Eczema and Allergies
Patients with eczema have dry, itchy skin that can flare because of allergies (environmental factors or foods). Generally, it begins in childhood but can last well into adulthood. To reduce flares or even symptoms, it is important to follow a good skin regimen. Dr. Ayesha Siddiqi, board-certified allergy and immunology specialist at ChicagoENT is providing helpful tips to help keep eczema at bay.
“Keeping the skin protected by sealing the broken barrier of skin is important,” says Dr. Siddiqi. “The key is to soak and seal!”
- Soak in a bathtub or shower for 10-15 minutes every day using warm water.
- Gently pat dry preventing excessive drying.
- Immediately (within 3 minutes) apply generous amounts of moisturizers from head to toe.
- Apply prescribed creams to areas that have flared.
- Re-apply moisturizers throughout the day if skin becomes dry or itchy.
What Products Should I Avoid?
- Avoid perfumes or scented products including detergents.
- Avoid synthetic fabrics and wool. Loose fitting cotton clothing is preferred.
- Avoid extreme temperatures and maintain constant humidity levels.
What Type of Soaps or Moisturizers Should I Use?
Use unscented gentle cleansing bars such as Dove or Aquaphor are preferred. Thick unscented lotions such as Vanicream, Vaniply, Aquaphor, Eucerin are preferred.
What is Wet Wrap Therapy?
Wet wrap therapy involves covering the inflamed area of the skin with wet dressings, such as gauze or full body wraps listed below. Wet wraps promote skin hydration and seals the skin to prevent scratching and promote the healing process. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, benefits of wet wraps include a decrease in staph infections (Staphylococcus aureus) and reduced redness, irritation and inflammation. Wet wrapping can also help rehydrate dry skin and lessen the symptom of itching.
Wet wrap therapy is recommended for frequently eczema flare-ups and more severe cases. Consult with a physician to see if wet wraps are best suited.
If your doctor recommended wet wrap therapy, follow these helpful steps.
- Follow “soak and seal” steps above.
- Apply prescribed medications to eczematous patches; do not apply moisturizers above prescribed medications.
- Apply wet wraps to flared areas (cotton pajamas or long underwear should be rinsed with water and rung out so it is damp but not dripping wet).
- Wear dry cotton pajamas on top.
- It is easiest to apply wet wraps before sleeping at night.
Meet The ChicagoENT Allergy Team
ChicagoENT allergists are experts in the diagnosis and management of allergies, asthma, eczema, and immune-deficiencies. They provide comprehensive care to both children and adults suffering from all forms of allergies and breathing issues.
Chicago ENT board-certified physicians and specialists combine diagnoses and comprehensive treatments plans to provide you with relief from your allergy and asthma symptoms. In addition, we are the only ENT specialty center that lets you schedule your appointment whenever you want – even in the middle of the night – thanks to our 24/7 appointment desk. To schedule your appointment with one of our multi-disciplinary teams of allergy experts, please call us at 773.296.5500 or schedule online 24/7-click here!