Stress Management Techniques to Control Eczema
Table of Content
Eczema and Stress
Eczema and stress are co-related to each other. Eczema is a chronic skin condition though prevalent amongst the children, it affects people of all ages. Also known as Atopic Dermatitis, it is a multi-faceted skin disease that occurs as a result of one or a combination of various factors such as human genes, weather, environmental factors, etc. Triggers play the role of a culprit in exacerbating the eczema symptoms causing flares.
One of the factors which is not external and nor genes but which aggravates eczema is Stress. Emotional stress, anxiety, low mood, depression, panic, etc can be placed under the roof of stress, which not only affects the person mentally but also physically aggravating Eczema Symptoms.
People suffering from eczema may find that their flare-ups start or worsen with increased levels of stress. Hence people’s condition worsens even if all the triggers are well managed and in control and that is due to Stress. One should not rule out stress or take it lightly while managing eczema. Therefore eczema and stress can make eczema worse.
Eczema due to stress
Eczema due to stress can be found in many people. One of the important reasons for the onset of eczema is skin barrier dysfunction. Stress further worsens the immunity, affecting the skin barrier in people who are already suffering from Eczema. When an individual is tensed the body tries to protect the skin by boosting inflammation there and this boost worsens the condition in Eczema patients.
This happens because people with Eczema has increased response to stress as they have for other factors. This increased response results in the release of a high amount of cortisol “a stress hormone” which is known for its fight-flight response.
While it’s a response from the body to help us face the stressful situation, too much cortisol, suppresses the immune system and causes an inflammatory response in the skin. And as known, people suffering eczema are particularly susceptible to this inflammatory response.
As stress hampers the skin barrier function it leads to more moisture loss and increased susceptibility to eczema infections. It further reduces the natural defense of skin to keep a check on germs and its ability to retain moisture.
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Major causes of Stress
Before heading for the solution let’s check out the common and major reason for stress in human life
Major causes of stress in adults
· Work pressures or job loss: Too much of work pressure in completing tasks and completing tasks in the office. The fear of job loss is one of the common causes of stress in adults those who are employed and unemployment itself is a depressing situation.
· Bereavement: Loss of a loved one makes people enter depression
· Relationship challenges: The ups and downs in various types of relationships.
· Money worries: Financial insecurity creates fear and stressful condition especially for a family.
Major causes of stress in children
· Social pressures e.g. bullying: Feeling of inferiority complex and the constant fear of getting bullied leads to panic and stress
· Studying for exams: Important cause of stress in students
· Parental divorce: Another Major cause of stress in children are fighting between their parents or divorce.
Stress Eczema Treatment
Stress eczema treatment is essential for people suffering from eczema. Studies have shown that people suffering from eczema, who tried mediation techniques or received psychological therapy along with their routine medical care have significantly larger improvements in their skin condition than those who just received standard medical care or skincare education. With the help of below stress eczema treatment, one can manage eczema effectively.
Some of the techniques include:
There are various techniques and methods of meditation, from deep breathing, yoga, or simply lying or sitting in isolation to relax. Pick the one that suits you and practice it regularly. Different techniques may suit different people, simply spend time just for yourself. Make sure you dedicate time to your schedule and be consistent.
Mindfulness can be defined as a state of intentional, non-judgmental focus on the present moment. It has four core elements i.e. Awareness, Focus, Acceptance, and Observation. It is something that you can practice anywhere in-home or in the go while eating etc. just keep in mind the core elements.
For e.g. mindful eating involves eating very slowly and deliberately while paying attention to the sensations of holding the item, smelling, tasting, chewing, and swallowing it.
You can try any mindfulness technique including Mindful eating, Mindful breathing, Body Scan, Mindful Movement, Loving-kindness meditation, etc.
Mindfulness can reduce stress responses and help in strengthening the immune system and lowering the blood pressure level.
Lack of sleep is an important factor that disturbs the mental health of an individual. Many times a sound sleep is what all you need. A good nights sleep can help in lowering the stress, giving space and time for the mind to relax. If it’s the eczema itch that’s not allowing you to sleep, try popping up antihistamine before bed (take advice from your physician for such a situation). Make your sleeping environment comfortable with regards to bed, room temperature, humidity to aid you in a good night’s sleep.
Most people suffering from eczema feel lonely and detached from society. It’s common to feel embarrassing about the condition but it’s also human nature to befriend with similar people. In this case, people suffering from the same condition will not have any barrier between them as both are suffering from it. There are several Eczema Support groups across the globe on the internet, social media where one can be a member, share their problems, give solutions from personal experience. These groups even carry out different programs for the people. Joining such a group can boost confidence in reducing the depression of why it happens to me?
Get Involved in Leisure Activities
It is one of the best ways to keep stress at bay – try some exercise, or involve in a sport which you enjoy (Avoid sweating or take a shower as soon as you reach home. You can also involve in activities which you love or makes you relax like reading a book, watching a play, visiting your loved ones, etc.
If things won’t work as you planned, you always have the option of seeking help from your physician. There also exists psychological therapy, Habit reversal technique (Reversing the habit of scratching) and Psychotherapy (also known as “talk therapy”) which your physician may guide you to go for. The addition of psychological treatment also reduces the number of topical steroids needed.
People with eczema experience the onset of eczema flares which worsen with increased stress. Eczema itself can also lead to more stress as it can be itchy and uncomfortable for patients, which will ultimately result in more inflammation and flareup, leading to a vicious cycle. This is because stress hormone which hampers the skin barrier increases the inflammation to trigger an eczema flare.
Managing stress is an essential part of treating eczema as some of the stress managing techniques not only help in preventing eczema flares but also strengthens the immune system and overall skin health. Stress management along with the routine care treatment has shown a larger response in reducing the eczema symptoms than those without stress management.