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What is stress linked Eczema and how to control it

Eczema is a common skin condition. Eczema causes itchy, sore and cracked patches of the skin in various areas around the body. Common places to flare up include eczema on hands, backs of legs and on the elbows. There are various triggers for eczema. Can stress cause eczema? Anxiety and stress are common causes of eczema. Stress can cause a rise in the hormone cortisol. When your body creates high amounts of cortisol, your skin becomes abnormally oily which can trigger eczema outbreaks. Stress induced eczema often leads to sufferers feeling more anxious, so it’s important to know different eczema treatment which can be used to calm the problem down.

Can stress cause eczema?

Symptoms of eczema include itchy, extremely dry skin that may crack. In some cases, the skin can ooze clear liquid when it is scratched. Eczema symptoms can flit from worse to better to worse again, often due to outside factors which can cause a flare up. This can include changes in weather, food allergies, irritants and certain materials which are worn close to the skin. Hormonal changes are common eczema causes. Stress induced eczema is caused by a rise in cortisol, a hormone that is often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’. In a study published by The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, it was discovered that people with eczema are at a 14% higher risk of developing depression. This might be due to the fact that eczema can amplify the body’s response to stress.

In order to treat eczema caused by stress, it’s important to implement steps in order to avoid dawning on the thought of being stressed, as this only amplifies any mental health issues and will in turn cause stress eczema to worsen. Regrettably, stress is an unavoidable part of most people’s lives. However, there are techniques we can try that can decrease stress levels and in turn prevent stress eczema. Mindfulness techniques are proven to lessen stress hormones in people who suffer from anxiety. Meditation, yoga, breathing techniques and stretching are all great methods of mindfulness stress reduction and there are lots of useful resources online to help you practice these methods.

Sweat can sometimes cause eczema to worsen as sweat contains salts which can irritate the skin, but sometimes light exercise can help to control flare ups. If you do decide to work out when experiencing stress eczema, wear breathable clothing which doesn’t rub the skin whilst you are exercising. Only do light exercise – this is great for releasing endorphins, improving mood and reducing stress. Take regular breaks to rehydrate and rest, particularly if you are sensing the beginning of an eczema flare. Apply emollients after excise and be sure to keep moisturised to avoid irritation. It can be hard to find the right type of exercise for you when you have eczema, but it’s important to find an activity that works for you. It may mean adapting how you carry out existing routines or finding a new activity.

Eczema Treatment

Physical symptoms of eczema can be painful. Eczema causes itchy, dry, red skin which can sometimes crack and seep. Stress related eczema on hands is one of the most common areas of the body to get symptoms and can also prevent sufferers from carrying out everyday tasks, adding to frustration and possibly worsening the flare up. There are many different treatments on offer in order to ease symptoms of stress eczema. Eumovate Eczema & Dermatitis Cream is a popular, affordable eczema treatment which soothes itching and red skin caused by a flare up, helping to prevent the itch-scratch cycle which can be common in people who have eczema. Eczema cream works as it contains topical steroids which reduces inflammation in the skin. We have a wide range of eczema and dermatitis eczema treatment available on our website. If you’d like more information about eczema treatment, contact your local GP – they can also give you a prescription for topical eczema cream.

There are different types of eczema so your GP may send you to a dermatologist to confirm your diagnosis. For example, stress related eczema on hands could be caused by a number of reasons including allergies, irritants or stress. In some cases, your eczema cold be caused by an allergy but is worsening due to stress. Eczema on hands can be treated with emollients or topical hand cream. It also can be treated by wearing gloves in order to protect your skin from certain allergens or irritants, like weather or certain chemicals which may be causing your eczema.

Emollients for Eczema

Oilatum Emollient Light Liquid Paraffin

Emollients are medical moisturisers which can be brought over the counter, or on prescription depending on the strength. They have to be used frequently throughout the day to prevent skin from drying out. Emollients should be use even when there are no signs of eczema in order to stop any flare ups from happening. Some people find emollients are difficult to use throughout the day as they can make skin feel greasy. Night time emollients are available which can be used by being applied under cotton gloves and will soak into the skin as you sleep.

Topical Steroids for Eczema

Hydrocortisone 1%, 15g

Topical steroids work by activating the natural substances found in the skin which help reduce swelling, inflammation and itching. They are used when you are actively having an eczema flare up. For stress related eczema on hands, you may need a stronger steroid than a flare up anywhere else on the body as the skin on the palm of your hands is a lot thicker than elsewhere on your body. They should only be used for short treatment bursts of two weeks in order to stop the flare up.

Eczema flare-ups are unpredictable. Whilst eczema can be linked to stress, you have the power to take charge of your mental state. There are many different resources available online in order to help you practice mindfulness stress reduction in order to help your headspace and in turn reducing the risk of stress induced eczema. There are lots of different eczema cream and eczema treatment available in order to soothe any itchiness or soreness.

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