Teenage Eczema

If you are a teenager with eczema you may think it is a real drag. Why You? The truth is you are not alone. 5 million people in Britain have eczema.

Eczema can however have a big effect on your life. It can also affect your family and friends. Looking after your skin can be a real bore especially when you would rather be doing something else. It can also be embarrassing and uncool.

What you have to remember is that you are in charge of your skin and your eczema too. You can make a difference.

So what can you do to make your life with eczema easier so you feel less embarrassed and your skin care isn’t such a chore?

Tips for teenagers

  • Talk about your eczema with your family and friends. This is very important as it makes it easier to live with eczema if people close to you understand what it is like.
  • Find an eczema support group. Talking to people who suffer the same as you will help you to feel you are not alone and you may find a more creative way of dealing with the itch.
  • Everyone’s eczema is different. This means everyone will look after their eczema in different ways. Remember you know what works best for your eczema.
  • Avoid substances such as detergents and chemicals which will strip your skin of its oil and cause it to dry out. This will cause redness and itching.
  • You must come to terms with the fact that there is no cure for atopic eczema. But don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to treat your eczema and care for your skin.
  • Avoid woolen clothing as it is scratchy and will irritate your skin. Cotton is best.
  • Keep your skin cool. Sudden temperature changes, sweating and becoming over heated can all cause your eczema to worsen.
  • Chill out. Stress can aggravate eczema so try to relax.
  • Don’t scratch, even if you want to, and I know you have been told that a million times and you hate it. Scratching will make it more difficult for the skin to heal because you may break the skin allowing germs to get in. This will cause an infection.
  • Take short, warm, not hot showers or baths as too much water can dry out your skin.
  • If you have contact eczema you need to find out what it is that is causing your eczema and avoid it. You may need a doctors help to establish what is causing your eczema.

And more tips…..

  • The most important thing whichever eczema you have is USE EMOLLIENTS. Emollients are moisturizers and include bath oils, shower gels, creams, lotions, ointments and soap substitutes. Emollients work by helping to trap moisture in the skin and stop moisture from being lost. They also provide a protective barrier and stop irritating substances getting onto your skin. They will improve your skin’s appearance and lessen itching.
  • Avoid using soaps. Replace them with shower gels, bath oils or soap substitutes.
  • Apply your cream or ointment throughout the day. Try different ones until you find the one that suits you. Find out about different creams from your doctor, chemist, health store, friends with eczema or different web sites.
  • Some people don’t like using emollients because they can be messy and time consuming. No one can force you to use them but if you don’t you will probably find that your skin looks and feels a lot worse.
  • Use your emollients, talk to friends, learn to relax and most importantly don’t let your eczema rule your life. Take care of your skin so you can go out there and have fun.

Mel Sinclair, RN