Living with eczema can be a challenge. It is unpredictable because you never know when or where it can pop up next. So being ready to deal with it at any time is important. But just because you don’t currently have a flare-up, doesn’t mean that you should let down your guard. Here are some ways to treat it and to lessen the chance of new flare-ups.
Refrain from taking showers that are too hot. Use warm water for a brief shower every day. Stay away from soap and opt for a gentle cleanser, instead, and be gentle when cleansing the skin and avoid rubbing it. When you have your skin cleaned off, pat it dry gently.
Avoid scratching your skin in areas that have eczema. This will only aid in making the skin itchier and will increase the inflammation. It could also cause infection. If you need to calm the itch, try applying a cooling gel or moisturizer. Make sure fingernails are clipped short, as well.
There are several medications you can try to help relieve the itching of eczema. Topical treatments including calamine lotion, which helps soothe the itching. Another topical option is an over-the-counter cream that contains one percent hydrocortisone. For severe itching, consider an oral over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl. Follow the instructions on the package, and remember that antihistamines may cause drowsiness.
Make sure to wear clothing that doesn’t irritate your skin. Some garments, such as those made out of wool or synthetic materials, can irritate the skin and cause flare-ups. If you suffer from eczema, it is best to wear clothes made of cotton. Anytime you purchase new clothing, be sure it is thoroughly washed and rinsed before you don it. Make sure laundry soap is unscented and mild, and avoid fabric softeners.
There are several things you can do to keep yourself from scratching your eczema. The best thing to do is keep it covered. Loose clothing may work, or try bandages or dressings on the afflicted area. Keep your fingernails trimmed short, and consider wearing gloves when you go to bed to avoid scratching while you are sleeping.
Get your skin damp before applying your moisturizer. This helps the moisturizer to seal into your skin and soften it. Following your shower or bath, just pat your skin with a towel. This will remove a lot of the wetness but still leave the skin damp and ready for moisturizing.
One common misconception about proper skin care of those who have eczema is to keep bathing to a minimum because it dries out the skin. Actually, dermatologists recommend that those who have atopic dermatitis should take a short, daily shower or bath in tepid water to hydrate their skin. However, it’s important that the water is lukewarm and not hot.
As you may already know, eczema is something that has to be lived with. There is no definitive cure. It can only be treated by making changes in your life and dealing with it. So keep the tips from above in mind and make the changes that can help you control your eczema.