Dealing with Teenage Eczema
Your teenage years may seem like the worst time of your life. Harder classes, extra-curricular activities, love interests… puberty. On top of all of that, are you also dealing with eczema?
First of all, you’re not alone — according to the National Eczema Association, nearly 10 million people under the age of 18 have some form of eczema.
Whether you’ve continuously dealt with eczema since childhood, experience random flare-ups or are noticing symptoms for the first time, everyone experiences eczema differently. And as a teenager, you already have enough on your plate to worry about.
As a child, we are pretty much at the discretion of our parents to look after our skin. Some parents use a proactive approach and lather us up every chance they get. Other parents are a bit more laid back, diligently treating the skin after a flare-up. Regardless of how they handled your eczema, as you get older your eczema becomes your responsibility. It’s time to take control of your eczema so that it doesn’t control your life!
Tips for Dealing with Teenage Eczema
1. Start a Daily Routine
Gaining control is the most important step you can take for yourself. To start with, commit to a daily skin care routine of bathing in lukewarm water followed by a moisturizer. Since keeping your skin moisturized is key, it is beneficial to lotion up 2-3 times a day. There are numerous over-the-counter drugs and moisturizers that target eczema, many of which you can learn about here. Remember, if you let your skin get dry it will itch, you will scratch, and be back to square one.
It also helps to get in the habit of checking your nails each day, to ensure they are clean and short, which can prevent damage caused by intentional or unintentional scratching. And as always, follow your doctor’s or dermatologist’s directions regarding other skin care recommendations and consistently take prescribed medications. The sooner you can get into a routine, the easier it will be for you to manage your eczema.
2. Know Your Skin
What triggers an itching cycle for you? Knowing what triggers your eczema can allow you to stop it in its tracks. If you can avoid situations and substances that stress your skin, take the extra step to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for a seat away from a sunny window or cover yourself up if direct sunlight causes a flare-up. You’ll thank yourself later.
3. Stay Active
Getting involved in extracurricular activities, such as athletics, is a huge part of high school but also a great way to get your mind off the itch. Even if sweat tends to affect your eczema, exercise is still crucial to your health and well-being. If certain activities aggravate your eczema, such as playing soccer in the grass, consider joining activities and teams that won’t harm your skin – try walking, bike riding, yoga, or another sport that keeps your skin cool and dry while you work out.
4. Girls, Don’t Be Afraid of Makeup
For girls, the teenage years are also a time for experimenting with makeup. This is already a learning experience, and no girl wants their eczema flare up to mess with their freshly contoured face. There are several natural cosmetic product lines available for dry and sensitive skin. If you know your skin is sensitive to certain substances, speak to a dermatologist who can recommend makeup brands less likely to irritate your skin.
5. Make Time for Yourself
Worry and anxiety often play a significant role in eczema flare-ups. We know that balancing school and social life can be overwhelming, stressful and emotionally upsetting at times. It helps to find something outside of school, where you can focus on yourself, relax and take your mind off of the stresses of school.
6. Don’t Miss Out
As the summer temps rise, and we all start hitting the pool, chlorine can often aggravate eczema. But you shouldn’t have to miss out on your best friend’s pool party! Just take the time to apply your moisturizer before and shower off immediately after you swim. Remember, people without eczema don’t know a lot about it. So, if you notice your friends staring, you can confidently assure them it’s not contagious and therefore should not concern them.
There is always hope
There is good news if you have teenage eczema: it may clear up as you get older. If your symptoms remain, however, you don’t have to let your life suffer just because you have eczema. Your teenage years should be some of your best! So, take control of your eczema today — there is no better time than now.
We know battling eczema can be tricky, but we’re here to guide you through it. If you’d like to know more ways to combat your eczema, schedule an appointment with the experienced staff at Windsor Dermatology in East Windsor, New Jersey. Call the office today at 609-443-4500, or request an appointment online!