Living with eczema or dermatitis can be frustrating at times, but there are certain steps you can take to make flare-ups less frequent and less severe. These include making sure you take proper care of your skin on a day-to-day basis and being aware of what factors could potentially trigger a skin flare-up.

Actively care for your skin

Dry skin is a major symptom of skin flare-up and can also be part of the cause. In healthy skin, the cells on the surface act like a brick wall, protecting against substances that can create an allergic response or irritant chemicals that can cause damage. But if the skin is dry, the skin wall is weakened, making you more prone to flare-up.

Below are some helpful steps you should try to follow to keep your skin as healthy as possible and more resistant to flare-up.

Use emollients regularly. Regular use of emollients increases the skin's moisture levels, which can make it more resistant to skin flare-up.

Glove protection. Wear gloves when cleaning/washing-up or whenever else your hands are exposed to water or detergents. The gloves should be made of PVC and not rubber, as rubber may act as a trigger for skin flare-up itself, and if possible use cotton liners to absorb moisture.

Central heating. Place containers of water near the radiators or use a humidifier to lessen the dehydrating effect of the central heating. In addition, do not allow the room to become too warm or too cold, as temperature changes can aggravate your skin flare-up.

Clothing. Man-made fibres such as nylon and polyester as well as wool can provoke itching. Cotton is probably the best fabric for anyone who suffers from skin flare-up. Many people also find it helpful to avoid biological washing powders and perfumed fabric conditioners.

Nickel (a metal that is used in jewellery)
Perfumed products
Trees, plants and flowers
House dust mites
Rubber, gum and glue
Jewellery (watch straps, earrings etc.)
Fastenings (metal buttons, zips)
Newspaper (printing inks)
Shoes (dyes, leather, polish)

Household detergents
Harsh chemicals
Solvents (petrol, adhesives)
Friction from clothes
Hair dye (and styling products)