For those who suffer with eczema, or parents with children who deal with this skin disorder, you may have noticed an increase in eczema flare-ups such as cracked skin, blistered skin, or bumps on the skin. The itchy, dry, inflamed skin that is such a large part of this disorder becomes unbearable about the same time that nasal congestion, itchy watery eyes, itchy tonsils, sneezing and other hay fever symptoms begin. You may also notice that those who struggle with asthma also have an increase in symptoms. There is a reason that all of these diseases see flare-ups this time of year.
The Atopic Triad
Physicians often refer to eczema, asthma, and seasonal allergies as the “Atopic Triad” because those who suffer with one ailment often suffer from one of the others as well. As many as 35% of adults who had eczema as children developed asthma or hay fever as they grew older. While doctors don’t know what the actual cause of eczema is, they do know that it can be drastically worsened by exposure to the same allergens which cause hay-fever and lead to asthma attacks.
The skin of those with eczema is already highly sensitive to irritation, particularly petrochemical irritants, physical irritants like rough clothing, and changes in temperature and humidity. When that sensitive skin is then exposed to seasonal allergens such as pollen; itching, dryness, and blistering flare-ups can occur with greater severity.
There’s nowhere to really get away completely from seasonal allergies unless you’re thinking of moving to Antarctica. The best thing to do is to take steps to reduce allergens in your home. Here are a few things you can do to to alleviate seasonal eczema suffering.
1 Shoes Off
This practice is popular in many parts of the world and can be a good way to prevent mold spores, pollen, and dust from entering your home. Shoes pick up a lot of allergens and track them all over your home. A simple sign saying “Thank You for removing your shoes” and a seat by the door for sitting down to remove them can go a long way to helping both family and friends to remember the no shoes rule.
2 Properly Vetted Vacuum
Physicians recommend vacuuming often to avoid eczema flare-ups from dust mites and allergens, but not all vacuums are created equal and some can actually increase the amount of allergens in the air of your home. Be sure to do your research and find a vacuum that has been tested and approved for use with severe allergies.
3 Avoid Heavy Drapes and Carpets
If your eczema is severe it’s actually a good idea to remove heavy drapes and carpets from your home. They may look nice, but they can also be teeming with mites and pollen. Heavy fabrics have a tendency to trap and hold onto the things that increase allergic symptoms.
4 Use an Air Conditioner
Using an air conditioner can help reduce the amount of seasonal pollen that enters the home through open doors and windows. Opt instead for closed doors and windows, turn on the air conditioner, and also consider getting an air purifier. Do your research and find the one that does the best job of removing dust particles from the air.
5 Turn off the Ceiling Fan
The gently moving blades of a ceiling fan might increase heating and cooling efficiency but it will also stir up a lot of dust. It’s better to avoid moving the dust around the room if possible.
Try these suggestions and see if you can a have a more pleasant spring and summer season.