowing of the airways causing difficulty moving air out of the lungs during exercise. If you have chronic asthma, your symptoms may be worse when you exercise. Yet some people who don’t have asthma experience symptoms only when they exercise.
• Shortness of breath
• Tight chest
These symptoms are often worse in cold, dry air. Warm and humid air may lessen the symptoms. Exercise is a very important aspect of good health, so your allergist may prescribe taking medication prior to exercising to control symptoms.