How Common Is Eczema
Eczema affects up to 15 million Americans. Infants are prone to eczema and 10% to 20% will have it. However, nearly half outgrow the condition or have significant improvement as they get older.
Eczema affects males and females equally and is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma, environmental allergies and/or food allergies.
Ways To Reduce Stress
The best way to reduce stress-related eczema is to reduce your stress levels. Keep in mind there are many different types of stress ranging from psychological stress, emotional stress, and chronic stress. Some of the best ways to reduce stress are to:
- Going for walks outdoors, a light jog, and yoga are all great options that will reduce your stress response levels and not overwork your body.
Read Also: What Is Eczema And Psoriasis
Does Stress Cause Eczema How To Break The Cycle
Does stress cause eczema? If youre amongst the 35 million people in America suffering from eczema, you probably know that eczema is triggered by a variety of environmental and genetic factors, including weather conditions, irritants found in skincare products, and other allergens. But did you know that youre more likely to feel itchy when youre under pressure?
Its true – eczema and stress are related. In fact, stress exacerbates eczema symptoms. While some external factors are unavoidable, the good news is that there are some simple techniques you can employ to lower your stress level. In this post, we answer the question, ‘does stress cause eczema’ in more detail. Keep reading for helpful tips on how to control your stress so that, in turn, you can control your eczema.
Please keep in mind that although these what we discuss in this post can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If youre experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause Congestive Heart Failure
Is It More Than Stress
Stress is usually the result of external factors like work, school, relationships, or life events. Anxiety is more persistent than stress and can be harder to manage without medication or professional therapy.
The bad news? Eczema can be tough to deal with. The good news? There are lots of effective ways to prevent future flare-ups.
Dont Miss: All Natural Remedies For Eczema
Allergic Eczema On The Face Or Neck
Contact eczema is caused by an allergy. It occurs when your skin has an allergic reaction after coming into contact with a specific product. You may have been exposed to this product several times in the past without having a reaction. Indeed, one characteristic of contact eczema is that the allergy can appear suddenly.
Read Also: How Do You Control Stress
What Are The Effects Of Stress On Eczema
In general, stress triggers hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, that stimulate, accelerate the heartbeat, thus, increasing the circulation of blood throughout an individuals body. This results in an excessive utilization of fats and sugar to acquire quick energy, focusing attention, strengthening of the muscles and more. The stress response is often termed as a fight-or-flight-response. Such a response is automatic and it prepares an individual to deal with the threat.
General Tips For Coping With Eczema
Other tips to manage your eczema include:
- Keep your fingernails short longer nails are more likely to injure your skin when you scratch.
- If the water in your area is hard or alkaline, consider installing a water-softening device.
- Swim in the sea in warm weather whenever you can seawater is known to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
- Use sun exposure for limited periods for example, when swimming at the beach. This can help relieve eczema symptoms. But be aware that ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. Also, if sun exposure causes overheating, this can also aggravate eczema.
Read Also: What Can Stress Cause During Pregnancy
Try To Reduce The Damage From Scratching
Eczema is often itchy, and it can be very tempting to scratch the affected areas of skin.
But scratching usually damages the skin, which can itself cause more eczema to occur.
The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas as a result of chronic scratching.
Deep scratching also causes bleeding and increases the risk of your skin becoming infected or scarred.
Try to reduce scratching whenever possible. You could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead.
If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin.
Keep your nails short and clean to minimise damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.
Keep your skin covered with light clothing to reduce damage from habitual scratching.
Managing Eczema And Stress
“One of the biggest barriers in managing stress and eczema is to be able to clearly recognize what the stressor is,” states Dr. Levenberg. “A specific stressor is often challenging to identify or even change, and so a more general approach to stress reduction may be more helpful. Seek interventions that are known to lower stress and increase relaxation, such as modifying lifestyle factors, managing emotions, getting adequate rest/sleep, eating a healthy diet, and regular exercise, to name a few. Even one night of sleep loss can increase inflammation.
“It is also essential to have a support group or friends and family for positive social relationships,” says Dr. Levenberg. According to studies, positive social interaction can play just as an important role as diet and exercise when it comes to health. In the current pandemic, it may be harder to achieve social support. However, it is essential to still ensure people stay in touch with their friends and family network in a safe, socially distanced, or virtual manner. Research shows that being socially isolated can increase the risk of inflammation to the same extent as being physically inactive in the adolescent years.
1. Eczema Symptoms & Causes | National Eczema Association. National Eczema Association. . Published 2020. Accessed November 9, 2020.
2. Bieber T. Atopic Dermatitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008 358:1483-1494. doi:10.1056/nejmra074081
Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Stress And Anxiety
The Added Burden Of Comorbidities
The presence of comorbidities also contributes to the stress and eczema exacerbation cycle. Dr. Levenberg states that “some patients with eczema also suffer from co-morbidities, such as anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, or other atopic diseases, like asthma, hay fever or food allergy. These associated conditions create their own stress and underlying chronic inflammation, and can contribute to a patient’s eczema.” In fact, more than 20% of adults with eczema also have asthma, and they have a two to four times increased risk of having allergic rhinitis and food allergy.
In addition to atopic co-morbidities, studies show that over 30% of people with atopic skin disease suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Psychosocial stressors such as the stigma faced when people assume rashes are ‘contagious,’ fear of showing inflamed skin at a hair salon or swimming pool, or the financial strain of disease management, all contribute to the anxiety associated with eczema. Anxiety and depression can be common triggers in some individuals that can cause eczema to flare up, which then creates further stress, leading to more eczema exacerbations.
Eczema Treatment: 13 Ways To Find Relief
While there is no cure for eczema, there are a variety of non-invasive eczema treatment options that can provide relief during a flare-up and some that may prevent its onset. These can include corticosteroids, but the following home eczema treatment options may be best.
1. Light Therapy/Phototherapy
According to the National Eczema Association, phototherapy helps to calm inflammation, reduces itching, increases vitamin D production and helps fight bacteria on the skin. Adding 1015 minutes a day of sun exposure, particularly during an eczema flare, can provide relief and potentially speed healing.
2. Vitamin D
In addition to increasing sun exposure, supplementing withvitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, eggs and raw milk may help prevent eczema in children and adolescents. Ideally, during a flare you will get 2,000-5,000 IU daily if your sun exposure is low, consider boosting your intake with a high-quality supplement. Preliminary research shows that low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and during childhood may increase the risk for developing eczema.
Because dry skin is both a cause and symptom, it is imperative to moisturize affected areas at least twice a day. Coconut oil is the perfect moisturizer for eczema sufferers. This eczema treatment is antibacterial and anti-fungal, with antimicrobial properties that provide soothing relief, and may speed healing.
4. Treat the Mind and Body
5. Dead Sea Salt Baths
6. Cool, Wet Compresses
Read Also: How To Handle Stressful Situations
How Does Stress Affect Eczema
When your body becomes stressed and releases the stress hormones cortisol, and adrenaline, into the body, there is a physical response. When too much cortisol is released, this can suppress your immune system and cause an inflammatory response. As we know, eczema is an inflammatory skin disorder so when further inflammation occurs due to stress, eczema symptoms will be exacerbated and can cause an eczema outbreak. Stress-related dermatitis is very common.
Additionally, because too much stress and cortisol can suppress the immune system, it can be more difficult for eczema to clear up. If you are already experiencing an eczema flareup, and become stressed, healing will take more time. One last major effect that stress can have on eczema is in pregnant women. If a pregnant woman suffers from eczema and experiences stress during her pregnancy, the infant is at a higher risk of also developing eczema in the first year of life. In fact, in general, it is common for children to experience eczema which is why we discuss eczema treatment for kids.
What Is Eczema And Why Might It Occur
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common allergic skin condition that usually starts in early childhood. The main symptom is itchy, dry skin.
If a person scratches the affected areas, their skin can become chafed and thickened, and red to purple discoloration may occur.
Experts have linked eczema to a leaky skin barrier, which allows water to escape and dry the skin. A person can inherit leaky skin or develop it due to their environment.
A protein called filaggrin is essential to the skins barrier. If someone lacks this protein or if it is faulty, it can cause moderate to severe eczema.
A person may also develop eczema due to contact with bacteria, pollen, detergents, soaps, and animal dander.
While stress can also trigger eczema, there are differences between stress-related eczema and a typical stress rash.
A stress rash usually appears in the form of itchy, rounded welts, or hives. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and vary in size. While they often disappear within 24 hours, a bout of hives can last up to 6 weeks.
Anxiety disorder may trigger flare-ups of eczema. It can be difficult for a person with anxiety to manage the condition without medication.
Having anxiety may produce physical symptoms, including eczema.
If a person has a family history of anxiety or depression, they may need to address these issues first before managing their eczema.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If Your Stressed
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
There are steps you can take that may prevent eczema outbreaks:
- Establish a skin care routine, and follow your healthcare professionals recommendations for keeping your skin healthy.
- Wear gloves for jobs where you have to put your hands in water. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to absorb sweat, and wear gloves outside, especially during the winter months.
- Use mild soap for your bath or shower, and pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment immediately after drying your skin to help seal in the moisture. Reapply cream or ointment two to three times a day.
- Take baths or showers with tepid rather than hot.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Water helps to keep your skin moist.
- Try to avoid getting too hot and sweaty.
- Wear loose clothes made of cotton and other natural materials. Wash new clothing before wearing. Avoid wool.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Learn to recognize stress in your life and how to manage it. Regular aerobic exercise, hobbies and stress-management techniques, such as meditation or yoga, might help.
- Limit your exposure to known irritants and allergens.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing itchy areas of skin.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed What Tests Are Done
Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of eczema such as a redness and dryness. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing.
Usually your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose eczema based on examining your skin. However, when there is doubt, they may perform the following tests:
- An allergy skin test.
- Blood tests to check for causes of the rash that might be unrelated to dermatitis.
- A skin biopsy to distinguish one type of dermatitis from another.
You May Like: Which Essential Oil Is For Stress
Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
When Should I Take My Child To The Doctor For Their Eczema
If you think your child might have eczema, make an appointment with your pediatrician. A trained eye can tell the difference between eczema and other skin conditions.
Speak to your childs doctor right away if skin appears infected , if the eczema seems painful and blistered, or if it’s preventing your child from sleeping or is just generally making them miserable.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Stress Anxiety And Depression
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:
Treatment Of Scalp Eczema
The most effective treatment for scalp eczema is shampoo that may contain zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, and coal tar.
A few medical treatments, although cannot treat, can give relief from the symptoms of eczema and prevent them from flaring up.
For mild eczema antifungal creams, ointments, and sprays can be effective. These products may contain coal tar or corticosteroids that may calm the irritation and reduce flaking.
For severe cases, mild corticosteroids may help calm the inflammation. But, corticosteroids cannot be used for long periods.
Sometimes, non-corticosteroid creams are prescribed to suppress the immune system. These are called calcineurin inhibitors. These can be used for extended periods.
Read Also: Does Stress Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis
Prevention Of Toddler Eczema
If your child is genetically predisposed to eczema, theres not a lot you can do to prevent it from occurring. But you can try to minimize flare-ups when you can with these actions:
- Get to know your childs triggerswhether its cigarette smoke or scented detergentand avoid them when possible.
- Moisturize your childs skin regularly. One study conducted on babies found that those who were moisturized daily were less likely to develop eczema than those whose skin was not moisturized.
- Keep your childs fingernails short to reduce injury if they scratch their skin.
- Dress your child in soft, nonirritating clothing.
- Keep your child coolheat and sweat can cause eczema to flare.
- Get a dog. Research shows that children who have a dog in their household before they turn 1 have a lower risk of developing eczema by age 4 than those living in households without a dog.
Natural Eczema Treatment: 13 Home Remedies For Eczema
May 30, 2017
Is your skin red, dry, scaly and extremely itchy? Have you been diagnosed with eczema? The skin condition eczema is believed to affect over 30 million Americans. So, what is eczema? In fact, eczema isnt a single condition it is actually a group of skin conditions that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, hand eczema, neurodermatitis, nummular eczema and stasis dermatitis. Finding a soothing, natural eczema treatment can be life-changing for those suffering from this frustrating condition.
Eczema typically first appears in very young children with research finding that 65 percent of cases occur before infants hit their first birthday, and 90 percent of those affected have their first cases before they turn 5 years old. Of further concern is that eczema in children is becoming more and more common. Diseases eczema can resemble include psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis, but its a different condition.
A study conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center found that 39 percent of Caucasian children develop eczema by 3 years old. Interestingly, this same study found children that have a dog in the home are significantly less likely to develop eczema at any age.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause Aching Legs