How To Stop Itching Your Skin If You Have Eczema
Nothing is more frustrating than trying not to scratch your itchy skin, particularly if you have eczema. Try these expert-approved strategies to break the itch-scratch cycle.
“Dont scratch” is probably one of the bestand worstpieces of advice an eczema patient can receive. The skin condition, which is caused by an abnormal immune reaction that results in dry, red, cracked patches of skin, is only made worse by itching. Your nails damage the skin barrier, which then ramps up inflammatory molecules that exacerbate the itch, explains Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Whats more, chronic scratching may make you more susceptible to infections, since it’s easier for bacteria to invade the cracked skin.
But heres the rub: itching an eczema rash feels good.“Scratching induces a short term pain response that suppresses the itch,” says Dr. Silberberg. “Patients feel the short-term gain, but dont realize how it actually harms skin.” Your best way to dampen down the itch is to see your doctor for treatments, prescription or over-the-counter, that address the underlying problem that causes the itch. Although it may not be possible to stop itching once and for all, here are eight strategies that may help you keep your hands off.
Does Cleaning My Home Help Stop Itching And Scratching
Dust mites are tiny bugs that reside in carpets, sofas, bed because this is where many people reside and shed dead skin. They feed on your dead skin that is exfoliated naturally in addition to pollen, dead insects, fungi, etc. Dust mites are pesky creatures and they do not go away easily. Several ways to combat them include:
- Use dust covers on pillows and beds
- Vacuums with HEPA filters
- Regularly wash bed sheets
- Keep humidity under 50% as dust mites like humidity at high levels. Consider a dehumidifier
- Control temperature- dust mites thrive in temperatures between 68 to 77 degrees F .
Theres still ongoing research about the connection between dust mites and eczema, but there does appear to be a connection.
Eczema Coping Tips Good Hygiene
Skin affected by eczema is more vulnerable to a range of infections, including impetigo, cold sores and warts. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus may cause a secondary infection of impetigo, and possibly contribute to the symptoms of eczema.Suggestions for washing include:
- Take lukewarm baths or showers, and avoid really hot showers.
- Dont use ordinary soap, as the ingredients may aggravate your eczema. Wash your body with warm water alone. For armpits and groin, use soap-free products, such as sorbolene cream.
- Bath oils can help to moisturise your skin while bathing.
- When towelling dry, pat rather than rub your skin.
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Ways To Relieve Itchy Eczema At Home
Apply a cool compress to itchy skin. To use this technique, you:
Telling your child to stop scratching itchy skin rarely works.
Eczema is just too itchy, and telling your child to stop scratching can feel stressful. Stress often makes eczema worse.
Add colloidal oatmeal to your childs bath. Youll find colloidal oatmeal at many places that sell health and beauty products. When you add this to your childs bath, it helps relieve the dry, itchy skin.
When using colloidal oatmeal, dermatologists recommend:
Dont let your child eat the finely ground oatmeal.
Colloidal oatmeal makes the bath very slippery, so take care to prevent a slip or fall.
Soak in a bath and smear on ointment. After letting your child soak in a lukewarm bath, smear a thick layer of moisturizing ointment on all of your childs skin. When the skin is very itchy, using an eczema friendly ointment like petroleum jelly provides more relief than a cream or lotion.
Q : How Can Infections Due To Eczema Be Prevented And Treated
People with eczema that is not well managed can be more likely to have skin infections with bacteria such as Staph , and viruses such as the cold sore virus.
People with eczema who have infections need to treat these as they occur. They may also need long term prevention strategies, such as diluted bleach baths, which can help prevent future skin infections.
Long term oral antibiotics can be helpful for people who suffer from recurrent infected eczema.
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Eczema Coping Tips Beauty Products
Suggestions for using beauty products include:
- Remember that even hypoallergenic cosmetics can irritate your skin. Whenever possible, keep your face free of make-up.
- Avoid perfumes, fragranced skin lotions and strongly scented shampoos.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin such as your forearm. If you experience a reaction, dont use the product again.
Everyday Things That Can Trigger Eczema
The factors are
- Metals like Nickel
- Personal care products.
- Specific fabrics like polyester or wool.
2. Stress Another factor for eczema is stress. Life is incomplete without stress. Each human has stress in their life. But too much stress can lead to eczema.
3. Defects in skin structure that lock the way for the moisturizer to penetrate inside but allow the pathogen to enter inside the skin
4. Children are likely to develop eczema if they
- Live in an urban or polluted area.
- Live in cold climatic conditions.
5. Daily Activity: Sometimes, our daily activities may cause eczema. The activities are
- Prolonged exposure to water.
- Become too hot or too cold.
- Not using proper moisture.
- Living in arid climates all year round.
6. Eczema can also start with certain chronic conditions that affect or weaken our immunity power. For example, the chronic conditions that can worsen an eczema flare are
- The cold or flu infection.
- Bacterial infection.
- Any types of allergic reaction from dust, smoke, pollen, or pets.
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Whats The Difference Between Dermatitis And Psoriasis
Psoriasis and dermatitis can appear similar. Both cause patches of red skin. However, in psoriasis, the scales are thick and the edges of those scales are well-defined.
Discuss with your healthcare provider your questions about which type of skin condition you have. You can have more than one skin condition at a time. Treatments for one may not work for the other.
Triggers Of Eczema Flare
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
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Eczema Eureka #: Why Scratching Hurts So Good
Did you know that itch and pain have a working relationship? OK, so they dont put on suits and ties and trade stories at the water cooler, but research shows that itchiness will actually subside if pain is present, so that’s why the slight pain of scratching can hurt so good.
Which approach to eczema treatments do you think youd prefer?
Which approach to eczema treatments do you think youd prefer?
A short-term, as-needed approach
Thanks for taking part in the science!
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Lukewarm Water Bath Can Help Stop Scratching & Itching Of The Eczema Skin
Hot water bath can make the patient feel good temporarily, but can ultimately worsen eczema by initiating the release of itch-inducing compounds. Lukewarm water should be used instead for bathing, as it is less likely to aggravate this sensitive skin condition. Since perfumed products can irritate the skin, only mild and unscented soaps should be used by eczema patients. After patting dry the body with a soft towel, a liberal amount of moisturizer should be applied on the body to repair the skin effectively and keep it well hydrated and to prevent eczema itching.
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What Is The Itch Scratch Cycle
Once the itch is felt, babies with scratch to try to relieve the itch. While a quick and temporary relief is felt, in babies with eczema, the skin feels more itchy. This leads to more scratching and then more itchiness. The skin will become inflamed and irritated. This cycle viciously continues so its important to knip the cycle in the bud before it gets out of hand.
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Home Remedies For Managing The Itch Of Atopic Dermatitis
Try these alternative therapies as a complement to your treatment plan for eczema.
For many people dry, itchy skin is the main and most troublesome symptom of atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema. But scratching can irritate skin and make the condition worse.
Following your treatment plan is the best way to manage atopic dermatitis symptoms, but if youre still struggling to find itch relief, a solution may literally be close to home.
Eczema can be difficult to treat, as the skin barrier is altered and needs to be repaired and protected from further damage, explains Beth Goldstein, MD, who practices at Central Dermatology Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
A complementary home remedy can often assist with this process and result in less itchy, dry, flaky skin, according to Dr. Goldstein.
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How To Use Topical Corticosteroids
Do not be afraid to apply the treatment to affected areas to control your eczema.
Unless instructed otherwise by a doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
This will give details of how much to apply.
Most people only have to apply it once a day as there’s no evidence there’s any benefit to applying it more often.
When using a topical corticosteroid:
- apply your emollient first and ideally wait around 30 minutes until the emollient has soaked into your skin, or apply the corticosteroid at a different time of day
- apply the recommended amount of the topical corticosteroid to the affected area
- continue to use it until 48 hours after the flare-up has cleared so the inflammation under the skin surface is treated
Occasionally, your doctor may suggest using a topical corticosteroid less frequently, but over a longer period of time. This is designed to help prevent flare-ups.
This is sometimes called weekend treatment, where a person who has already gained control of their eczema uses the topical corticosteroid every weekend on the trouble sites to prevent them becoming active again.
Why Does Eczema Itch At Night And All The Dang Time
Researchers arent super sure what causes eczema, but genetics and environmental triggers might be to blame.
When eczema makes its grand entrance, the affected patches of skin become red and sore, which leads to itching. On top of that, inflammation from eczema increases blood flow, which, you guessed it, also adds to the itch.
If the skin barrier is broken to due inflammation and scratching, this can lead to transepidermal water loss , which contributes to the itch-scratch cycle as well.
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What Medications Can I Use To Help With Itching
Topical steroids when used appropriately can make a big difference. They can be very helpful when eczema just flared up. I personally will not use them every day, but I do use them for my childs eczema when it is flared up for whatever reason . Talk to your dermatologist/pediatrician about the best topical steroid to use.
Anti-histamines can help relieve the itch. It has helped my child in the past when the itching and scratching was relentless. I highly recommend that you talk to your doctor before using antihistamines for eczema.
The One Thing You Need To Rememberdont Scratch Dry Skin
So dont forget, although it might feel good to start with, scratching is one of your dry, atopic eczema-prone skins worst enemies. The more you scratch, the itchier you become! Your Stick is your magic wand so reach for it and zap that itch on the spot! Finally, look for other ways to keep your hands busy and your mind occupied with other more enjoyable activities. Youll be sure to kick the itch-scratch habit in no time!
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Reasons Your Skin Itches Uncontrollably And How To Get Relief
When your skin itches, you may have a rash however, you can have intensely itchy skin and see nothing on your skin.
Mosquito bites, chickenpox, and poison ivy arent the only reasons for itchy skin. See what else may be causing your itch and what can bring relief.
Very dry skin. Extremely dry skin can be intensely itchy.How to get relief: Dermatologists offer these tips for relieving dry skin at, Dry skin: Tips for managing.
Bug bites. When a mosquito bites you, the cause of your itchy skin is usually obvious, and the itch tends to go away quickly. When bugs live on your skin or feed on you every night, the itch can be long-lasting and uncontrollable. Bugs that can cause long-lasting itch, include bed bugs, lice, and mites .How to get relief: You can find out what these bug bites look like and how to get rid of the itch at:
How to get relief:
Skin cancer. For many people, the only sign of skin cancer is a new or changing spot on their skin. Sometimes, that spot also itches and can be the only reason a person notices the spot.How to get relief:See a board-certified dermatologist to find out if you have skin cancer. If you have skin cancer, treating it can get rid of the itch.
Warning sign of a disease inside your body. Long-standing itch can be a sign of several diseases, including:
How to get relief:
Avoid Harsh Detergent For Washing
Washing and cleaning are our daily activities. Unfortunately, most detergent powder contains toxic chemicals, artificial fragrances, preservatives, and chemical dye. These entire components react to our skin and make it drier.
As a result, eczema and skin rash are quite a regular occurrence. So choose your laundry detergent wisely, which is chemical-free.
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Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Eczema
Yes. Take your child to see your GP if your child:
- might have eczema for the first time
- is very itchy and uncomfortable
- has eczema thats weeping or bleeding
- has eczema that hasnt improved much after a few days, even though youve been treating it as usual
- is having trouble sleeping because the rash is so itchy
- has painful or eczema that has developed pus
- has eczema and is generally unwell for example, has a fever and/or is sweating, feeding poorly or tired.
You should also take your child to the GP if youre not sure whether the rash is eczema.
If your childs eczema doesnt improve with a combination of medical treatment and management at home, your GP might refer your child to a dermatologist. If the GP thinks your childs eczema might be from allergies, they might also refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist.
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Baby Eczema Got Your Kiddo Itching At Night
Bedtime itching can make a baby uncomfy too . Eczema can pop up during infancy, typically as a rash on the face and scalp.
Thankfully symptoms usually go away as your bébé grows up roughly 95 percent of children dont have symptoms after 20 years.
While the itching persists, eczema treatments for kids and babies are often the same as adults. But, there are extra ways to help babies with eczema be more comfortable throughout the night.
Ways to lessen eczema symptoms in babies include:
- Learn and avoid their triggers.
- Keep a daily routine of bathing and moisturizing.
- Be careful with antibacterial ointments .
- Stay away from baby wipes that have isothiazolinones, an ingredient that may trigger skin reactions.
- Ditch baby shampoos and other items that contain cocomidopropyl betaine .
Keep A Positive Attitude
Its very difficult to see your child in misery from scratching. Most children do grow out of eczema by age 2 which has been my case with my children. Its very easy to discouraged when you have days with flareups but its ok. This is a journey and there is no quick fix. Have a good support group including a doctor you trust, family members, friends, social media groups such as Facebook to vent to other parents. You are not alone! I hope this guide helps you in your journey as you figure out how to stop itching in babies with eczema.