It’s better to prevent flare-ups where you can, rather than just treating them when they arise. Dry skin, especially eczema, has many triggers, which are usually individual, so what affects one person does not necessarily affect another person. Some people have just a few triggers and some people have many triggers, so in this section you’ll find tips to help identify and deal with those that are relevant to you.
Keep a skin diary to spot your triggers
A skin diary is a great way to track your progress and see how your skin improves over time. By keeping track of flare-ups, you may help identify some of your triggers too, which you can then try to cut from your daily routine.
Download your own skin diary here and get started: Download skin diary
Know common triggers
Bear in mind that some people with dry skin and eczema may find their skin is irritated by soaps, detergents and fragrances. Changes in temperature can also impact the skin, for example in winter when you move between warm and cold environments. Take action to try and avoid these common irritants wherever possible. For instance, swap your bathroom soap for an emollient/cleansing product for a gentler wash.
Don’t sweat it
For many people with dry skin, sweat can irritate and aggravate the skin, causing itching. Some people with dry skin conditions can also be prone to overheating. It’s important to shower as soon as possible after sweating or exercise, always washing with emollient products to help keep your skin clean and nicely hydrated.
House dust mites are present in everyone’s homes and can irritate dry skin and eczema. Try hoovering and dusting your home 2 to 3 times a week. Wherever possible, wash clothes on a hot temperature (above 60 degrees) to kill the house dust mite too. You could also try anti-allergy mattress covers and pillow protectors.
“Learning your own personal triggers for your dry skin will go a long way towards helping you take control of your problematic skin. Once you have identified them, you can start to minimise their impact on your skin.” Dr Brian Malcolm, GP specialising in Dermatology
“I started keeping a diary and I found certain foods aggravate my condition. I’ve therefore reduced my intake of creamy products and eggs which has helped a lot. I also noticed that warmth is a trigger for me so I now take a lighter garment into work with me to change into if I’m feeling hot.” Liz Kelly