A Cyclic Phenomenon? Eczema symptoms come and go. One day your skin may be fine, and the next, you may experience a flare-up of redness and itchiness. Triggers include exposure to harsh soaps or household cleaning products, a skin-drying environment like when the furnace comes on in the fall and early winter, coarse or scratchy clothes, and possibly stress.
Many women also report that they experience eczema flare-ups at the same time during their menstrual cycles each month. They experience it either premenstrually or during their periods, says Dr. Leiferman.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent eczema:
Go easy on the soap. “To avoid drying out your skin, use soap only on those body parts where you think you need it,” recommends Karen K. Deasey, MD, chief of dermatology at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Pennsylvania. And stick with mild, nonirritating soaps. Glycerinated (see-through) soaps are also a good bet, Dr. Leiferman says. But avoid deodorant soaps, which tend to be harsh and irritating.