As all eczema sufferers know, they are stuck with the skin condition for life. Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that has no cure, but it can be managed to reduce the severity of symptoms and the frequency of eczema flare-ups or outbreaks.
The major symptoms that characterize the disease are rashes and itchiness. The affected skin area can appear red or brownish-gray, blistery, leathery, thick, scaly or cracked. At times, small, raised bumps may be seen on the skin. Out of these, fluid may seep out when scratched, and then the bumps crust and heal.
The common locations of these rashes and bumps are the elbows, knees, arms, hands and feet. They can also appear on the face, especially the eyelids, around the eyes, and on the cheeks. They can be very unsightly, and the person will normally want to stay at home until the facial rashes disappear.
Some tips to relieve eczema during a flare-up are:
Apply creams and ointments to relieve the itching. Most over-the-counter anti-itch topical medications will bring relief.
Avoid harsh soaps and chemicals which can further irritate the skin. Scented commercial skin products are potential irritants.
Also avoid long baths (especially warm baths) to prevent aggravating the skin outbreak.
Avoid triggers that may induce an eczema flare-up or worsen one when it is already underway. Triggers can include strong perfumes, rough clothing, heat, sweating, stress, low humidity, drastic temperature changes, and exposure to cats and dogs.
Also avoid food triggers such as eggs, fish, milk, and soy products.
Meanwhile, these are tips to relieve eczema that are specifically aimed at breaking the itch-scratch cycle:
Use cold or wet compresses to relieve the itching.
Wear soft mittens at night.
Keep the fingernails short.
Take over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl.
Wrap the skin with loose gauze wraps to protect it from scratches.
The itchiness may increase at night, and scratching can occur during sleep, so be prepared beforehand by using these tips to relieve eczema. It is important to avoid scratching because this can lead to scars and infection. When the skin becomes infected, it may be necessary to take antibiotics under medical supervision.
It is also important to use natural and organic items as much as possible when treating eczema. Many commercial soaps, shampoos and skin products contain sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. These substances aggravate eczema for many people. Likewise, dyes and perfumes in laundry products, and most fabric softeners, are unsafe for eczema sufferers. It is recommended that vinegar be used instead as a natural fabric softener.
Instead of OTC anti-itch creams, one can also opt to use natural, herbal mixtures instead. A variety of natural ingredients can be used in the making of homemade anti-itch pastes and lotions. These ingredients include blueberry leaves, dandelion leaves, camphor, sandalwood, nutmeg, spearmint leaves, turmeric powder, papaya seeds, neem leaves, and virgin coconut oil. Most of these can be pounded or crushed, and then mixed with a few drops of oil to form a paste or lotion. It then should be placed on the affected area, and left on for ten to thirty minutes.
Out of these many tips to relieve eczema, anyone who has the skin condition is sure to find at least a few remedies that he can use.
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