Sleep With A Humidifier In Your Bedroom
Many heating systems dry out the air inside your home, which can exacerbate atopic dermatitis, notes Reichenberg. Running a humidifier in your bedroom overnight can help add moisture back into the air and into your skin.
Whether you use a cool-mist or warm-mist unit, be sure to follow the manufacturers cleaning instructions. Otherwise the humidifier could harbor organisms, particularly mold, which isnt good for someone with an allergic tendency and could end up making eczema worse, Paller says.
What Kinds Of Moisturizers Are Most Effective For My Eczema
Not all moisturizing creams are created equal. In fact, there are many types of common moisturizers that arent good at helping control your eczema and may even make it flare or get worse. Its important to understand the differences between the three basic types of moisturizers other than lotion ointments, creams, and skin barrier creams so that you can properly hydrate your skin, get the itch relief you need and help keep your symptoms under control.
Moisturizers are classified based on the amount of oil and water they contain. The more oil in a moisturizer, the better it usually is at treating eczema. The best moisturizers to use are the ones that feel greasy , because they contain more oil. These are very effective at keeping moisture in and irritants out.
All moisturizers should also be applied to your hands immediately after washing and gently blotting them dry. For this reason, its a good idea to keep moisturizer near every sink in your home and carry a small tube with you at all times, so that you can reapply it throughout the day.
Ditch The Heavy Duvet
While you may be chilly when you get into bed, getting cozy under a heavy comforter can leave you feeling hot and itchy a few hours later. To avoid overheating at night, dress your bed as you dress yourself in layers.
Paller recommends starting with soft, cotton sheets and then adding several lightweight blankets on top that you can remove easily. This way, theres something you can do if you wake up hot and uncomfortable, rather than just scratching up a storm and being unable to sleep, she says.
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Moisturizers For Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic-recurrent skin inflammatory disorder that commonly affects male adults. Onset may occur during puberty, due to cutaneous lipids abundance from increasing androgen-driven sebaceous gland development and sebum secretion.62
Seborrheic dermatitis commonly affects the scalp, face, and periauricular region. In some cases, the central chest, axillae and genital region are also involved. Pruritus is often present but not always found. Lesions most often appear as ill-defined erythematous patches with pityriasiform scaling involving predilection sites.62,63 In some cases, a thicker, more confluent area, sometimes with oval, discoid plaques , may appear.
The exact seborrheic dermatitis etiology remain unknown, several factors such as sebaceous activity, Malassezia colonization and individual susceptibility appears to contribute to seborrheic dermatitis pathogenesis. Epidermal barrier integrity host immune response, neurogenic factors, emotional stress, and nutritional factors are several factors influencing individual susceptibility.63
The main goals of seborrheic dermatitis therapy are to alleviate visible signs and associated symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, particularly pruritus. Available treatment options include topical corticosteroids, topical antifungal agents, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and most recently, a nonsteroidal device cream.68,69
What Ingredients To Avoid In Eczema Creams
Of course, there are ingredients youll want to avoid too, Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, tells SELF. Ingredients to watch out for include fragrances, exfoliating acids , harsh soaps, and retinol, she says: These can further irritate the skin by drying them out.
Dr. Nada Elbuluk, M.D., director of the Skin of Color Center and Pigmentary Program at USC, also notes to look at ingredients lists for anything you might be allergic to, because that will also cause a flare-up. I also recommend avoiding physical exfoliants and even certain fabrics such as wool, which can make eczema worse, she says.
So what are the absolute best eczema creams to hydrate, strengthen, and protect against flare-ups? We asked dermatologists to tell us what moisturizers they commonly recommend to their eczema patients. Heres what they suggest.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Eczema
Your treatment for eczema is unique to you and what caused your symptoms to flare up. Treatment for eczema could include:
- Using gentle or sensitive skin moisturizers throughout the day when you have dry skin. Apply moisturizer when your skin is damp after a bath or shower.
- Apply topical medications to your skin as advised by your provider, like topical steroids.
- Take oral medications like anti-inflammatory medicines, antihistamines or corticosteroids to reduce itchiness and swelling.
- Immunosuppressant drugs help regulate how your immune system functions.
- Light therapy to improve the appearance of your skin and remove blemishes.
- Avoid triggers that cause symptoms of eczema to flare up.
Steer Clear Of Soaps And Scents
Your sensitive skin may be especially prone to flares in winter, so avoid exposure to any potentially irritating products.
In the summer, you may be able to tolerate antibacterial or deodorant soaps, but in the winter, you should switch to non-soap cleansers, Dr. Reichenberg says.
Look for products labeled face cleanser or body bar and avoid anything that has the word soap on the package. Even so-called natural soap products can be harsh on the skin, Reichenberg adds.
Fragrances can also irritate and dry out eczema-prone skin, so opt for fragrance-free skin-care items whenever possible.
The same goes for the things you use to wash your clothes: Look for fragrance- and dye-free laundry detergents.
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Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion
The dermatologists we spoke to recommended this lotion from CeraVe, citing its use of ceramides as the main selling point. “This lotion has a unique blend of high-quality moisturizing agents ,” said Dr. Viktoryia Kazlouskaya, dermatologist at Khrom Dermatology. “Specifically, ceramides play a key role in skin protection and barrier function,” she added. The ingredients are released slowly during the day for all-day hydration, according to the brand.
Best Drugstore: Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Soothing Moisturizer
“Cetaphil has great products under their Restoraderm lines, which received the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association,” says Engelman. “This particular one contains a blend of 15 moisturizers and skin-essential vitamins to provide soothing relief for dry, itchy, irritated skin, she says. Dr. Nava Greenfield, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group, is also a fan. I use this because it has colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and filaggrin which not only hydrate but also provide nourishment to skin that lacks the ability to completely hydrate itself, she explains.
Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, ceramides | Size: 10 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | No
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How We Rated The Lotions For Eczema
- 4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best lotions for eczema we tested. We recommend them without reservation.
- 4.5 to 4.7 stars: These lotions for eczema are excellentthey might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
- 4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great lotions for eczema, but others are better.
- 3.5 to 3.9 stars: These lotions for eczema are just average.
- 3.4 and below: We don’t recommend lotions for eczema with this rating you won’t find any on our list.
Read On For Tips On Easing Dry Itchy Skin
Eczema is a common skin condition where very itchy dry patches can form on different parts of the body. If you have eczema or think you may have developed it, consult a doctor. Often eczema sufferers will scratch to try and relieve the discomfort, but this can sometimes damage the skin, making the symptoms even worse. For some people, it can be a never-ending cycle of scratching and damaging.
Unfortunately, while you may want to know how to get rid of eczema fast there are no quick fixes but dealing with the symptoms of eczema, such as dry, itchy skin can help.
While there are a number of external causes of eczema, for many of us its due to genetics. If you have a family history of eczema, you are more likely to suffer with it too.
Although eczema isnt an allergic reaction, it may be triggered by some common allergens. If you suffer with the condition, harsh soaps, perfumes, makeup, and laundry detergents can cause irritation and make the symptoms flare-up. Other factors such as stress, excess sweating, and changes in temperature may also cause the skin to dry out.
It may be difficult for some people to get rid of eczema completely, but it is possible to help ease some of the symptoms. Here we explain ways to relieve dry skin associated with eczema and minimize itchiness.
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Tips On Choosing A Moisturizer
Finding a moisturizer that works can be a challenge. What works for one person may not work for another. As your skins wellness changes, so can the effectiveness of a product. A manufacturer may also change the formulation of a product from one year to the next. The best eczemalotion, cream or moisturizer is the one that works for you.
Take the following steps when introducing a new product to your skin:
Some processes such as emollient after a bath or adding colloidal oatmeal to your bath may provide additional eczema relief.
Best For Hands: Eczema Honey Oatmeal Hand Cream
Contains colloidal oatmeal to soothe itchiness
Contains nourishing oils
Itchy, dry, and irritated hands can be a real drag, which is where this cream comes in to save the day. The award-winning, dermatologist-tested formula is packed with ingredients like vitamin E, avocado oil, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and honey to totally nourish and revitalize the hands while relieving itch. Also nice? The formula is cruelty-free, clean, and free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and SLS.
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, avocado oil, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, honey | Size: 4 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Yes
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What Causes Eczema To Start
The first signs of eczema are itchiness, dry skin and a rash. These signs indicate that you came into contact with a trigger in your environment that caused your symptoms to start or flare up. Identifying environmental triggers and avoiding them can reduce your risk of an eczema flare-up in your future.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
Dry skin is often easy to treat yourself with moisturizers and other home remedies. Call your doctor if:
- Your symptoms don’t improve with treatments you’ve tried or they get worse
- The itching really bothers you or keeps you awake
- You have open cuts or sores from scratching
If you think your child has eczema, see their pediatrician for a diagnosis. The doctor can send you to a pediatric dermatologist if your child needs a prescription medication.
You may be able to manage eczema in yourself with home remedies and over-the-counter treatments. If your symptoms don’t improve, see your primary care doctor or a dermatologist for advice. Also call if a treatment your doctor prescribed hasn’t helped, or you have signs of an infection like redness and pain.
American Academy of Dermatology: “Dermatologists’ Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin,” “Dry, scaly, and painful hands could be hand eczema.”
Boston Children’s Hospital: “Atopic Dermatitis and Eczema Symptoms & Causes.”
Cincinnati Children’s: “What is Eczema?”
Cleveland Clinic: “Dry Skin,” “Eczema.”
Intermountain Healthcare: “Eczema.”
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What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
Your healthcare provider might ask the following questions to learn more about your symptoms, including:
- Where do you have symptoms on your body?
- Did you use any products to try to treat your skin?
- Do you have any medical conditions like allergies or asthma?
- Do you have a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed something triggers or worsens your symptoms like certain soaps or detergents?
- Do your symptoms affect your ability to sleep or perform your daily activities?
Living With Eczema And Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema can flare up when you are under stress. Learn how to recognize and cope with stress. Stress reduction techniques can help. Changing your activities to reduce daily stress can also be helpful.
The area where you had the eczema may easily get irritated again, so it needs special care. Continue to follow the tips provided here even after your skin has healed.
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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.
Other Ingredients To Soothe Eczema
Research continues to evolve to identify the best ingredients for treating eczema. Dr. Anthony shares two ingredients that have been found to be particularly soothing.
- Licorice root: Studies show that glycyrrhizin, a compound in licorice root, has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe skin with eczema. And Dr. Anthony says its unlikely to cause allergies.
- Colloidal oatmeal: Made of finely milled oat kernels, this ingredient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a good choice for people with eczema.
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Tips For Bathing And Moisturizing With Eczema
Although there have not been comparative studies to pinpoint the best frequency or duration of bathing, the Soak and Seal method of treating eczema is recommended by many healthcare providers to combat dry skin and reduce flares.
To get the full therapeutic benefit of Soak and Seal, follow these steps in order:
- Bathe or shower in lukewarm water for a short period of time at least once per day.
- Avoid scrubbing your skin with a washcloth or loofah.
- Use a gentle cleanser that is unscented, fragrance-free and dye-free.
- Lightly pat dry with a towel leaving the skin damp. Do not rub the skin.
- Apply prescription topical medication to the affected areas of skin as directed.
- Liberally apply a high-oil content moisturizer all over the body to seal in moisture. Try to do this within 3 minutes to limit the amount of moisture lost from the skin.
- Let the moisturizer absorb into the skin for a few minutes before dressing or applying wet wraps. Wear cotton gloves over your hands while you sleep to help lock in the moisturizer and prevent scratching.
Drastic Wounds Call For Drastic Measures
But as time marched on and people suffered larger wounds , a need arose to stop excessive bleeding and further injury with some kind of wound covering. Trial and error most likely proved that palm leaves worked and poison ivy did not.
It wasn’t until around 1500 BC that ancient Egyptians and Greeks started using lint, animal grease and honey as topical wound treatments. They had discovered that the lint provided a fibrous base that promoted wound site closure, the animal grease provided a barrier to environmental pathogens, and the honey served as an antibiotic agent.
What they may not have realized at the time was that their treatment method accelerated the wound healing process by promoting a moist wound bed.
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Is Coconut Oil Good For Baby Eczema
Children that were treated with coconut oil showed improved eczema symptoms and less redness, as well as more moisturized skin. Another medical review noted that coconut oil is safe for dry and flaking skin. It can help moisturize and has natural anti-germ properties that may help treat minor skin infections.
How We Tested The Lotions For Eczema
The Verywell Health team bought and tested 16 lotions for eczema based on three main criteria: efficacy, texture, and value. To assess the effectiveness of each lotion, our team used each product for at least two weeks on eczema-ridden skin, noting how long it took for the flare-ups to improve. We also looked for adverse effects, like excessive dryness, redness, or irritation.
In terms of texture, we looked for lotions that were thick enough to provide long-lasting hydration but not so thick they felt greasy or heavy on the skin. Staining clothing and bedding was also a concern, so we looked for lotions that absorbed quickly and didn’t leave residue behind. Finally, we considered value by taking into account the price of each lotion and the results we experienced. We also looked at whether high-priced items were worth the extra cost based on performance and overall quality.
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