When To See Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if eczema symptoms are serious enough to interfere with sleep and daily life or if they persist after home treatments. See your doctor right away about a skin infection, especially if you also have a fever. Red streaks, yellow scabs, and pus could all be signs of infection.
Mayo Clinic: Atopic dermatitis : âAlternative medicine,â âCauses,â âLifestyle and home remedies,â âRisk factors,â âTreatments and drugs.â
American Academy of Dermatology: âDifferent kinds of eczema,â âWhat is eczema?â
National Eczema Society: âTopical Steroids,â âWhat is Eczema?â
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: âWhat Is Atopic Dermatitis?â
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: âAntihistamines,â âEczema.â
National Eczema Association: âItching for relief.â
British Journal of Dermatology: âThe effect of environmental tobacco smoke on eczema and allergic sensitization in children.â
FDA: âFDA approves new eczema drug Dupixent.â
Mayo Clinic: âAtopic dermatitis .â
The National Eczema Association: âEczema Causes and Triggers.â
Recommended Reading: Best Face Wipes For Baby With Eczema
Tend To Your No 1 Priority: Controlling The Itch Of Eczema
Keeping itching under control is the most important job of any eczema treatment. The first symptom of an eczema outbreak may be an itch, which a patient scratches, explains Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angelesbased dermatologist in private practice and author of Feed Your Face: Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days. The scratching stimulates nerve endings in the skin and causes inflammation in the area, which turns into a visible rash and triggers further itching. Controlling the itch is key to controlling eczema outbreaks.
Ultimately, overcoming this itching can help prevent skin damage. According to the American Academy of Dermatology , skin infections are common in people who have eczema. Its a challenge to prevent eczema rashes from becoming infected, says Dr. Wu. Bacteria can enter the skin through scratches and other open areas. Ive seen increasing numbers of patients with eczema that becomes infected with staph and other bacteria.
What Is An Eczema Flare
- Inflamed reddish brown or gray patches, especially on your hands, feet, chest, neck, and inside the bends of your elbows and knees
- Serious itching that worsens at night
- Dry skin that could get raw or swollen from scratching
- Small raised bumps that might crust or leak fluid
- Skin that thickens and cracks
These symptoms may go away for a while, then flare up again.
You may have chronic, or long-lasting, eczema. Or it might just flare up after you touch something or in certain settings.
You May Like: Cream For Really Bad Eczema
What Colour Are Eczema Scars
Wounds that have healed will usually leave some level of scarring, that over time, tends to blend in with our skin tone. But eczema scars can behave differently, with different levels of pigmentation, causing eczema scarring to appear more visible than the surrounding skin.
Eczema scars can appear darker if they have more pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, or lighter if they have less pigmentation, or hypopigmentation.
Skin Care For Facial Eczema
Moisturize. The best way to keep your skin from drying out is with thick creams and ointments , not with thinner lotions. The best time to do this is right after you wash your face. If ointments are too greasy for your face, try using them only at night.
Clean gently. Soap can irritate your skin, but washing with water alone may not be enough, especially if your face is oily. Use a gentle non-soap cleanser or a medical emollient instead. Pat dry with a soft towel.
Watch the temperature. Use only cool — not hot — water on your face, and for as little time as possible.
Skip makeup.Donât use cosmetics on irritated skin.
Strip Off Wet Clothes
After tromping around in the snow or being out in the rain, be sure to remove your gloves, jacket, socks, and anything else that got wet as soon as you come inside.
Wet clothes can irritate eczema and, as they dry, cause moisture to evaporate from the skin, Dr. Benabio says. Before you change into something dry, and while your skin is still damp, be sure to moisturize.
Perspiration is also very irritating to eczema-prone skin, says Paller. If youve been outside exercising or shoveling snow and worked up a sweat, take a quick shower, moisturize, and put on clean, dry clothes as soon as you can, she recommends.
How To Tell If You Have Eczema On Your Face
It can be tricky to distinguish the difference between eczema and dry skinboth are dry, both can be itchy, and both can be irritated with harsh products.
The key difference? Eczema usually flares up as patches in specific areas, like around your eyes or nose, says Marina Peredo, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. On the body, eczema often surfaces in the creases of your arms or knees.
Other telltale signs of eczema include swelling, redness, and flakes. Or, as Dr. Peredo puts it: Eczema looks angrier.
Don’t Miss: Eczema Causas Sintomas Y Tratamiento
Take Short Lukewarm Showers
It may feel natural to want to spend lots of time in a steaming hot shower, but the answer isnt to turn up the temperature. For very mild cases of eczema, lifestyle modifications can sometimes be enough short lukewarm showers with unscented soap and moisturizing twice a day, particularly after the shower, when the skin is damp, says Cindy Wassef, MD, an assistant professor at the Rutgers University Center for Dermatology. If your fingers prune up, youre likely taking too long. Those extra minutes especially in hot water can make it harder for your skin to retain moisture, further drying it out.
Also Check: Eczema On Face Adults Treatment
Gentle Soaps And Detergents
Laundry detergent can contain harsh chemicals that aggravate eczema.
Many body washes and cleansers contain detergents, which help provide a soapy lather. Detergents and other lathering agents can dry out the skin, especially in people with eczema.
Bar soaps can also be harsh on the skin because of their alkalinity.
Try using a gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid products with rough particles for scrubbing or exfoliating, as these can further irritate the skin.
Many people with eczema also find that switching to a more gentle, fragrance- or color-free laundry detergent can help improve symptoms.
Additionally, try skipping fabric softener, which lingers on clothes and often contains fragrances and chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can worsen eczema symptoms. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.
Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.
Read Also: My Eczema Will Not Go Away
Wrap Up In Cold Weather
Cold, harsh winter winds can dry out the skin and cause eczema flares.
Keep the skin covered when temperatures are low. Also, consider covering the face with a scarf if eczema occurs in this body region.
While many home remedies are suitable for babies and children, always speak with a doctor before using them.
The following home remedies and tips may help:
Cleaning Your Face When You Have Eczema On It
PrettyCandles · 25/01/2011 20:08
How do you do it?I have eczema around my eyes, right up to my lower lashes and on the eyelids.I’m using Eumobase, and can’t avoid getting it on the normal skin as well as the eczema patches, so the normal skin gets very greasy. How should I clean my face?Also, should I peel off or rub off the scales that sometimes appear on the patches, or should I leave them alone?
yumcha888 · 26/01/2011 09:43
I had really bad eczema all over my face for months a few years ago. The underlying cause was stress, followed by a really damp English winter. Since then I’ve learnt to use the Aveeno range of products – they are brilliant, non greasy, thick and emollient. I also gently rubbed off the scaley bits – especially if I had an important meeting that day . If I really needed to hide the dead skin I used Clarins night cream . It’s not cheap but it’s oily enough to hide the dead skin.Good luck!
MamaMimi · 29/01/2011 22:04
Read Also: Eczema Cream For 2 Year Old
Vitamin E Oil For Eczema
Vitamin E oil is a powerful home remedy for eczema scars and blemishes. The penetration ability of the oil is taken as good enough to reach the deep skin layers and aid in wound healing. Vitamin E oil can be used on its own or can be mixed with equal amount of aloe vera gel for beneficial effects. The consistency of the oil is thick, hence, it is preferably applied in the night. Vitamin E can even be taken internally in the form of gel capsules.
Read Also: How To Avoid Itching Eczema
Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.
Read Also: Best Cream For Eczema Around Eyes
Don’t Miss: Best Way To Cure Eczema On Hands
Up Your Moisturizing Routine
The best treatment for eczema is a proactive one and that includes using moisturizers.
To make skin less likely to react to irritants and control itching, moisturize morning and night and anytime the skin gets wet, especially after a bath or shower, says Jason Reichenberg, MD, a professor of dermatology at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas in Austin.
Also keep in mind that lotions, which are mostly water, generally wont cut it this time of year. At a minimum, youll need to use a moisturizing cream. An ointment like petroleum jelly is even better, says Paller.
Although thick creams and ointments can feel greasy, they hold moisture in the skin for longer.
Avne Soothing Eye Contour Cream
People travel the world to visit Avènes thermal springs in the south of France, known for having minerals that relieve skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. Youll find the thermal water in this eye cream . Whats more, its formulated with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that attracts water to the skin and locks in moisture.
Recommended Reading: Hand Eczema Won T Go Away
What Cleansing Products Should You Use
Atopic skin lacks oily substances. This means avoiding soaps that are detergents, which tend to emulsify what little oil is left on the skin. Opt instead for the following:
- Dermatological bar
Use products adapted to atopic skin and which are non-irritant and free of allergenic substances.
One wash with soap per day is sufficient, with a particular focus on the face, folds and the perianal region. No need to wash with soap from head to toe every single day.
Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Food allergies are a factor in 30% of young children with severe eczema. This factor is mainly seen in babies.
- The main allergic foods are cows milk and eggs.
- The main symptoms are increased skin redness and itching. Some parents report these symptoms start during or soon after the feeding.
- The eczema becomes easier to control if you avoid the allergic food.
You May Like: Best Way To Stop Eczema Itching
Does The Sun Really Help To Treat Eczema
The Link Between Sunlight and Eczema. The suns effect on eczema has been in the study for a long time now. Some researchers believe that the sun is essential for the same reasons that it is for normal people without any condition. The main reason here is assumed to be vitamin D . The production of this vitamin is aided by the sun.
Types Of Skin Conditions That Cause Eczema
There are at least 11 distinct types of skin conditions that produce eczema. In order to develop a rational treatment plan, it is important to distinguish them. This is often not easy.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Cause Eczema Flare Ups
What Type Of Moisturizer Is Good For Hand Eczema
Mild hand eczema on the knuckles
The more water there is in a lotion or moisturizer, the more likely it is to worsen your hand eczema. Moisturizers usually contain more water than oil, and when the water evaporates it can dry out the skin. The best moisturizer for hand eczema is a greasy ointment, such as petroleum jelly. Be sure to read the label to determine which moisturizer has the least amount of water.
The NEA Seal of Acceptance directory has a list of moisturizers specially formulated for eczema skin.
Apply the moisturizer to your hands immediately after you bathe and each time you wash your hands.
Remember that it can take a few months for a flare-up to clear. Even if your hands appear eczema-free, you will sometimes need to take special care with them to avoid a return of symptoms.
What Should You Avoid
Essentially, anything that’s harsh, irritating, or over-exfoliating is considered a foe when caring for eczema. Specifically, Wheeler and Hartman both suggest avoiding sulfates, alcohol, and fragrances in addition to at-home peels or pads and alcohol-based toners. Avoiding inflammatory food like sugar and dairy might also be strategic in minimizing the chance for flare-ups.
“Be careful with over-exfoliation, as that can lead to dryness, which can trigger eczema,” Wheeler adds. “Allergens in the environment can even cause an eczema flare as well as stress and hormones. I’ve also seen eczema worsen with certain eye makeup and makeup-removing products. I would avoid makeup wipes since most of them contain fragrance and alcohol and instead use a gentle makeup remover or micellar water to remove makeup. I also recommend avoiding hot water when washing your face and instead use cool water, as it’s less drying and less irritating.”
Ingredient-wise, Nakra suggests looking for soothing ingredients when choosing your skincare picks and suggests calming, natural choices like snow mushroom, turmeric, aloe, and witch hazel as non-irritating alternatives.
Also Check: How To Stop Eczema On Scalp
Choice Of Topical Corticosteroid
There are different strengths of topical corticosteroids that can be prescribed depending on the severity of your eczema. Discoid eczema usually needs a stronger type of corticosteroid than other types of eczema.
You might be prescribed a cream to be used on visible areas, such as face and hands, and an ointment to be used at night or for more severe flare-ups.
Recommended Reading: What To Do To Help Eczema
How Is Eyelid Eczema Treated
The most important treatment is to figure out what caused the rash. That involves thinking about how the allergen or irritant got to your eyes. I target hair care products, face cleansers and face and hand products.
Usually, a day or two after contact, the rash starts. Then, it slowly builds up if you dont figure out the cause. To help sleuth out the cause, I remove some of the possible culprits I have patients use only hypoallergenic shampoo, face wash and moisturizers.
Recommended Reading: Can Eczema Come On Later In Life
Recommended Reading: Long Term Effects Of Eczema
How To Treat Eczema On Your Face
Its common and generally safe to treat body eczema with topical steroids, but you need to be careful applying the same products to your face, says Kenneth Mark, MD, a dermatologist practicing in New York City and Aspen, CO. Steroids can thin your skin if used improperly.
Thats why its important to start with more mild, moisturizing products, then go from there. The goal is to restore the barrier function of your skin without causing more irritation, Dr. Mark says.
IN DEPTH: ECZEMA
One extra challenge when treating facial eczema: You probably use a lot of products on your face that you dont use on your body, and some of those products arent the best choice when tackling a flare-up. Avoid any potentially irritating products that can increase inflammation, Dr. Mark says.
We love reducing wrinkles, dark spots, and saggy skin just as much as anyone else, but eliminating facial eczema should be your number one priority. Eczema is a medical condition that can turn into an infection if untreated, Dr. Peredo says.
Ready for your super approachable treatment plan? Keep your routine simple and hold off on makeup during a flare-upno eye shadow if you have eczema around your eyes or lip stains if its on your lips. After taking a lukewarm shower , apply a fragrance-free moisturizer as soon as you dry off when your skin will absorb it better, Dr. Peredo says.