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Do you have a red patch of itchy, dry skin? Well, so do 15 million other people in the United States. You may be suffering from eczema, a term used to refer to a range of skin conditions that causes inflammation and itchiness of the skin.
The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which affects infants and children under the age of two. This doesn’t mean that adults don't suffer from this condition, though. Flare-ups can occur due to allergic reactions and exposure to elements that can irritate the skin.
You are probably "itching" to know how to get rid of this condition—but here’s a bubble-bursting statement: Eczema can’t be cured. But don’t fret just yet. There are steps you can take to relieve the symptoms and alleviate that stubborn itchiness.
All About Moisturizing
Before you move on to the steps on how to get rid of eczema, it is important to keep in mind that treatment is all about moisturizing. Remember, you are dealing with dry, itchy skin. If you leave it dry and burning, you won’t be successful at relieving the discomfort and getting rid of the itchiness.
How to Get Rid of Eczema
The following are simple steps you can do to get rid of this condition once and for all. The list starts with the basics and ends with some additional tips.
1. Take a shower.
If you are itching or your skin is dry and flaking, hit the showers for a quick relief. Taking a shower moisturizes your skin and removes irritants that might be present on your skin such as dust and debris. This doesn’t give you license to take a shower 5 times a day, though. Taking a shower too often strips the natural oils from your skin. Also, avoid taking hot showers and using loofah. Hot water can further dry out your skin, and the loofah can irritate your skin and make your condition worse because of friction. Also, after your shower, do not rub your skin with the towel. Be gentle, and just pat your skin dry.
2. Lock in the moisture.
As mentioned earlier, the most important thing when trying to get rid of eczema fast is moisturizing the skin. After you hit the showers, it’s time to apply moisturizer on your skin. Take note that the best time to apply a moisturizer is when the skin is still damp. The skin better retains the moisture about three minutes after taking a shower.
3. Avoid tight clothing.
Wearing tight clothing might irritate your skin and aggravate the itching. Also take note of the material of your clothing. It is recommended to wear cotton or other natural fiber clothing because these materials allow the skin to breathe.
4. Use wet wrappings.
Wet wrappings or wet dressings provide comfort and help relieve itching and that familiar burning feeling. Preferably, use a bandage or gauze, but a smooth clothing will do just fine. After taking a shower and applying topical treatments and moisturizer, dip a piece of cloth in water and wrap the affected area. Place a dry bandage or cloth on top of the wet wrapping and let the skin absorb the moisture. Once the wrapping is dry, make sure that you remove it immediately.
5. Use a humidifier.
If the air in your house is dry, it can contribute to the worsening of your eczema. In such a case, it is recommended to use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air. This is an easy, but often neglected way of moisturizing eczema. Make sure that you keep the humidifier clean. The moisture attracts mold and bacteria so read the instruction manual carefully and follow the steps on how to clean the humidifier.
6. Use antihistamines.
If allergens are the cause of your itching, you can use antihistamines to prevent allergic symptoms. This can effectively stop the itching, which is vital when trying to treat this condition, because no itching means no scratching.
7. Avoid triggers.
If you notice that certain elements such as dust, debris, or other irritants, trigger eczema flare-ups, avoid them. This can be as simple as wearing protective clothing when you walk outside or washing your hands every time you touch an object covered with dust.
8. Use nonsteroidal treatments.
There may be cases when eczema flare-ups are so severe that you can’t resist the urge to scratch your skin. You can try using nonsteroidal prescription treatments to help seal in moisture. Apply nonsteroidal lotion or cream after taking a shower then continue with applying moisturizer.
Stress is a common trigger of flare-ups. Alleviate stress by learning relaxation techniques, eating a balanced diet, and having plenty of rest.
10. Visit your dermatologist.
If you’ve followed the steps above but continue to suffer from eczema, it is best to visit your dermatologist. Your doctor can diagnose your condition properly and prescribe the necessary eczema treatments. These can range from over-the-counter moisturizers to steroid ointments to heal eczema.
More Tips to Treat Eczema
- Never scratch. Itchiness is the biggest problem when dealing with eczema. No matter how itchy your skin is, resist the urge to scratch as it can do nothing but make the problem worse.
- Moisturize at night. Moisturizing at night is the best time to moisturize your skin. This is because you will be less exposed to elements such as dust, dirt, and smoke. This doesn’t mean, though, that you should not moisturize in the morning.
- Seal in moisture. Moisture is key when getting rid of eczema. Follow the steps above and make it a habit. You will eventually see improvements on your skin.
- What Is Eczema? What Causes Eczema?
- Eczema - Atopic Dermatitis - Center: Symptoms, Treatments, Causes, and Tests
- Eczema Treatment, Causes, Symptoms, Is it Contagious, and Diagnosis - OnHealth
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
betty on October 08, 2018:
my hives and rash stared a year ago went to doctors no help I don't drank milk help
deniselopez45 on February 12, 2017:
I have extremely itchy eczema, and between foderma serum and Aveeno oatmeal baths, I'm good. No need for steroid cream, whew! It's really rich and though the tub look small, it has lasted me awhile even. I put it all over every day and I'm about halfway through the tub after 3 weeks. Also, the essential oils and herbal stuff smells good, not like the artificial smells in other lotions. I don't want to smell like a Yankee Candle, I want to smell like the essential oils section of the fancy grocery store
iseczemacontagious.org on June 25, 2013:
This is such a very informative article. A friend of mine had an eyelid eczema and what she did whenever she takes a bath is to wash her hair first avoiding her face to get wet. She did this leaning back so the shampoo won't get into her face.