How to Treat Eczema

I know that I’m not alone on this, but every winter, I get this unbearable itch all over my body. The culprit? Eczema. I remember years ago when I wasn’t sure how to properly treat it, and I’d end up getting scars on my arms and legs because I couldn’t resist the itch. However, my skin has improved a lot since then with these few tips!

1.   Don’t scratch!

I know, it’s almost impossible to do so when every fibre of your being wants to relieve yourself of the itch, but you must be strong. To prevent scratching, I often folded my hands and sat on them, and pretend that they weren’t usable at all until the itch went away. I would also put socks on my hands to prevent scratching myself in the middle of the night.  It was grueling and extremely hard, but I eventually learned the hard way that scratching myself just made the situation a hundred times worse.  In the meantime, do something to take your mind off it. Read a very captivating book or watch something that will entertain you for a while on YouTube.

2. Take cool or lukewarm showers

It’s hard to resist a hot shower on a cold winter day, but your body will slowly adjust to the temperature. Start off with lukewarm water, and if you must, make it hotter by only a little bit. This way, the natural oils from your skin will remain and prevent itchy skin.  It’ll also leave your skin feeling softer. 

3. Use a good moisturizer I cannot stress the importance of this because it really does make all the difference. Through my experience of eczema, I’ve tried many different types of lotions and creams, including Vaseline, Aveeno,  The Polysporin Eczema cure, Ivory, Nivea, and many others. I even bought an aloe plant and spread it all over my body because it was rumoured that it would help (which it didn’t).  However, the only one that’s actually ever worked (and works really really well!) is Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Cream. Keep in mind that it is a cream, and not a lotion, so feels heavier when applied. This stuff works like magic! It comes in a tub, and although the price is sort of steep ($22 CAD!) it lasts for quite a while, about 5-6 months.  It’s well worth your money.  Use it right after you shower, when your skin is still damp (but not wet!) so that your pores are more open and it absorbs better.

4. Change up your diet I was told by my dermatologist many many times that I should change up my diet but I never did. When I finally got the hint and started taking his advice, it worked wonders. Here’s a list of food you should avoid or cut back on: -Oranges (the acidity makes your eczema flare up) – Soy -Tomatoes – Peanuts -Eggs -Milk -Wheat Anything that is a common allergen, really. Here are some foods that you should eat more of: -Cucumbers – Apples -Watermelon – Blueberries -Spinach – Avocados Anything that is water dense will help to revitalize your skin.

5. Visit your doctor The tips above helped, but the real deal breaker for me was this: hydro-cortisone. A chemical that helped stop my itching a whole bunch. My doctor finally prescribed some to me, and it was a godsend. Talk to your doctor about options for your Eczema, and they will prescribe the appropriate medication to you.

Good luck with your eczema, and I hope these tips are helpful to you!

Picture by Neshwoo

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