Eczema is a common skin condition that causes itchy, dry, flaky and cracked skin. There are many different types of eczema, including atopic and contact. You may also see it called dermatitis. Learning how to stop eczema itching is one of the best ways to treat the condition as it breaks the itch-scratch cycle.
It is more common in children, often appearing before a child’s first birthday. However, some people only experience it in adulthood. Some people experience it all the time, while others may have flare-ups following contact with allergens or due to stress.
Eczema is difficult to control. One of the main symptoms also happens to make it very difficult to heal. Eczema starts an itch/scratch cycle that can aggravate the condition and make it difficult to heal. In the worst cases, the skin may become infected. Deep scratching can cause bleeding, scarring and infections.
In this article, we will share some of the best pharmacist-approved methods for stopping the itch so that you can allow your skin time to heal.
Pay close attention to your toiletries
If you have contact dermatitis, you need to identify which products may be causing your flare-ups. You might be sensitive to certain perfumes or ingredients in your shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, moisturiser or hand soap. You can learn more about allergies and eczema here.
Just because a product is “all-natural”, this doesn’t mean it won’t cause a reaction. Many of these natural products use essential oils which can cause eczema flare-ups.
If you are unsure which products are causing the problem, try switching to eczema-safe products and then reintroduce each product one by one.
Did you know you can cleanse with emollient cream? This isn’t just an eczema-friendly moisturiser, it’s also great for getting clean in the shower. Try switching to Dermol 500 Lotion in your daily shower to enjoy a deep daily cleansing that won’t dry out your skin.
Use a quality itch relief cream
You can buy medicated creams that will reduce the itching sensation to give your skin a chance to recover. Speak to your pharmacist about the best itch relief cream for you. E45 Itch Relief Cream contains urea and lauromacrogols to help nourish your skin and stop the itch. Urea has been synthetically manufactured for skincare for many years. It binds to water in the upper portion of your skin to keep it hydrated and prevent cracking. Lauromacrogols is a topical anaesthetic for your skin. It helps to dull the itching feeling so that you will stop scratching.
Wear cotton gloves at night
There are a few reasons to wear cotton gloves at night. Firstly, it allows you to apply a thick layer of emollient for a deeply moisturising skincare treat. Before bed, try applying a thick layer of itch relief cream to your hands and then covering them with thin cotton gloves. Gloves are also helpful as they can stop you from scratching too deeply with your nails. You should also keep your nails short to avoid damage if you do scratch you skin.
In severe cases, an antihistamine can help to stop the itching. Make sure you pay close attention to the type of antihistamine you are taking as some of them can make you drowsy. This might be more suitable to help you fall asleep at night time and prevent the itching from keeping you awake.
Moisturise twice a day
Moisturising with emollient is very different from your usual moisturising routine. You will need to apply it directly after your morning shower and then again before you go to bed at night. After a shower or bath, gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and then apply a thick layer of emollient. You aren’t trying to rub this in. Instead, smooth it onto the skin in a thick layer.
In the evening, cleanse your skin with a soap alternative and pat dry. Apply another thick layer of emollient and your corticosteroids, if prescribed. Keep the area covered with bandages or a light cotton layer overnight.