Eczema is one of those small, chronic conditions that can have a huge impact on your daily life.
If you're living with eczema, also called dermatitis, you know how painful, irritating, and embarrassing your patches of inflamed skin can be. The next time you need relief, try these 15 remedies that you can do at home.
Remember: consult your dermatologist about any treatments for your dermatitis.
1. Wet bandages
One of the oldest tricks to treat eczema is also one of the most effective. Wet bandages, especially soaked in cold water, provide lasting relief for itchy skin, and they can be re-used daily.
2. Avoid products with harsh chemicals
Look around your home and you're bound to find products that make your eczema symptoms worse. Anything with perfumes or dyes, including laundry detergents, soaps, and cleaning products, should be replaced.
3. Dress smart
Clothes that are too tight, scratchy, or made from certain fabrics (like wool) are known to make your skin itchy. Dermatologists recommend smooth, loose-fitting clothes, especially ones made from cotton.
4. Use a mineral sunscreen
There are two main types of sunscreens: ones made from chemicals, and "physical" sunscreens made from zinc or titanium oxide.
The second kind is safer for patients with eczema, because it's less irritating for your skin.
5. Change your shower routine
Hot water can irritate your skin, and some patients find that even too much water can cause eczema flare-ups. Shorter showers, with water that's warm but not hot, will help protect your skin.
6. Try anti-itch creams
While any itch cream that is at least 1% hydrocortisone will soothe your skin, you probably have the perfect cream in your medicine cabinet. Calamine lotion is great for soothing skin.
7. Cut your nails
Let's face it: eventually you're going to scratch your itchy skin. Clipping your nails regularly prevents you from making the itching even worse by scratching inflamed skin.