1. Hydrate the skin! Dry skin is itchy skin, and perhaps the most important step in eczema management is moisturizing the skin. It is generally recommended to apply an emollient at least twice daily, and always follow any bathing or hand washing with the application of an emollient.
2. Treat the inflammation. Red, raw, inflamed skin may need a prescription treatment to clear. Work with your doctor to find treatments that will reduce inflammation and make your skin more comfortable.
3. Avoid your triggers. For some people it will be itchy wool clothing, for others dust, and for others pet pander. Many substances in our environment can be an eczema trigger. Do some detective work to find your triggers. Also keep in mind that some eczema flares happen without a discernible trigger.
4. Fight the itch! Eczema is itchy so find ways to reduce that itchiness such as using moisturizer or treating the inflammation with your prescription treatment. During an acute flare, avoid scratching by keeping hands busy with an activity, or distract yourself with a good book, or movie. You can also help relieve the itchy sensation by using a cool pack or taking a cooling shower.
5. Get support. Reach out to a friend or loved one. Ask your doctor about psychological support, as living with a chronic illness can be draining, and frustrating, and it can be helpful to talk to someone about it. Reach out to an ESC support volunteer. We’re here to help.
To learn more about eczema management and support visit www.eczemahelp.ca