The aim of treating any form of eczema is to relieve the itch, treat the inflammation and prevent flare-ups (if the eczema is chronic).
Following these steps below can help you manage your symptoms and avoid future eczema outbreaks:
Reduce inflammation and itch
Medicated creams and lotions are available at varying strengths to treat eczema. Topical corticosteroids are a common option - they are anti-inflammatory and are suitable for different types of eczema.
ADVANTAN is suitable for treating moderate to severe eczema in adults and children as young as 4 months old.
Topical steroids like ADVANTAN do need to be taken with care so it is important to follow your doctor’s advice on use. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best treatment option for you or your child.
Identify and avoid trigger factors
Eczema can be triggered or aggravated by a number of different factors. These include:
- Irritation from soap, fragrances, cosmetics, detergents, jewellery, prickly clothing (especially wool)
- Contact with allergens (substances that trigger allergic reactions) e.g. pollen, grasses, moulds
- Dry skin
- Certain food and preservatives
- Emotional stress
Avoiding contact with these triggers can help prevent eczema flare ups in future.
Keep skin moisturised
Eczema skin is often dry. Apply moisturisers at least once a day to maintain good skin hydration.
Because soap has a drying effect on the skin, use soap substitutes and bath oils instead. Always moisturise straight after bathing or showering.
Scratching eczema-affected skin can damage the skin and cause oozing and bleeding, which may in turn lead to infection.
You can minimise the risk of scratching by:
- Keeping fingernails short (yours and your child’s)
- Wear cotton gloves/mittens and socks to protect skin against scratching, especially at night
- Babies will often wriggle around until they can rub itchy skin against the side of their bassinet or cot. Safety ‘bumper’ pads or infant sleeping bags may help
- A plastic bag filled with ice cubes next to the skin can help to relieve itching
Soothe the itching at home
Apply a soft, cool wet towel to the itchy area for immediate relief and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Apply a thick layer of moisturiser afterwards.
Bleach baths can improve eczema and prevent skin infections
Talk to your doctor about whether they would be helpful for you or your child.
You can also visit DermNet.org for more information on bleach baths.