Managing Eczema

Skin care tips

Dry skin is a fairly common occurrence. It can also be a serious problem if you have eczema. Simply put, dry skin often itches, and, for those with eczema, scratching it only triggers more itching and inflammation. With proper care, though, there are things you can do to help reduce dry skin and itching.

What you can do to avoid flare-ups

  • Moisturize everyday
  • Wear cotton or soft fabrics-avoid rough, scratchy fibers and tight clothing
  • Take lukewarm baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleanser
    • Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel-don’t rub
    • Apply a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing to “lock in” the moisture

  • When possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat

  • Learn your eczema triggers and avoid them

  • Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather

  • Keep your (and your child’s) fingernails short to help keep scratching from breaking the skin

  • Some people with allergies find it helps to remove carpets from their house, and give pets dander treatments

  • If possible, reduce the stress in your life-take a quieter route to work, get a new job, get help around the house, take yoga, or learn to meditate

  • Use only soaps, laundry detergents and moisturizers that your doctor has recommended. Avoid anything with perfume

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD