the allergic march

Asthma and allergies are closely linked. Often people with asthma also develop eczema and other allergies. This is known as the allergic march, sometimes referred to as the atopic march.1

Therefore, if you have asthma it’s important to be mindful of possible dry skin problems and take care of your skin.

What does eczema look like?


Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can affect people’s skin differently. It’s a long-term condition that causes dry, itchy skin and signs of eczema can appear anywhere on the body. People can go through good phases followed by worsening (known as flares) of their skin problems. But the good news is, eczema can often be managed by incorporating skincare habits into your daily routine, or by medicated ointments from your doctor.2

Common eczema symptoms to look out for:2

  • Dry, cracked, or thickened skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Rash on swollen skin
  • Small, raised bumps
  • Oozing and crusting
  • Darkening of the skin around the eyes
  • Raw, sensitive skin from scratching

daily self-care

To help look after your dry skin try incorporating these self-care habits into your everyday routine:3

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Use moisturisers regularly3


Moisturisers, sometimes called emollients, can be helpful to make your skin feel less dry by keeping your skin hydrated. You should use them all the time, even when your skin is in good condition. Some moisturisers also have mild anti-inflammatory qualities which may reduce your chance of having a flare. Talk to your pharmacist to choose the moisturiser that’s right for you.

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Try to avoid scratching3


Understandably, it can be tempting to scratch your itchy skin, but it’s important not to do so. Scratching can make your eczema worse, increasing the chance of infections and causing your skin to eventually become hard and thickened. If you feel the urge to itch, try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead.

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Understand your triggers3


Your skin may react badly to certain things, making your eczema worse. This could be specific soaps, certain fabrics or even heat. Your doctor will be able to work with you to help you understand your triggers and ways in which you can avoid them day-to-day.

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Be mindful of your diet3


You may find that some foods trigger your eczema symptoms. If this is the case, you can talk with your doctor about changes you can make to your diet to help you avoid these triggers whilst still getting all the nutrition you need.


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Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of eczema and they will be able to support you in bringing skincare habits into your daily routine. If these techniques don’t work for you, check in with your doctor, who will help you with additional guidance.


If you’re concerned that your asthma symptoms might be holding you back, speak to your doctor for more information.
The asthma control test (ACT) is a quick way to see how the symptoms of asthma are affecting your everyday life. Click on the link below to get the results in seconds – and be sure to share them with your doctor.

  • referenceS

    1. Allergy and Asthma Network. What is the Allergic March. Available at: https://allergyasthmanetwork.org/health-a-z/allergic-march/. Accessed: February 2024.
    2. Mayo Clinic. Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Available at: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353273. Accessed: February 2024.
    3. NHS. Atopic Eczema Treatment. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/atopic-eczema/treatment/. Accessed: February 2024.