Useful Apps and Devices for Managing Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis
Managing eczema can seem like a full-time job, to avoid the itchiness, inflammation, and skin irritation that happens when your symptoms flare up. The inflammatory skin disease, which is also called atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema), is linked to an overreaction of the immune system to certain triggers. Everyoneâ€™s triggers are different, but yours may include allergens, irritants, heat, stress, food intolerances, and dry environmental conditions.
Yet you donâ€™t have to wage this battle against eczema unarmed. There are devices and apps that can help you get better control over your skin. A handful of helpful ones are listed below.
1. Dyson AM10 Humidifier
Keeping your skin moisturized is essential to managing eczema symptoms, notes the National Eczema Association. With the disease, the skin barrier is already compromised and irritated, losing moisture in the process, says Seemal R. Desai, MD, a dermatologist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who is the former president of the Skin of Color Society. If the air in your home or office is dry, that increases how cracked and dry your skin is, making it more susceptible to bacteria and other irritants. â€œI recommend a humidifier,â€ says Desai.
The Dyson AM10 Humidifier is one option. This model has received the Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly seal from the Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Products with the seal are scientifically tested to meet strict standards for improving the air quality and health within a home, according to the certification program description. Certified humidifiers, in particular, are evaluated for their ability to maintain appropriate humidity levels, sanitize the water they use, and reduce preexisting contamination within a room.
With that in mind, know that the Dyson AM10 Humidifier is designed to do more than simply hydrate the air around it. The manufacturers say it also kills 99.9 percent of bacteria in its water tank by exposing each drop of water to a UVC light. And so that the air doesnâ€™t become too misty, the device also measures temperature and humidity and adjusts accordingly to create a comfortable environment.
Buy it Dyson AM10 Humidifier, $349, Amazon.com.
2. AeraMax 300 Large Room Air Purifier
As mentioned, allergens are common triggers for eczema symptom flare-ups. The AeraMax 300 is made to remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen, ragweed, germs, dust mites, viruses, mold spores, and cigarette smoke, in rooms up to 600 square feet. It is Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly from the ASL and AAFA, with a sensor that monitors air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed so that indoor air stays purified. The certification process for air cleaners guarantees that they have been evaluated for their abilities to remove allergens and monitor their levels to show that they have been removed (and not just redistributed), as well as monitor ozone levels. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that ozone is a molecule that, when inhaled, can cause breathing trouble and lung damage.
Buy it AeraMax 300 Large Room Air Purifier, $248.90, Amazon.com.
3. Eczema Tracker
Itâ€™s possible to get a holistic picture of how your skin is doing over time. â€œWith Eczema Tracker, you can check triggers, track symptoms, and get some useful advice on how to manage eczema,â€ says Robin Evans, MD, a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon in Stamford, Connecticut. The app allows you to snap a photo of flare-ups (and good days) so you can see how your condition is progressing, as well as track and analyze a wealth of information relating to your allergies, triggers, and skin. Local pollen, weather, mold, and humidity updates can help you to anticipate whatâ€™s ahead for your skin. The app also uses your data to find trends that could lead to flare-ups. Eczema Tracker is only available for iOS in the Apple Store.
The allergist Tania Elliott, MD, recommends SkyMD for people seeking a dermatologist whom they can interact with virtually. â€œItâ€™s a telemedicine app that allows you to submit images of your skin to a dermatologist so you can receive treatment (including prescriptions) and skin-care regimens,â€ says Dr. Elliott, a New York Cityâ€“based spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. You can download the app on your phone or access it on your computer for free, but you must pay for a virtual consultation and diagnosis. Payment varies depending on the doctor and your insurance coverage.
Download it on the App Store, GooglePlay, or SkyMD.
5. iControl Eczema
This kid-friendly app allows your child with eczema to track how they feel each day using emoticons on a happiness scale, describe their skin-care regimen, add notes, snap photos of their skin, and then look at the trends over time. This information can be shown to a doctor. The app also allows kids to set reminders to moisturize. The creators hope this free app will leave kids feeling a bit more in control of a condition that can seem so out-of-control and uncomfortable.
Download it on the App Store or GooglePlay.
6. Cara Care
The Cara Care app takes a similar approach to personal food-symptom tracking. You enter a host of information about what you eat and when, and what problems you are having. The app allows you to then discover patterns in what you eat and the occurrence of your symptoms. Although it is primarily intended for people with gastrointestinal issues, it also allows you to report on the condition of your skin. You can then use that information in consultation with your healthcare provider.
Download it on the App Store or Google Play.
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