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.
Many of my patients over the years will prefer to avoid steroid treatment for eczema, because of the side effects, she says, and experiment with complementary and alternative treatments. The hope is that natural and home remedies will work in tandem with dermatologist-prescribed treatment to keep symptoms under control.
These remedies may not quite do the trick but are reasonable to try, Goldstein notes.
Here are some of the remedies for atopic dermatitis recommended by dermatologists:
General Tips For Coping With Eczema
Other tips to manage your eczema include:
- Keep your fingernails short longer nails are more likely to injure your skin when you scratch.
- If the water in your area is hard or alkaline, consider installing a water-softening device.
- Swim in the sea in warm weather whenever you can seawater is known to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
- Use sun exposure for limited periods for example, when swimming at the beach. This can help relieve eczema symptoms. But be aware that ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. Also, if sun exposure causes overheating, this can also aggravate eczema.
Homemade Healing Lotion / Salve
This homemade healing lotion works wonders for soothing the itching associated with eczema. It will also improve the appearance of your skin and provide essential moisture as well. Heres what youll need:
- ½ cup raw shea butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
Heat the shea butter and coconut oil in a double burner. If you dont have a double burner, a pyrex pan filled with boiling water and a bowl will do just as well. Once the shea butter and coconut oil are combined, add your other ingredients. Next, mix the ingredients thoroughly using an electric mixer or good old-fashioned elbow grease. Once youve achieved a lotion-like consistency, your homemade salve is ready to use.
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How Can Parents Help
Help prevent or treat eczema by keeping your childs skin from getting dry or itchy and avoiding triggers that cause flare-ups. Try these suggestions:
- Kids should take short baths or showers in warm water. Use mild unscented soaps or non-soap cleansers and pat the skin dry before putting on cream or ointment. Teens should use unscented makeup and oil-free facial moisturizers.
- Ask your doctor if its OK to use oatmeal soaking products in the bath to help control itching.
- Kids should wear soft clothes that breathe, such as those made from cotton. Wool or polyester may be too harsh or irritating.
- Keep your childs fingernails short to prevent skin damage from scratching. Try having your child wear comfortable, light gloves to bed if scratching at night is a problem.
- Kids should avoid becoming overheated, which can lead to flare-ups.
- Kids should drink plenty of water, which adds moisture to the skin.
- Get rid of known allergens in your household and help your child avoid others, like pollen, mold, and tobacco smoke.
- Stress can make eczema worse. Help your child find ways to deal with stress .
Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
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Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Fish oil has long been prized for its laundry list of health benefits. Fish oils are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which can help with the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema. Unlike other fish oils, cod liver oil is also rich in vitamins A and D which are very helpful in treating issues like eczema.
Its important to look for a fermented oil. Typically, medical fish oil is derived from cooking the fish it comes from. Unfortunately, this can remove some of the most helpful compounds found in fish oil. Fermented oils dont rely on cooking to extract the oil, and as a result, they contain more of those helpful compounds which can help treat eczema.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Reducing your stress is very important. Try these tips:
- Count to ten as you take a deep breath.
- Exercise daily.
- Try not to drink as much caffeine and alcohol.
- Sleep eight hours a night.
- Eat healthy.
- Try to have a positive attitude.
- Journal every day.
- Talk about your life with friends, family and a therapist.
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How To Use It
People can buy aloe vera gel in health stores or online, or they can purchase an aloe vera plant and use the gel directly from its leaves.
Individuals should aim to use aloe gel products with few ingredients others can contain preservatives, alcohol, fragrances, and colors, which can irritate sensitive skin. Additionally, alcohol and other drying ingredients could make eczema worse.
However, start with a small amount of gel to check for skin sensitivity, as sometimes, aloe vera can cause burning or stinging. However, it is generally safe and effective for adults and children.
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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Causes Of Eczema On Hands
Though the exact cause of atopic dermatitis is unknown, some people have a genetic propensity to atopic dermatitis and you can read about the possible causes of that in Understanding atopic dermatitis. This underlying condition makes them more sensitive to external irritants and allergens and therefore more likely to develop hand eczema.
But people without an underlying condition can also develop hand eczema. The structure of skin on our hands means that it is already more prone to dryness than on other parts of our body. Frequent washing or repeated contact with water , cold weather and chemicals in the workplace can all damage the external layers of skin. This causes it to dry out, making it even more prone to irritation. This condition is known as irritant contact dermatitis.
What Causes Hand Dermatitis
Hand dermatitis often results from a combination of causes, including:
- Genetic and unknown factors
- Immune reactions .
Hand dermatitis is frequently caused or aggravated by work when it is known as occupational dermatitis.
Irritants include water, detergents, solvents, acids, alkalis, cold, heat and friction. These can damage the outer stratum corneum, removing lipids and disturbing the skins barrier function. Water loss and inflammation lead to further impairment of barrier function.
In atopic dermatitis, a deficiency in or defective function of the filaggrin protein in the stratum corneum leads to barrier dysfunction resulting in water loss and easy penetration by irritants and allergens .
Contact allergy is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction with elicitation and memory phases involving T lymphocytes and release of cytokines .
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Eczema On Your Hands: Tips For Managing Symptoms
If youve been diagnosed with hand eczema , you know how much it can interfere with your daily life. After all, your hands are exposed to all sorts of things throughout the day. Some of these substances and situations can cause eczema symptoms to flare. Thats why its important to know what to do and what not to do if you develop eczema on your hands.
Hand eczema is common. It affects between 10 percent and 15 percent of people worldwide and accounts for 20 percent to 35 percent of all cases of eczema. Although all forms of eczema lead to red, itchy skin, eczema that affects the hands can appear somewhat differently.
Hand eczema can affect your palms, the backs of your hands, and your fingers. It can cause the skin on your hands to crack, blister, or become so dry that it starts to flake or peel. As one MyEczemaTeam member shared, My hands are very bad. I cant open them fully due to cracks. The accompanying burning or pain may worsen when you use your hands in daily activities.
One particular type of eczema that affects the hands is known as dyshidrotic eczema . This condition causes sudden itching followed by the appearance of small blisters , usually on the sides of a persons fingers. The vesicles usually last for a few weeks before they dry up and the affected skin peels off. Such peeling can leave your skin particularly tender and can lead to cracks, which can, in turn, make you susceptible to skin infections.
Rash On Wrist: Cause And Treatment
Rash on your wrists can be caused by many things. Perfumes and other fragrance containing products can very commonly irritate the skin on your wrists and lead to a rash. Jewelry, especiallyif it is made of cobalt or nickel, may also lead to a rash on your wrist. Certain diseases of the skin are also the possible culprit. Some common causes and their treatment are described below:
1. Lichen Planus
Lichen planus is a condition of the skin that is characterized by presence of small, reddish, shiny bumps. Sometimes, white streaks are present in between them. They can cause severe itching and can lead to blister formation. It is believed to be an autoimmune condition. The rash of lichen planus commonly erupts on the inner side of your wrist.
It is treated by using antihistamines and steroid creams. PUVA or psoralen ultraviolet A, light therapy or corticosteroid drugs may be used in severe cases of lichen planus. The condition usually disappears on its own within around two years.
Eczema, also referred to as contact dermatitis is a commonly occurring skin condition and another cause of wrist rash.
Eczema is initially seen as flaky, dry, elevated patches of skin. On scratching the patches become inflamed and raw. Oozing blisters may also form on these patches. The cause of contact dermatitis remains unknown. People who have a family history of eczema are more prone to have the condition. It is often accompanied by asthma and allergies of other types.
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Identify & Avoid Known Irritants
With eczema on hands, irritants vary person to person. Some may have a nickel allergy while others are unable to handle foods that contain gluten. Finding your triggers and irritants can take some time and you have to be diligent, but this is an essential step to treat eczema on hands and most other locations on your body. Consider an elimination diet to see if any foods are triggering your symptoms. Specifically look to eliminate gluten, dairy and eggs since these tend to be common issues for many people with eczema.
You also want to evaluate the products that you use regularly to see which might be problematic. Consider swapping your cleaning and hygiene products for those that are all-natural. Agedeyfing has a list of body washes safe for eczema. What is important is that the products are free from artificial fragrances and colors since such ingredients are a trigger for a number of people with eczema on hands. Consider moving to a natural laundry detergent for eczema as well.
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm Fragrance Free 55 Oz
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- Colloidal Oatmeal Skin Protectant + Ceramide
- Recommended by Pediatricians & Dermatologists
- Clinically Proven to Relieve Itchy, Dry, Irritated Skin Due to Eczema
- Accepted National Eczema Association
- Free of Parabens, Phthalates, Phenoxyethanol
Uses: Temporarily protects and helps relieve minor skin irritation and itching due to:
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Dont Rinse With Hot Water
When washing your hands, use water that is no hotter than lukewarm, Dr. Elbuluk advises people with eczema. The hotter your water is, the more it actually dries out your skin. Contrary to popular belief, you dont need hot water to kill germs. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Food Protection, water temperature makes no difference in washing effectiveness.
Integrative And Complementary Approaches
There are many natural moisturizers that can be soothing, such as sunflower seed oil and coconut oil, says Lio. He adds that soaking in diluted apple cider vinegar or black tea can help to dry blisters. For milder cases, these can be enough to get people through, but usually if things are more severe, we often need more powerful treatments.
Research into the bathing remedies he mentions have had mixed results on people with related types of eczema.
A study published in January 2019 in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment studied 22 German people with facial eczema who received treatment with gauze compresses soaked in black tea, followed by cold cream, for six days. Though small, the study suggests this remedy led to significant decreases in itchiness and other symptoms, the researchers write.
On the other hand, another small study published in September 2019 in Pediatric Dermatology found that soaking skin in diluted apple cider vinegar up to the forearms led to irritation in 73 percent of the treated participants with atopic dermatitis and did not improve the condition of the skin barrier.
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Trigger : Exposure To Allergens Or Irritants
Hand eczema is often caused or worsened by exposure to a substance thats irritating think alcohol, bleach, cleansers or solvents or one that causes an allergic reaction, such as perfume or certain plants. Florists often get dermatitis on their thumb and forefinger when clipping chrysanthemums and tulips . In the kitchen, vegetables particularly garlic and onion can lead to a flare-up, especially on the fingertips. Even fabric can exacerbate hand eczema. Rough, coarse materials such as wool and stiff synthetics such as polyester can trigger an itch-scratch cycle that worsens the condition.
How to dodge it: Pay attention to what sets off your eczema. Whether youre at home or on the job, learn what irritates your skin and avoid or limit contact with those things, advised Dr. OBrien. Use a washing machine, dishwasher, and food processor when possible and ask other family members for help with housework, cooking and gardening to give your hands a break. Protect your hands from irritants and allergens by wearing vinyl or cotton gloves while you do chores. Wear heavy-duty vinyl or neoprene gloves at work if youre exposed to triggers there. If the gloves you have irritate your skin, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
How To Use Emollients
Use your emollient all the time, even if you’re not experiencing symptoms.
Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school, or a tub in the bathroom and one in a living area.
To apply the emollient:
- use a large amount
- do not rub it in smooth it into the skin in the same direction the hair grows
- after a bath or shower, gently pat the skin dry and apply the emollient while the skin is still moist to keep the moisture in
You should use an emollient at least twice a day if you can, or more often if you have very dry skin.
During a flare-up, apply generous amounts of emollient more frequently, but remember to treat inflamed skin with a topical corticosteroid as emollients used on their own are not enough to control it.
Do not put your fingers into an emollient pot use a spoon or pump dispenser instead, as this reduces the risk of infection. And never share your emollient with other people.
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