The key is to moisturize and not let skin become too dry. When skin becomes too dry it leads to itching, which leads to an itch-scratch cycle.
Good moisturization starts with limited use of soap and using only mild soaps.
In the bath only use soap on “dirty” areas which include: neck, armpits, groin, feet, and hands.
Allow the rest of your body to be washed by the running water.
Soaking in a clean, lukewarm bath daily is hydrating to the skin, but soaps will cause drying.
Allow your children to play in the tub only until hands become wrinkled. At this time wash with a limited amount of soap and remove from the bath. It is not encouraged to soak in soapy water.
Do not use any bubbles or other bath products.
Dove sensitive skin is an excellent soap to use for those with eczema.
When getting out of the tub or shower pat dry with a towel, leaving some water on the skin. This will stop skin from becoming overly dry as well as evaporation. Be sure to coat the skin with a good moisturizing cream that does not contain alcohol.
Use your prescribed steroid cream on any active eczema patches before applying moisturizing creams.
If there are large areas of the skin that are bumpy, it is usually a sign of an eczema flare. Use a nickel to a quarter sized amount of steroid cream mixed with a moisturizing cream to apply to that area.
These moisturizers are recommended for use by patients with eczema: VaniCream, Cetaphil, CeraVe, Eucerin, Curel, and Aquaphor. These should be creams and not just lotions. Aquaphor also has an ointment that is a greasy product, which is recommended for those with eczema.
Avoid or limit use of perfume, body sprays, or other scents on the body or clothing.
Eczema can be very frustrating and requires vigilance even when skin appears to be healthy. This disease waxes and wanes and no treatment will “cure” the problem. The good news for parents is that most children will outgrow the more severe flares and eczema will become easier to control as they get older.
Because food can sometimes be a trigger for young children, allergy testing and a potential elimination diet may also help control symptoms.
Allergy testing can also reveal an indoor allergen, in which case removal or avoidance can also help control eczema.
Patients who are older and still experiencing significant eczema symptoms may benefit from starting allergy injections.
In some severe cases, especially those who have no found allergy triggers may also need to seek treatment from a dermatologist.