Health Equity In Eczema Treatments
Just because different treatment options exist doesn’t mean people are going to pursue them. According to a 2015 study published in JAMA Dermatology, cost was a major treatment barrier among the over 60,000 study subjects:
- 17.6% delayed care due to concerns about cost
- 13.1% did not seek care due to concerns about cost
- 15.7% report an inability to cover the cost of prescriptions
Furthering the divide is a new injectable biologic medication called Dupixent. It was approved in 2017 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat some 300,000 people suffering from severe eczema who havent responded to other treatments. The high cost of the druga whopping $37,000 per yearis out of reach for most, and is the subject of continued advocacy efforts between drug makers and insurance companies, according to The New York Times.
I Have Both Eczema And Allergies Is It Safe To Take The Covid
Most people with eczema and allergies can have the COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medicationssuch as foods, pets, or latex allergies.
They advise that the only people at risk with allergies are those that have had an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components, including polyethylene glycol .
Importance Of Eczema Treatment
There is growing evidence that allergens introduced into the body through the skin can lead to the later development of food allergy, asthma and hay fever. Aggressively treating eczema in children and taking steps to restore normal skin barrier function may lower the risk of future development of these conditions.
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Stress And The Skins Protective Barrier
Mentioned above are some of the indirect ways in which stress can cause eczema flare-ups, but it also does this in direct ways too.
Your skins protective barrier lies on the outer layer of your skin, and has three main jobs:
- Trapping water molecules into the skin, and preventing them from evaporating out
- Preventing the skins natural moisturizing compounds, such as amino acids and natural sugars, from leaching out of the skin
- Preventing unwanted substances from the environment from entering the skin
Research has shown that those with eczema also have a defect in their skin barrier. This is why the skin is so easily broken and damaged, meaning that irritants enter the skin more frequently and trigger eczema flare-ups.
If you already have eczema, then you likely already know this, and are probably wondering what this has to do with stress
Well, studies show that stress has a direct effect on the skins protective barrier, causing damage to this and preventing it from functioning optimally.
With the skins barrier already more compromised in those who suffer from eczema, causing more damage to the barrier is definitely not going to do your eczema any favors.
What Causes Eczema Flare
A long list of factors can cause eczema to flare up. âIt could be anything that activates the immune system or anything you come in contact with,â says Sadati. Among these triggers are food, the environment, weather, and, most commonly: stress. In fact, in a National Eczema Society landmark patient survey conducted in 2020, stress was identified as the single biggest trigger of eczema flare-ups. Interestingly enough, far more women were affected than men .
The silver lining? âFace flare-ups typically donât last as long as ones on the body,â notes Akhavan. They can still last a few weeks, he explains, but that time can be shortened with the help of proper treatment.
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Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Mental conditions such as stress and anxiety cause the release of stress hormones that usually lead to physical symptoms. These symptoms include constricted blood vessels, faster breathing and a quicker heart rate.
Deep breathing exercises are done by focusing on taking slow, deep breaths through our nose, causing our lungs to fully expand. There are a few different techniques but all have the same end goal, that is to make us feel calm and peaceful by lowering our heart rate.
You can find more information on deep breathing techniques here.
How Can Anxiety Cause Eczema
If youâve ever felt like your eczema flares up at exactly the wrong time, it might be your bodyâs way of responding to your pre-big-presentation-at-work tension. âAny type of stress, whether physical or mental, can worsen just about every skin problem,â Dr. Allen tells Bustle. âEczema is no exception.â
That doesnât mean your anxiety has your eczema, Dr. Allen explains â but if youâre already predisposed to it, stress can definitely cause a flare-up. You might be likely to have it, she says, if you have a family history of eczema, dry skin, or are being exposed to cold temperatures and low humidity.
Why does stress impact your skin like this? It has to do with your immune system and all those stress responses your body has. âEczema may be a response to a compromised immune system due to the excessive release of stress hormones, triggered by your bodys prolonged fight-or-flight response to stress,â says board-certified clinical psychologist Jenny Yip, Psy.D. In other words, when your entire week is thrown off-kilter by that ill-advised trip through your exâs social media page, your body becomes hypervigilant against perceived danger, cuing eczema.
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When To Talk With Your Dermatologist
If you are having trouble figuring out whether your eczema flare ups are caused by stress or something else, make a call to your dermatologist for help and guidance.
Thanks to telemedicine, you can avoid a trip to the doctors office or hospital and simply take photographs of the areas of concern for discussion during your video visit.
Your dermatologist can also give you ideas for coping with stress in healthy ways such as moderate exercise, support groups, breathing exercises, and therapy.
Emotions And Childhood Eczema
Eczema has an impact on the emotional health of children, as well as on their parents and family members. Physically, any eczema breakout can result in extreme discomfort and can sometimes be very painful.
Those with moderate to severe eczema report that the disease dramatically disturbs sleep, activities . Common emotional symptoms of eczema in children, caregivers, and family members include:
- Psychosocial stress
- Sleep disturbances
- Anxiety and stress
- Social isolation
The overall emotional impact of eczema can be a lifetime of challenges in maintaining a sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
Eczema is known to cause several emotional symptoms, including:
- Poor self-esteem
- Loss of sleep
- Anxiety and stress
According to a survey by the National Eczema Association, over 30% of those with atopic dermatitis were diagnosed with either depression, anxiety, or both conditions. The reason for this phenomenon is not fully understood, but medical experts believe there could be a link between the way the body communicates with the brain during an inflammatory response.
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How To Prevent Eczema Flare
The best way to prevent eczema flare-ups is to become familiar with your personal triggers so you can avoid any products, foods, or conditions that may cause eczema symptoms to flare up.
Some general tips include using mild, unscented soaps and developing a consistent bathing and moisturizing schedule.
Use moisturizers that work for you, especially on eczema-prone skin and areas of the body. For best results for long-term eczema, be sure to always use medications as prescribed.
When the weather changes and the air becomes more dry and cold, it can also be helpful to wear gloves to keep skin moisturized and prevent flare-ups.
Another good way to combat eczema flare-ups is to address stress, which is a common trigger.
Some wellness practices and systems, including yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation, have been shown to help manage emotional stress, as well as the nervous system in general.
Acupressure and massage can also help relieve symptoms and keep the general nervous system in check and inflammation at bay.
Stop Stress In Its Tracks
Managing your stress is so important for managing your eczema, but when lifes busy it can be hard to know where to start. Claire Moulds offers some tips and tricks to ease us into our chill-out zone. This article was published in Exchange 180, June 2021.
In the NES landmark 2020 patient survey Eczema Unmasked, people said stress was the single biggest trigger of their eczema flare-ups, with significantly more women affected than men . As well as contributing to inflammation throughout the body, stress hampers the skins ability to repair. Crucially, it also sets off the vicious circle shown below:
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The Link Between Stress Eczema And Pregnancy
If you suffer eczema and are pregnant, then you need to be even more aware of the effects that stress and eczema could have on your baby.
Eczema is extremely common in children.
Because a babys skin is so hypersensitive to all of the triggers around it, causing it to react with eczema symptoms. However many children tend to grow out of this before they reach adulthood.
How is this connected to the actual pregnancy?
This means that, if you are pregnant, feeling stressed will not only trigger your own eczema to flare up, but will also increase the likelihood that your child will experience eczema flare-ups too.
The Impact Stress Has On Your Eczema & How To Ease This Eczema Trigger
Eczema is a complex skin condition and its often difficult to identify the underlying cause. However, one trigger that seems to persistently recur is stress, with many sufferers recognising emotional stress as a major instigator. Today, I explore this connection and discuss how stress can affect your eczema symptoms, as well as what you can do to minimise its impact!
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Tai Chi Can Help With Eczema
I hope you now know the connections between tai chi, stress and eczema. Stress is a common mental condition we cannot completely avoid but there are many ways to help minimize and manage it.
Tai chi exercises have been shown to be very helpful in improving our mental health. Common benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, as well as boosting our mood and energy make tai chi a valuable tool to combat eczema flare-ups.
For it to be effective, it is important we practice tai chi regularly and long term. So why not join a class? Find a suitable instructor online or in person. Many classes are available and can be accessed either online or locally. Sessions can range from being free, or paid for per session or on a monthly basis.
Thanks for reading my post. If you have any questions or comments then please do share them below.
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Develop A Relationship With A Medical Provider
When youre living with eczema, its important to realize that youre not alone. By developing a long-term relationship with an experienced dermatologist that you trust, you can learn to take proper steps to control your symptoms and reduce the severity of your condition.
In addition to helping you identify your triggers and developing a skin care regimen to manage your eczema, Dr. Hitchins also provides therapies, like antihistamines, antibiotics, and prescription lotions, ointment, and creams. She also offers immunosuppressant and topical immunomodulators for difficult-to-treat eczema cases.
To learn more about preventing eczema flare-ups, call us at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston or schedule an appointment online today.
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Ways To Prevent Stress
If youve ever experienced an eczema flare-up before a big event or presentation, it wasnt a coincidence. Stress-induced eczema is a thing. Fortunately, there are some simple techniques you can use to calm your mind and lower your stress level. Read on to discover how to control your eczema by controlling your stress.
What Is The Connection Between Stress And Eczema
Doctors have long known that stress isnt good for your health. What is stress not connected to? says Dr. Hussain. Many chronic medical conditions and mental health conditions are affected by stress. This includes skin conditions like eczema. The more stressed you are, you do tend to get worse eczema breakouts. Theres a connection there.
Whats challenging is that stress can be difficult to measure. Stress isnt quantifiable its not something we can do a test for like we do for diabetes or blood pressure, says Dr. Hussain. But stress affects pretty much everything in your body, including how quickly you heal after surgery or how quickly you respond to medication. Its very subjective.
However, doctors do know the link between stress and eczema has something to do with hormones. The feel-good hormones, your endorphins, tend to be suppressed when youre in a state of stress, says Dr. Hussain. When youre in a fight-or-flight mode, your heart rate tends to go up, your blood pressures going to respond accordingly, and your body is going to release other hormones.
When youre stressed out, these hormones protect you. However, being in fight-or-flight mode constantly can be detrimental to your health, Dr. Hussain notes. Its definitely not good for you. And thats when you can get an eczema outbreak.
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Stress Anxiety And Depression
It may be surprising to hear that your mental health plays a significant role in eczema, so you have to take care of yourself on the inside, too.
While emotional stress or anxiety itself wont cause eczema, they can play a significant role in your symptoms and trigger flare-ups. Studies also show that people with eczema have higher rates of anxiety or depression. To effectively manage your eczema symptoms, its essential to share information about your mental and emotional health with your provider because these conditions are often related.
If you have allergies, eczema, or other skin symptoms, our team can help identify your triggers and control your flare-ups. Contact one of our locations in Ogden, Utah, to schedule a consultation today.
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Doctors Tips For Managing Eczema Flare
- Wed, Aug 18, 2021
Dealing with eczema can be incredibly difficult and unpredictable. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that makes your skin red, dry, itchy, cracked and sore.
The condition is more common than you might think, affecting an estimated 1 in every 5 children and up to 3% of adults worldwide.
A flare-up occurs when eczema symptoms worsen, says Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP at Livi. For some people, theres no apparent reason, but individual triggers may include soaps and detergents, cold and dry weather, allergies, or infections.
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How Exactly Does Stress Exacerbate Eczema
There are a number of ways in which stress can cause eczema flare-ups, and these are all down to the effect that stress has on other parts of the body.
Lets begin with the immune system
Eczema is an autoimmune disease, which is why doctors often prescribe immunosuppresant medications for the condition.
While these do reduce the way in which the immune system responds to triggers, they do this in quite a controlled way, because if your immune system is too suppressed, then this will end up making you more vulnerable to triggers.
Each time your body experiences stress, it sends the stress hormone, known as cortisol, shooting through your body. If this only happens occasionally, it is not a problem, but when it happens regularly and frequently, this is then referred to as chronic stress.
When chronic stress is experienced, the high amounts of cortisol in your body end up damaging the cells in your immune system, making it much weaker, and leaving your body, and your skin, more exposed.
As you can imagine, this only ends up having a negative effect on eczema. A weakened immune system means that your body and skin are going to react so much more strongly to any triggers, exacerbating your symptoms.
This is not the only way in which stress affects your immune system, which then affects your skin
Each time you experience feelings of stress, your immune system responds to this with inflammation, as this is its way of trying to protect the skin.
Next Take A Look At Your Lifestyle
Once you have your diet under control, you could look at your lifestyle.
Slow down & take some time for yourself: If your day-to-day routine is busy and hectic, its important that you try and set aside some time for yourself every day, at least 30 minutes. Its also essential that you get plenty of good-quality sleep as this can have a huge impact on your overall happiness and wellbeing, as our sleep advisor Marianna details in her blog, Is a good nights sleep the key to happiness?
Exercise regulary: Getting plenty of exercise can also help to lower your stress levels. If you are new to working out, I would recommend starting with a low-impact form of exercise such as yoga, which can teach you deep breathing techniques, enabling you to cope with stress better. If you are more used to exercise, though, you could try running or cycling, which can be great for getting you outdoors and exposing you to more vitamin D!
Try a gentle stress remedy: Finally, if you feel that stress is really starting to take over your life, you could try our natural, gentle stress remedy, AvenaCalm, which works gradually to ease the symptoms of mild stress and anxiety, restoring a sense of balance and calm. Prepared using extracts of organic oat herb, this remedy is very popular with our customers and can also be used to help you drift off into a natural sleep.
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