If you’ve ever experienced an eczema flare-up before a big event or presentation, it wasn’t a coincidence. Stress-induced eczema is a thing. Fortunately, there are some simple techniques you can use to calm your mind and lower your stress level. Read on to discover how to control your eczema by controlling your stress.
Can Stress Cause Eczema?
While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, stress is definitely linked to many health problems– including eczema. When the body is stressed, it goes into fight-or-flight mode. This causes an overproduction of stress hormones which causes an inflammatory response in the skin. In turn, this makes an inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema, even worse.
The Stress-Eczema Cycle
The relationship between eczema and stress is a bit of a vicious cycle. Considered an eczema trigger, the urge to scratch may be intensified when a person is under pressure. This explains why you may feel itchier before an important exam or job interview. At the same time, however, living with eczema is stress-inducing in itself. So while eczema is considered a physical condition, there’s no doubt that it’s tied to your mental and emotional health as well.
Relax: It might sound simple, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that it cannot be overstated. Make sometime every day to clear your mind. You can do this by practicing deep breathing, going for a leisurely stroll, listening to calming music, or taking a yoga class. Even just 15 minutes of meditating a day can significantly lower your stress level!
Exercise: If you want to lower your stress level and boost your overall mood, start exercising. If you’re reading this and inwardly groaning, remember that exercise doesn’t have to be hours at the gym. You can take a spin class, join a soccer team, take up tennis– and so much more! If sweat triggers your eczema, tai-chi and pilates are great examples of low-impact workouts that keep your body healthy. Plus, they help calm your mind as well!
Take a Soothing Bath: Sometimes, all you need is to light some candles and listen to your favorite soundtrack while immersing your body in a soothing bath. Remember to use lukewarm water, however, as hot water can exacerbate eczema symptoms. Also, be sure to follow up with a nourishing moisturizer such as this Organic Manuka Honey Skin Soothing Cream. Soft and creamy, it’s perfect for eczema-prone skin because it properly hydrates the skin without any burning or stinging.
Get Enough Sleep: If you’re suffering from eczema, you’ve probably spent more than one night tossing and turning due to being itchy and uncomfortable. In fact, the intense urge to scratch can be heightened at night. Get a good night’s sleep, by wearing eczema-friendly sleepwear that is made from bamboo, organic cotton, or TENCEL.
Here are some of our favourite Remedywear™ clothing that’s great to wear overnight:
Keep a Journal: Sometimes, relieving your stress is as simple as getting it on paper and out of your head. Find yourself a journal and let your stream of consciousness flow. Writing freely, without inhibition, will release the negative thoughts from your mind. When you put the pen down, you’ll feel much lighter and less bogged down by stressful thoughts!
Practice Self-Love: Show yourself some love and take time to do something for you. This can be a trip to the spa, an afternoon at the park, or a visit to the museum. It can even be reading your favorite book with a good cup of coffee in hand. Any of these things can help take your mind off stress and help you relax.
Talk to a Professional: Remember that your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. Never be ashamed or embarrassed to speak to a professional if you cannot find comfort in your immediate circle. It might even be helpful to speak with others who are experiencing the same problems and can understand what you’re going through. Find an eczema support group or check out the National Eczema Association’s online support group here.
What are your favorite ways to manage stress? Let us know on our Facebook page!