I am very excited to announce that I was recently interview by Health Monitor.
You can find my piece in their Guide to Living with Atopic Dermatitis which is distributed across the United States. Also in this guide you will find other interesting interviews and tips on living with Eczema.
Below my image I have added more information that didn’t make into the guide.
1) What do you usually do to relieve your flare ups?
I do any of the following in combination or all depending on the severity of my flare-up attack.
A) The goal is to get yourself in a relax state. I will lie down for a while without worry (almost meditative state) but this takes a bit of training.
B) I will also apply a mix of my apple cider vinegar + water mix (1:1) to any itchy patches if it bothers me a lot. This little quick remedy has usually works for me. It will sting a little but will get rid of that nasty itch.
C) Take a short bath in lukewarm water (10 Mins MAX) .
D) Use a Hair massager (feels good on the scalp, helps with relaxation. Link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZG1L1jBMkU) .
E) Applying creams and lotions (containing real ceramides or I use my homemade mix). What I do before application is to softly rinse with cool water before applying the moisturizer to the area of interest.
2) What is your daily strategy when it comes to dealing with eczema?
- I make sure I go to gym on a regular basis in order to be in good shape and it also helps with lowering my stress levels and keep my immune system high to fight against eczema.
- Washing my face is a huge must before bed as any make-up left on the face during sleep can make your skin worse… worsening your eczema. Mostly moisturization is key… so I always moisturize after I wash my hands & body & face.
- Sleep on time on a regular basis. Not having enough sleep will deteriorate your immune system for the whole day.
- Avoiding caffeine at night.
- Always wear comfortable clothes like cotton that is loose not too tight.
- Take short warm shower. (lukewarm water as any hotter you will dry out your natural oils and keep the shower very short – less than 5 mins)
- Eating well (don’t miss breakfast) and avoid your food allergies.
3) What is the one thing you avoid to keep your skin healthy?
I have 3 answers.
A) When spring rolls around, I tend to avoid being in the outdoors for a long period because of the dust and pollen that is in the air. If I do have to go outside for work or school I make sure to cover my hair with a hoodie (or a hat) and wear shades. The hair is the most important to protect because the last thing you want is to sleep on your pillow with all those allergens in your hair.
B) Another one is to avoid is stress. This is pretty impossible for any human being but you have to minimize it as best you can. The stress will increase our skin’s sensitivity to the environment thus increasing the chances of a Flare Up. Going to the gym or joining a yoga class will help.
C) Also try to avoid junk food or anything with lots of sugar. Once in a while I do treat myself, but I wouldn’t eat/drink junk on a regular basis. I believe sugar can lead to complications to the immune system of the body and does increase my flare-ups.
4) What would you say to someone who has just been diagnosed with eczema How can you make living with the condition better? What has allowed you to maintain a positive outlook?
- First I’ll let them know that Eczema is more common than they think.
- See a dermatologist (skin specialist) rather than a general doctor for additional help because many general ones will not know enough about eczema and often will give wrong diagnosis.
- Get an allergy test to see what food you are allergic to. I find this to be the biggest culprit especially in those with minor Eczema.
- When applying new skin products make sure to do the “24/48 hour skin test” to see if it’s okay for you to use. This involves applying a small sample on a small patch of your skin to see if any negative allergic reaction within a 48 hour period.
- Having a healthy diet is a big one for me and also minimizing stress.
- What has allowed me to maintain a positive outlook is that I am living proof of what worked for me mainly through lifestyle changes. You can still live a happy life once you know your triggers. I have been through many struggles and I have overcome them through many years. Now I can relax and live a normal life where I can continue to pursue my dreams as any regular person can, of course I do still get the occasionally flare-ups but not as much as before but at least I know how to diffuse it.
5) Any other tips
As answered in question 2, going to the gym or being active is important. Sweat was really concerning for me because it will irritate your skin. Overtime, my body grew more tolerance to sweat as my immune system improved with exercise and also wearing the right work-out clothing.
Can you tell me more about the right work out clothing? What do you wear?
- I mostly wear Moisture-Wicking(fabric) clothing – This includes t-shirt, pants and socks.
- Gloves – well ventilated ones
- Wear a Headband to help with sweat especially when your first start to exercising. I stopped wearing a headband until my body started to tolerate the sweat.
- As Eczema sufferer never wear cotton while exercising because it traps the sweat making the skin more irritated. Understand cotton is OK for everyday wear.