Dealing with eczema can feel all-consuming. You need to be careful what soaps and lotions you use, how long you stay in the shower, and what laundry detergents you rely on. But if you're still dealing with itchy, flaky skin, one of these other lifestyle factors or environmental conditions could be to blame.
Dry air won't cause eczema on its own, but it can make eczema a lot worse. Many people have dry indoor air in the winter, since moisture settles out of the outdoor air as it cools. If you notice a lot of static in your home, and if your throat often feels dry in the morning, you probably have dry air. Consider having a humidifier installed, or if you're on a limited budget, put a vaporizer in your bedroom.
Stress can have monumental effects on your body, including worsening eczema symptoms. If you've been feeling a bit anxious and overwhelmed lately, try meditating, getting more exercise, or doing some yoga. These measures are all known to reduce stress, which may help soothe your skin.
Mold spores are more common in homes than you might think, and they tend to cause skin irritation that exacerbates eczema symptoms. Take a look at your bathroom and through your basement. If you see any mold, use a bleach and water mixture to clean it up. Then, take measures to keep moisture and future mold growth at bay, such as repairing leaks or installing a dehumidifier to dry out the air.
Cigarette smoke is actually a common allergy trigger. If you spend time around anyone who smokes, this could be making your symptoms worse. Keep in mind that the smoker does not actually need to be smoking when around you. The faint scent of cigarette smoke in their clothing can be enough to trigger a breakout.
Have you been trying to make your home smell nice with an air freshener spray or a plug-in deodorizer? The scent might be nice, but most of these products contain ingredients that will irritate your skin and make eczema worse. Try instead to rely on natural products, like essential oils and baking soda, for deodorizing.
If you continue to experience eczema symptoms after ruling out these possible causes, reach out to your dermatologist, such as those found at Georgia Skin Cancer & Aesthetic Dermatology. They can explore additional explanations and perhaps recommend a new cream or soap to soothe your skin.