Our 3 top tips for improving your atopic dermatitis

Our 3 top tips for improving your atopic dermatitis

Our bodies are ever-changing—especially this festive season when pigs in blankets are far too tempting to say no to. A little fluctuation is perfectly normal. So long as you’re maintaining a relatively healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, your body can function at its best.

However, when your Body Mass Index (BMI) starts to slide to the unhealthy side of the scale, it can worsen your atopic dermatitis. 

If you’re suffering from atopic dermatitis, you’re not alone. The recurrent inflammatory skin disease affects 1.5 million (3%) of adults, affecting men and women equally. Chronic dry, cracked skin and intense itching significantly impact the quality of life, predisposing anxiety, sleep disturbances, and depression. It’s a condition that can feel difficult to live with, but with the correct diagnosis and treatment, you can live a normal life. 

There are a number of issues that can get In the way, however, with body weight being one of them.

Excessive weight gain can worsen your atopic dermatitis in two ways. 

First, let’s consider the impacts of excessive weight gain. Through poor diet, you’re exposed to additional inflammation of the skin through the complex processes going on in your body, such as a combination of hormones and fatty acids. Additionally, skin problems are caused by increased blood pressure, which increases your sweat levels, which can cause rashes.

Not only that, but part of the treatment for atopic dermatitis can be anti-inflammatory therapy. If you have an excessive BMI, it’s not going to work, and your habits can be working against your treatment, rendering it in- or less effective. 

What can you do about it? 

The standard answer is usually to eat better and exercise more. In a perfect world, while those are both true, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to get started. You can have a healthier lifestyle without having to track every macro religiously and living off chicken and rice. Here are our top 3 tips for stabilising body weight to improve your atopic dermatitis:

Get creative with your cooking

Whatever your favourite foods are, there is almost guaranteed a more nutritious way to eat them. Eating healthy doesn’t have to feel like you’re restricting yourself from anything you love or constantly feeling healthy.

Simple swaps and portion control can make all the difference. Make cooking fun by looking for alternatives and experimenting with flavours.

Opt for “fakeaways”, where you make your own food at home instead. A fakeaway Chinese meal is 470 calories on average compared to 987 from your local takeaway. What no or low-cal versions of your favourite sauces are available? If you love fizzy pop, why not try flavoured water instead? You still get the sweet bubble sensation without the excess sugar. 

Set yourself a challenge

Some people don’t like the gym. And that’s ok. Running on a machine that doesn’t go anywhere or lifting the same motion 15 times for four sets can feel boring.

There is more to training than that. Find something you love to do instead. Be it a sport, going out for longer walks with the dog, taking up hiking, or signing up to the local climbing wall, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re doing something. If all you can do is go for a walk, that’s ok; why not set yourself a challenge with it?

Say you wanted to walk Mount Everest or Killamanjaro in a specific period. You can work out the steps, and then, every day, you can count your actions against your main goal. Can you bring your hobbies into your challenge? Say you love Lord of the Rings. Why not set yourself the take or walk from The Shire to Mordor?

It’s unique quirks that can keep you motivated and inspired to keep moving. 

Join a local group

Sometimes, what can be holding you back is the fear of starting alone, but none of your friends are on the same journey, so it can feel overwhelming and lonely.

It doesn’t have to feel that way. Why not see what local classes are available and give them a try? You can try at local gyms, leisure centres, sports clubs, or even outdoor boot camps and running clubs. And if there isn’t something local, why don’t you make one?

There are plenty of Facebook communities you can join, and even if you can’t meet people in your local area, you can set up a virtual challenge. The feeling of togetherness can be more encouraging for you to be consistent. 

Effective treatment 

As well as other health benefits, losing excess body weight can help improve your atopic dermatitis symptoms. Take proactive steps for you to better care for your skin.

Change in eating habits increases activity, stabilising body weight, getting the proper nutrients in your body to reduce the symptoms of your atopic dermatitis and living a more comfortable life. 

Atopic dermatitis is characterised by chronic dry, cracked skin and intense itching, significantly impacting the quality of life and predisposing to anxiety, sleep disturbances, and depression.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms but haven’t been diagnosed, the best first step is to take a test to understand the cause of your symptoms. Then, you can take the best steps toward a healthier, happier life.

Make 2024 the year you prioritise your health. Register as a new patient or call us at 02031 433 449 to embark on your allergy testing journey and pave the way for a symptom-free life.


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