Picture yourself as a busy and exhausted working mom, trying to balance a full-time job or business, multiple young children, and endless household chores. Each day, you wake up early and race through a never-ending to-do list, with little time to relax. As the day wears on, stress and fatigue accumulate until you're on the brink of a mental meltdown.
Sadly, this scenario is all too common for people who experience eczema flare-ups. Stress is a known trigger for this skin condition, and it can significantly impact the skin of those who are already prone to eczema outbreaks.
The Connection Between Eczema and Stress:
Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. It can be triggered by various factors, including stress. Stress can cause the body to release hormones that promote inflammation and weaken the immune system. As a result, it can trigger a flare-up or exacerbate existing symptoms of eczema
A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that stress can cause an increase in the production of a hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). This hormone can lead to inflammation in the skin, which can cause or worsen eczema symptoms. Research has also cited that increased stress levels can worsen eczema symptoms by impairing the skins’ barrier function, making the skin more susceptible to irritants and allergens which can trigger behaviors such as scratching which irritates the skin, leading to open sores and the risk of infection.
Coping Mechanisms for Stress-Induced Eczema:
Dealing with stress is essential for managing eczema symptoms. While it's not always possible to avoid stress entirely, several coping mechanisms can help reduce its impact on the body and skin. Below are a few tips that may help alleviate stress induced flare-ups.
Mindfulness practices: Incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga into your daily routine can be highly beneficial for reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation, which can in turn help manage symptoms of eczema. Even just a few minutes of mindfulness practice each day can make a significant difference in your overall
Lifestyle changes: Making healthy choices can help manage stress and prevent eczema flare-ups. This could include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and smoking.
Self-care: It is essential to practice self-care for effectively managing stress and eczema symptoms. Self-care activities can include taking a soothing bath, receiving a massage, or engaging in other forms of stress-reducing activities that promote relaxation. In addition to these, incorporating skincare routines and relaxation techniques like indulging in body baths using organic products from Glow Beauty Supply can also be helpful for managing stress and eczema symptoms
Seeking Support/Medical Help:
It is essential to recognize that eczema is a medical condition that requires appropriate diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare professional, despite stress being a potential aggravating factor for its symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms like itching, redness, or rash, or suspect that you have eczema, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a dermatologist or another healthcare provider. A dermatologist can assess your skin, diagnose eczema, and devise a personalized treatment plan that meets your individual requirements.
Seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional can also help manage stress and eczema symptoms. Sometimes talking about your stress and eczema with someone who understands can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide relief.
Managing Eczema: Treatment Options and Natural Remedies
Managing eczema can be a challenge, especially when stress is a significant trigger. However, by identifying your triggers, practicing stress-reducing techniques, and seeking medical help when necessary, you can manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Your healthcare provider may recommend different treatment options based on your individual needs to manage eczema effectively. These can include using topical creams or ointments, oral medications, or light therapy. However, there are natural remedies that can also be helpful in managing eczema symptoms. For example, incorporating moisturizing agents such as coconut oil, aloe vera, or oatmeal into your skincare routine can help soothe and hydrate your skin, reducing the severity of eczema symptoms. Probiotics, which can be found in fermented foods like yogurt or taken as supplements, may also be beneficial in reducing inflammation and improving gut health, which can have a positive impact on eczema symptoms.
If you are looking for more information on managing eczema, you may find it helpful to visit the National Eczema Association.
In summary, while stress can worsen eczema symptoms, it's important to recognize that other factors may also contribute. By adopting the right strategy for managing eczema, you can minimize the effect of stress and other triggers on your skin and overall health.