The Scratch Itch Factor : My Top 13 Eczema Tips
Written by Kerry Benjamin
Eczema is a medical condition that causes skin to become inflamed or irritated. Eczema affects about 10% to 20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Most infants who develop the condition outgrow it by their tenth birthday, while some people continue to have symptoms on and off throughout life. If you have eczema, you know how itchy and painful it can be. However, simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference on managing symptoms. I’ve rounded up my Top 11 tips for treating eczema.
Ice Gel Packs or Ice Roller
Resist the urge to scratch and reach for an ice gel pack instead. Hot water dries out the skin leading to more itching and breakouts, so next time you feel the need to scratch, go straight for an ice gel or an Ice Roller pack to calm the itch and inflammation. If you’re itching during the night, this is a go to solution to fall back asleep, the gel packs are soothing and calming, and don't make a mess. Simply put them back in the freezer the next morning.
Medium depth TCA peels are great for Eczema on the body and face. They remove dead dry skin and rough spots very effectively without any irritation to the skin. Peels are often mistaken as hash when in fact they are great for sensitive skin because they are not abrasive. It’s an excellent way to remove dead skin and allow products to penetrate without causing irritation. For an at home solution, we've got a 2 face peels and a body peel.
See our product recommendations below this article. Our TCA Multi Acid Face Peel and Our TCA Multi Acid Body Peel are loaded with lactic acid to gently exfoliate and hydrated, while salicylic acid will kill bacteria and calm inflammation. I developed these peels specifically for my dry sensitive eczema skin. They've helped me a ton and I know you'll find relief too! They are super easy to use with no downtime, simply cleanse your face, or right after the shower, brush on a layer on your face or entire body, no rinsing needed!
It’s a good idea to take an allergy test to pinpoint what you are specifically allergic to. Environment, both inside and out, food and hormones, all play a key role in eczema flare ups. Knowing specifically what you are allergic to and then avoiding those things can result in significant improvement in your skin.
Eczema is typically caused by an allergic reaction, taking antihistamines can help block the allergen and prevent the eczema breakout.
Moisturizers are composed of a combination of key ingredients that are categorized as emollients, humectants, and occlusives, which work together to enhance hydration and improve the skin barrier function. Perfume-free moisturizers with humectant and occlusive ingredients are generally safer alternatives for eczematous skin.
Seal in moisture by covering your skin at night. After your shower or bath, apply oil and/or a heavy moisturizer to scaly areas and wrap them with plastic wrap. In the morning, remove the plastic wrap, cleanse skin, apply oil and moisturizer. Repeat daily or as needed. Take it a step further if you’re super itchy and use the ice gel packs over the seran wrap at night for additional soothing relief.
Take melatonin in the evening for a deeper sleep and increased relaxation. Make sure to take at least an hour before bed and give yourself 7-8 hours of sleep so you don’t feel groggy the next morning.
Unfortunately, exercise dries out the skin through the loss of fluids, and the sodium in sweat can dehydrate the skin as well as sting and irritate it. It’s best to skip the gym when eczema is active. As an alternative, walking, bike riding or other lighter activity is best until the inflammation has calmed down.
Encase Your Mattress and All Pillows
Keep your bedding to a minimum - most eczema suffers are allergic to bed mites, encasing everything and keeping your bedding minimal will make it less likely for the mites to touch your skin and cause irritation. Also, avoid having rugs in the bedroom and keep your window treatment minimal.
Change Sheets Frequently
Changing your sheets often (usually more than once a week) can make a huge difference in reducing your itching during the night. If your eczema is concentrated mainly around your face and neck, try changing just your pillowcase every night.
Dust mites can cause eczema, especially in kids. Keeping these eczema triggers to a minimum, get rid of carpeting, rugs, and drapes - all of which hold a lot of dust. If you can’t get rid of carpeting, make sure to thoroughly clean it every week.
Moisture: It’s Not Just in Your Skin…
It’s in the air too. If you live in a dry desert climate or a place with cold, dry winters, using a humidifier to keep moisture in the air is a must. Dry air can make eczema worse and lead to additional flare ups. The optimal range for moisture levels in your home is between 35%-50% and is crucial to maintaining healthy skin. Make sure you get one that is large enough for your room and keep it running consistently. If you suffer from allergies, choose one with an air purifier or filter.
Keep It Cool
Living in a cold dry climate is a challenge if you have problem skin. It’s cold, so you turn on the heat, the heat dries out the air and your eczema flares up. Heating your home sucks moisture out of the air, even if you have a humidifier running. Try keeping the house cool during the night, no warmer than 68 degrees with a humidifier running. If you live in a cold climate, layer on the blankets while you sleep. This will help ensure that the loss of moisture that happens throughout the day while the heat is on is replenished throughout the night.