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Cigarette Addiction and Eczema: How to Control These Co-Occurring Issues

man itchingNicotine addiction affects many people in the world and often triggers a multitude of health issues. One of the least understood of these issues is the connection between smoking cigarettes and the outbreak of eczema. Smokers with eczema need to understand this connection and the control methods available on the market today. Eczema Is a Hard Problem to Predict  People with eczema typically discover that medical science has yet to understand what triggers its outbreak. Individuals may suddenly develop this problem out of nowhere and fight it for the rest of their lives. Experts do believe, however, that genetics, environment, and particular irritants likely trigger the development of eczema.  For example, people with certain types of seasonal allergies may develop eczema later in life. And various kinds of air pollution may trigger the development of this disease. Unfortunately, smokers may be at a higher risk of developing this issue. Cigarette Smoke May Trigger Eczema Cigarette smoke contains a multitude of dangerous chemicals that can trigger many health problems. Beyond the well-documented effects that smoke has on a person’s internal health, smoking can also cause skin irritation. Even smokers without eczema may suffer from dry and red skin where their smoke makes physical contact with their body. However, medical professionals have noted a distinct connection between smoking and eczema outbreaks. For example, the study “Tobacco Smoking and Hand Eczema” found that individuals who smoked experienced a higher rate of eczema outbreaks than those who did not. Thankfully, the proper approach can manage the connection between smoking and eczema. Smoking Cessation May Minimize Eczema Outbreaks  Smokers who experience eczema outbreaks need to quit as soon as possible to manage their eczema symptoms. Quitting smoking is never an easy task, though, so individuals in this situation will typically need help from their doctor to beat this habit. Having a strong support group may also help. For example, smokers who quit with friends can create a pact to remain cigarette-free and healthy for as long as possible. Other support groups, such as Freedom From Smoking and Quitter’s Circle, provide a more organized approach to cessation. Breaking this habit not only helps an individual manage their eczema but also decreases the risk of other health issues, such as heart attacks. Eczema Treatment Also Minimizes Pain  Even when a person with eczema quits cigarettes successfully, they should still get treatment for this painful condition. A good dermatologist can provide a multitude of treatment methods which focus on a variety of areas. These focuses include managing the spread of eczema, calming the skin, reducing emotional distress, and stopping infections from occurring along the rash lines. Treatment often includes topical corticosteroid creams. Typically, a dermatologist uses mild creams, such as OTC hydrocortisone, when the problem is minor. In many cases, a small outbreak can be contained and kept from spreading. However, harsher eczema issues often require NSAID ointments or medicines like pimecrolimus to manage. Paired with these treatments are medicines such as antibiotics and antihistamines. These care methods control infections and allergic reactions, respectively, in those with eczema. More high-tech solutions, such as UV light therapy, may help to minimize outbreaks. This treatment method occurs when other care options have little to no effect on an individual’s eczema outbreaks. Eczema Relief Is Possible  Smokers who experience eczema should understand, by now, what is necessary to manage this problem. However, some individuals who follow these tips may still need more consistent and persistent eczema relief. If you find yourself in this situation, call East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC, right away to schedule an assessment and treatment appointment.

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