Eczema is a common skin condition that can affect your quality of life. It can make you itchy, uncomfortable and self-conscious. There are many things you can do to treat it, including eating a healthy diet and getting regular skin check-ups with your healthcare provider.
Avoid the Causes
You can reduce eczema symptoms by avoiding substances that trigger or worsen your symptoms. These include soaps, detergents and certain foods. Your doctor can help you figure out which triggers are most likely to aggravate your eczema. You can also try reducing your stress levels, as this can trigger flare-ups.
Watch What You Eat
There are a few foods that can aggravate eczema, especially dairy, eggs and soy. If you have eczema, it is important to remove these foods from your diet as much as possible. It is also helpful to keep a food diary to track your diet and identify which foods are causing the itchiness.
Moisturize the Skin
Apply a barrier repair moisturizer to the affected skin every day. This helps protect the skin and reduce itching and inflammation. Look for a non-greasy or water-based moisturizer that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like apricot kernel oil, shea butter and vitamin E.
Soak in a Warm Bath
A warm bath can relieve itching and inflammation and reduce the dryness of eczema. Use lukewarm water and a gentle bath soap or body wash, rather than a harsh soap with harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Rinse the Skin With Dilute Bleach
The dilution of bleach (a half-and-half solution of diluted chlorine) can help clear up and reduce itching and inflammation caused by eczema. To do this, use a tub of warm water and add 2 tablespoons of bleach. Soak the skin in the bleach water for 10-15 minutes, then pat it dry with a soft towel.
Wash Your Clothes With Cotton and Breathable Fabric
Wearing breathable clothing made from natural materials can reduce itching and irritation caused by eczema. For example, tee shirts, jeans and pants made from cotton are more comfortable on the skin than wool or synthetic fabrics.
Wash your clothes regularly to remove irritants, like perfume or scented lotions. Keeping your body cool and dry is also helpful for people with eczema, since heat can make it worse.
Wet wrapping is a very effective treatment for severe eczema, and can reduce itching and inflammation in hours to days. You can get wet wraps in a hospital, or you can learn how to do this at home safely with the help of your health care provider.
Take an Over-the-Counter Medication for Your Symptoms
Topical or oral medications, like corticosteroids, can help reduce itching and inflammation in the skin. They also can help reduce the rash and keep it from recurring. Your provider will suggest a combination of medications based on your individual needs and the severity of your eczema.
Ask Your Provider What to Expect
Depending on your unique situation, eczema may improve or get better on its own. In some cases, eczema can be a chronic, long-term condition that requires ongoing treatment. It can be difficult to manage it, so it is important to talk with your healthcare provider about the best treatment options for you.