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How to Manage Day-to-Day Life with Eczema

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes an itchy rash and/or flaky skin. Eczema can be mild, with symptoms that come and go, or it can be more severe that involves extensive daily management routines. Living with eczema can feel draining and sometimes the symptoms of eczema can determine which social activities you are able to participate in, how long you can be outside in the sun and even what clothing you can wear. 

While living with eczema can be challenging, there are many ways to make this condition more manageable. Working with your doctor to find a treatment plan right for you is key, but there’s also some tips that people living with eczema recommend to make managing the condition a little bit easier. That’s why we talked to members of the Mighty’s eczema and chronic illness communities to see ways in which they manage their day-to-day lives with eczema.

Here’s what they had to say:


“I have to plan my workouts so that I can shower after, or I get super itchy. Time spent in nature tends to require a shower.”

Exercising can dry out the skin through the loss of fluids, and the salts in sweat can irritate the skin. Minimize the amount of sweat that remains on your body, and try to participate in exercise that limits the amount of sweat you produce. After exercising, wash your body of perspiration by taking a shower. Drink lots of water, especially when working out. According to the Mayo Clinic, an adequate daily fluid intake is around 2-3 liters of water. This provides your skin with additional moisture and increases skin hydration significantly.


“I prefer wearing sandals as shoes and socks tend to become itchy.”

People who live with eczema often note discomfort from certain types of clothes. Wear loose fitting, light clothes whenever possible. Tight fitted clothing can cause rubbing and irritation and exacerbate eczema in places where clothing rubs.


“I make sure I have thick lotion in every room on a regular basis.”

Try hard to not scratch at your skin. Regularly applying an anti-itch cream or lotion to dry patches of skin that itch can aid you in the prevention of irritation or creation of open wounds at sites of eczema patches. 


“When my eczema gets exacerbated where I’m having a hard time managing, I call my doctor and schedule a [treatment] to help calm it down.”

Having a good relationship with your doctor is important when living with a chronic condition. Dermatologists or a primary care physician can help manage eczema symptoms with medications that are right for you. 


“[I use] Dove body wash and scent-less lotions. Oatmeal baths are lovely.”

Try also taking warm, not hot, baths. While hot temperatures can cause irritation and inflammation of the skin, a lukewarm bath can aid in the healing and soothing of the skin. Depending on the individual, adding oatmeal can sometimes aid in the improvement of eczema as well.


“I try to get things done at one time when it involves water if possible so as to keep the cream on and not dry out the skin more. The constant hand washing between my job and in between has been very challenging to keep it managed.”

When your skin is inflamed, especially your hands, try cooling techniques as well. Store lotions and gels in the refrigerator to keep them cool. Apply cooling towels to areas of irritation to relieve irritation. You can also try eating cold, hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables.

While eczema is considered a more “visible” illness, people still may not fully grasp how eczema can take a toll on multiple aspects of your health. Take care of yourself (don’t forget your mental health!). It can be hard when people don’t understand what it’s like to live with a chronic condition, but know that you’re not alone — The Mighty is here for you. 

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