Eczema’s intense itching can be a serious challenge. Try these tips at home to fight the itch:
Dry skin is itchy. When you have eczema, your skin doesn’t hold in moisture very well on its own.
Avoid Itch Triggers
For most people, eczema is a cycle. It flares up, quiets down when you treat it, then flares up again. If you can pinpoint what causes your flares, you may be able to stop the itching before it starts. Common triggers include:
Wool. Wear soft clothing made of cotton or silk. Avoid other scratchy fabrics, too.
Toiletries. Ingredients in everything from shampoo to sunscreen can make you itch. Choose hypoallergenic products without perfumes, dyes, or preservatives.
Household chemicals. Detergents and solvents can trigger eczema. Protect your skin by wearing gloves when you clean or work with chemicals. Natural cleaning products can also trigger eczema, but see if you can tolerate them.
Allergens. Avoid pollen, mold, and pet dander. Food allergies usually don’t affect eczema in adults, but talk to your doctor if you notice that a specific food seems to bother you.
Sweat. It’s hard to avoid sweating, but try to wash it off quickly when you do.
Stress. Your body has a harder time protecting itself when you’re under stress, and that affects your skin. Get enough sleep and find ways to relax on a regular basis.
Your mother may have told you scratching a rash will only make it worse. That’s true with eczema, too. It increases inflammation, which makes you itch even more.
If good skin care just doesn’t give you relief, your doctor may recommend stronger treatments.