Eczema is a skin disorder which causes the inflammation and irritation of the skin. No matter where the eczema manifests, it is always itchy, one of the major symptoms of the skin disorder. As the itchiness increases, rashes begin to form and skin redness flares up. Areas that are affected more often than not appear dry and scaly.
The itchier the sufferer becomes, the more likely they are to scratch the affected area, and if the skin breaks, an infection can set in and worsen the symptoms of this irritating skin disorder. Because eczema causes the skin to become dry and itchy, most dermatologists prescribe patients diagnosed with it lotions and creams, which locks in the moisture in the top layer of skin and can help relieve the immediate itchiness of an eczema flare up.
Non-scented, hypoallergenic lotion available at local markets and grocery stores can be used as well, just make sure they low on chemical components and that it is for especially dry skin. The more moisture the skin is able to hold, the less itchy the sufferer will become. When using these lotions and creams, make sure to apply them to damp skin, preferably right after a shower or bath. If itching and irritability continues after the application of the lotion or cream, try using a cold compress to relieve the itching sensation.
You can also pick up simple creams like hydrocortisone or other itch relieving creams from your local CVS or Sav-On pharmacy section. Again, this doesn’t necessary cure the rash right away, but it will relieve the itching and will prevent the sufferer from obsessively scratching and reduce the potential of breaking the skin and contracting an infection. Your doctor might prescribe you a similar cream, but stronger, if the itching greatly increases and the over the counter medication doesn’t relieve the irritation. If it worsens and becomes infected, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria festering in the infected broken skin.
Although eczema can’t actually be cured, there are ways to prevent the rashes from breaking out and to stop the itching before it gets worse. To decrease the likelihood of an eczema flare up, make sure you consistently and regularly keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. Don’t take too many showers throughout the day because constant washing only dries out the skin more and more. When washing your clothes or taking a shower, don’t use soaps, solvents, or detergents that are thick and heavy and will stick to your skin and further dry it out.
Be aware of climate and humidity changes and try to avoid sudden changes in the temperature, like when you’re traveling. Don’t wear clothing made from materials that are prone to making you itchy, like wool, or clothing that can trap in heat and make you sweat, like leather or polyester. And if you’re aware of what types of things trigger your allergies and induce your rashes, keep clear of those allergens. More often than not, what you’re allergic to can also cause you to become itchy and will flare up your eczema.