When you have eczema, itching is awful. In fact, resisting the urge to scratch is probably one of the hardest things you will need to do. However, we must stress that you absolutely must avoid itching. If you do not, you will damage your skin. Here are a couple of tips which we feel really will help you to know how to control itching.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
This is probably the most important thing for you to do. The problem with eczema is that when you have it, your skin is not that brilliant at retaining moisture. This dries out the skin exceedingly quickly. Thankfully, there are several ways in which you can ensure that your skin remains nice and supple:
- When you bathe, ensure that the water is warm. It should not be hot. When you use soap, make sure that it is very mild. If you are in the bath, then stay in for about fifteen minutes and no more than that. Some people add a cup of bleach to the bath. It helps to kill off some bacteria, but this is not vital.
- When you get out of the bath or the shower, make sure that you moisturize while your skin is still wet. Make sure that you have a humidifier in your building if it gets dry.
We have already covered some of the things you will need to do if you are bathing i.e. bathe only for short periods of time and use decent products to clean yourself. However, we do want to stress that you should not take baths or showers that often. If you can do it once every other day, then that is fine. There are some people out there who may shower twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. However, you need to be aware that if you do that, you will be drying out your skin and making everything worse.
When you hop out of the bath or shower, you are going to need to dry off. If you do this, then you should be dabbing or patting your skin dry. If you rub it, you will be irritating the skin and that is going to lead to further inflammation.
Avoid Anything That Can Cause You To Itch
After this, you need to ensure that you use anything that can cause you to itch i.e. your triggers. There are several things that you can do here. However, it is worth pointing out that you should always try to work out what your itching triggers are. Then you can work to eliminate them properly:
- Wool: this is probably one of the main itching triggers for most people. You need to ditch it. You should, instead, opt for a fabric which is going to be gentler on your skin. Most people who suffer from eczema tend to opt for cotton or silk.
- Avoid any toiletries which are not hypoallergenic, otherwise you will end up suffering form serious issues.
- If you are going to be using household chemicals to clean your property, or if you just use chemicals while you are at work no matter how ‘safe’ they are, then it is important that you opt to wear household gloves. If you really want to protect your skin in the best way, you may even want to purchase natural cleaning products.
- Allergens: there are several allergens which can have an impact on your skin. This includes; pollen, pet hair, and mold. It is important to note that food allergies do not cause any issues if you are suffering from eczema so you do not need to eliminate those.
Remember what we told you earlier about not scratching if you are suffering from eczema? Well, we really do mean it. If you scratch, you will be damaging your skin permanently in most cases. If that does not happen, then you are only going to be making your skin itch even more. This is because the itching can cause inflammation. If that was not enough, if you scratch, bacteria and the like could get into the wound (it would only be a tiny wound) and you will end up causing yourself an infection.
If you absolutely must scratch, and we know that it can’t always be avoided, then do make sure that you think about the following:
- Make sure that you always keep your nails short and smooth at the edges. Make sure you regularly clean them too. We know that there are some people who may be caught a little bit ‘off guard’ and will scratch themselves without really realizing that they are doing it. If you follow these tips, then you should be able to reduce the majority of the ‘scratching’.
- Every time you wear gloves at night, you will be able to reduce your chances of you scratching yourself when you are asleep (yes, this is something which really does happen)
- If the itching is really bad, then use a damp flannel on it i.e. something nice and cold (but not too cold). This will cool down the area and provide you with a significant amount of relief.
- In some cases, you may find that patting or tapping the area which has the itch works absolute wonders.
We also suggest that you try to avoid products which may cause inflammation in your body. The worst ones here will be spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol. Yes. We know that it can be difficult to give those up, but we promise you that it is going to be worth it!
Finally; your doctor may be able to prescribe you with certain medications if your itching is so bad and you are struggling to deal with it. For example; they may suggest that you get hold of antihistamine tablets (you do not necessarily need a prescription for those, but we suggest you get one). In other cases, particularly the more serious ones, they will provide you with a steroid cream.