Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) FAQ

This is a picture of a hand with dry skin.

The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, an itchy, rashy condition. Unlike its counterpart, contact dermatitis, there’s no defined cause for atopic eczema. It seems to have an indirect relation to allergies, though; people with allergy symptoms like asthma are more likely to have the disease.

If you’re not one of the 40 percent of people who outgrew eczema in adulthood, you’ll want to create a skincare plan for your body. The right regimen can soothe flare-ups and prevent them from happening as often.

What Is Your Skincare Routine for Eczema?

Putting together a skincare routine means finding the best treatment to soothe an itchy flare. Products made specifically for sensitive skin are your best bet; they usually do not contain fragrance or other ingredients known to aggravate the condition. Other components to avoid include lanolin, alpha-hydroxy, salicylic acids, and retinol.

In the morning, gently clean your skin if it’s oily. Otherwise, splashing water on your face will suffice. Then, use your eczema treatment products, which may include a topical relief cream and a moisturizer. Finally, top it off with a daily sunscreen.

In the evening, start with either water or a cleanser again. Apply any of your other treatment products, like a topical corticosteroid cream, and finish off with a moisturizer.

What Is the Best Treatment for Eczema?

The most effective way to moisturize dry skin is to bathe properly and apply a daily moisturizer. Start by taking a warm soak in the bathtub, or take a shower if that’s not feasible. Apply moisturizer within the next three minutes while your pores have relaxed in the warmth. You can also alleviate specific symptoms by adding some baking soda, oatmeal, salt, or vinegar to the bathwater.

When your skin gets too dry, eczema can easily flare up due to irritation. Cold temperatures, harsh soaps, low humidity, high wind, and too much hand-washing without moisturizers can all lead to dry skin.

Can You Use Calamine Lotion for Eczema?

Though there’s no cure for atopic dermatitis, some treatments can alleviate itching and reduce the likelihood of a new outbreak. Besides avoiding irritants like harsh soaps, you can apply calamine lotion to the affected area.

Like with any treatment option for eczema, you’ll find the best success by combining options. In addition to calamine lotion, you can apply 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for temporary relief when the flare-up is fresh. As the reaction improves, you can move on to cool, wet compresses to prevent scratching.

How to Get Rid of Eczema

People with different types of eczema find relief through various kinds of therapies. The simplest types to treat are caused by scabies and fungi. It’s also easy to avoid an allergic substance if you can identify which triggers the reaction. Beyond that, treatment is a matter of soothing symptoms.

Mild forms of eczema may respond to warm water compresses, followed by letting your skin air-dry. Chronic forms may break out less often if you use a daily moisturizer or lotion. Both types will also respond effectively to nonprescription hydrocortisone cream.

You can treat acute eczema that weeps by repeatedly applying a diluted mix of vinegar and water. Follow the same procedure as a regular water compress: Apply the rag with mild pressure, and then let the moisture evaporate from the skin without patting or rubbing it dry. Once the acute oozing stops, you can use a topical ointment like EMUAID® First Aid Ointment.

How to Treat Eczema Naturally

Before trying a new home remedy, check in with your doctor if you’re also taking a prescription medication.

Colloidal Oatmeal

Made from finely-ground oats, colloidal oatmeal softens eczema-afflicted skin and calms flare-ups. It comes in powder or cream form. Add the powder into a warm bath, and then soak in the mix for 15 minutes. Afterward, gently pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer.

Coconut Oil

According to the National Eczema Association, the oil extracted from coconut meat contains antibacterial properties that can soothe skin affected by staph bacteria. That makes coconut oil effective in preventing infections when inflamed skin cracks. Otherwise, bacteria could enter through the cracks.

Witch Hazel

From the bark of witch hazel comes an astringent with a long-time history for treating skin inflammation. When applied to inflamed skin, witch hazel can relieve itching and dry up weeping hotspots.

What Are Some Ways to Calm Itchy Skin From Eczema?

In addition to daily moisturizer and topical treatments, there are other everyday considerations to prevent future flare-ups.

For example, stress is a common trigger for eczema. Although the relationship between the two isn’t understood, doctors believe stress can cause inflammation in general.

Learning new coping methods can help a great deal:

  • deep breathing
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • meditation
  • biofeedback
  • music therapy
  • visualization
  • tai chi
  • yoga

In some cases, food allergies can also cause eczema. Symptoms may improve if you find one of the following causes flare-ups:

  • eggs
  • peanuts
  • milk
  • soy
  • wheat

Finding the right combination of the above will help reduce eczema outbreaks.

How to Treat Eczema on My Arms

Atopic eczema can persist through numerous treatments despite efforts to control it. Even if you find a successful treatment, symptoms almost always return when you come across a trigger. In any case, treating persistent eczema on your arms requires recognizing the problem early enough to start treatment sooner rather than later.

If regularly moisturizing and regular treatments don’t help, you can apply a cream designed to control itching and heal the skin like EMUAID® First Aid Ointment.

What Are Alternative Treatments for Eczema?

In addition to trying natural remedies, you can try some alternative therapies:

  • Wet dressings: This is an effective treatment often used in a hospital for patients suffering widespread lesions. Simply wrap the affected skin with wet bandages and a topical corticosteroid. You can also ask your doctor about the process.
  • Light therapy: If topical treatments don’t soothe your eczema, you can look into light therapies. Phototherapy usually exposes the skin to controlled doses of natural sunlight, but sometimes ultraviolet A and B may be used. However, long-term phototherapy can have harmful side effects, so it’s a good idea to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.
  • Counseling: Though not effective on its own, counseling can help calm those who feel embarrassed about their skin.

What Are Some Home Remedies for Eczema?

Some of the most effective treatments for eczema can be found right at home.

Aloe Vera

As the name suggests, aloe vera gel comes from the aloe plant. For centuries, people have used this gel to soothe the skin from all kinds of ailments, including eczema. An aloe plant is easy to obtain and produces a generous amount of gel in a pinch. Start with a small amount on your skin to make sure you’re not sensitive to the gel; certain people react to aloe gel with a stinging, burning sensation.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Another popular home remedy for skin disorders can be found right in your kitchen. According to the National Eczema Association, apple cider vinegar is effective against eczema flare-ups–but you must exercise some caution. Vinegar is a highly acidic ingredient, so if you apply undiluted vinegar to your skin, you can burn yourself.

What Are the Effective Creams for Eczema?

Topicals for eczema are creams applied directly to the skin to reduce inflammation and alleviate the itch. Different kinds of topical treatments exist, but the most common type are varying strengths of prescription steroids.

Prescription steroids come with various side effects, and are not recommended to be used for the long term. We recommend EMUAID® First Aid Ointment, which is a natural, non-steordial ointment that can help with the itching and pain associated with eczema.

How to Cure Atopic Dermatitis Eczema Permanently?

To date, there is no cure for atopic eczema. Fortunately, there are self-care measures you can take to prevent new outbreaks and reduce itching when it does flare. For example, you can avoid harsh soaps, apply moisturizer, and use ointments and medicated creams.

You can also take shorter showers and baths, limiting them to 15 minutes at a time. Be sure to use warm water instead of hot water to reduce the stress on your skin. Avoid any other triggers that can make the condition worse, like certain detergents, pollen, sweat, and anxiety.

Can Skin Eczema Be Completely Curable?

Creams and steroids can treat flare-ups, but there isn’t a permanent cure for eczema. Using steroids also come with long-term side effects.

It’s not all bad news, though; scientists are closer to a cure than ever before. Several years ago, University of Dundee researchers discovered how a deficiency in a particular skin protein could lead to eczema flare-ups. The skin protein, called filaggrin, seems to have a connection with the inherited condition.

Though it may not sound like much, this information gives scientists just a little more ammunition to finding the real root cause of eczema. By understanding the root cause, it will be possible to target it directly instead of just managing the symptoms.

How to Heal Atopic Dermatitis?

Many people find eczema symptoms improve with age, even without a cure for the condition. Part of this improvement has to do with learning the various coping methods to soothe symptoms and prevent outbreaks from occurring.

Most eczema treatments fall into one of two categories:

  • anti-inflammatories to reduce redness, swelling, and itching
  • moisturizers to relieve itching and dryness

In all cases, the foundation of proper eczema treatment involves regularly preserving and restoring your skin’s moisture. Beyond that, what works varies from person to person. Most patients apply a moisturizer, followed by an anti-inflammatory ointment directly to the surface.

EMUAID® First Aid Ointment can act to retain your skin’s moisture as well as act as an anti-inflammatory ointment.

Can Vitamin C Help Eczema?

Some studies suggest there are links between vitamins A, C, D, and E and good skin health. In some cases, these vitamins work well when applied to the skin topically. Consuming a diet free of nutrient and vitamin deficiencies can further improve your overall health.

Though there isn’t yet a cure for eczema, scientists get closer every year. Plus, there is an abundance of natural treatment options that can soothe symptoms and reduce flare-ups in the future.

What Are Great Natural Moisturisers for Eczema?

As we’ve stated repeatedly, it’s crucial to preserve your skin’s moisture to keep eczema under control. There are lots of natural moisturizer options available.

Evening Primrose Oil

The evening primrose plant produces oil that can soothe irritated skin caused by eczema. When taken orally, the oil can also relieve symptoms caused by other systemic inflammatory conditions thanks to its omega-6 fatty acids.

Sunflower Oil

Extracted from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil has proven to protect the outer layer of the skin. By forming this barrier, moisture stays in the skin, and bacteria remain out. Sunflower also relieves inflammation and itching when applied directly to the surface. There’s no need to dilute the oil before using it topically.

How Long Does It Take for Eczema Dark Marks to Fade Naturally?

Scars caused by eczema will take time and attentive care to heal. There is no overnight miracle cream that will make the scars fade the next day. Daily application of vitamin A and aloe vera can work wonders for healthy, radiant skin. Over time, the scars will begin to fade. Exactly how long it will take varies between people.

What Is Eczema and How Is It Treated?

Eczema refers to a group of conditions that result in reddened skin, itchiness, and inflammation. Depending on the cause of the irritation, you may suffer from atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, nummular eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, or seborrheic dermatitis.

Regardless of its name, the condition is common and manageable. Over 30 million Americans live with eczema in some form.

Moisturizers provide the best form of protection for your skin. Those with eczema have a damaged skin barrier, making them more vulnerable to bacteria, allergens, irritants, and similar invaders. Damaged skin also can’t retain water as easily, which results in itchy, dry skin. That is a set of circumstances ripe for an eczema flare.

Ointments are another common choice for treating eczema. They don’t burn when applied due to its high oil content. They are also very good at moisturizing even sensitive skin while retaining its moisture. If a moisturizer or cream irritates your skin, then look into an ointment for relief instead.

Creams are the next best thing to try after natural remedies and ointments. They do not contain as much oil as ointments, so they aren’t as greasy to the touch. Be aware of any preservatives or stabilizer ingredients that may trigger irritation. If trying different creams doesn’t seem to offer any relief, then your skin may be too sensitive for them. Consider switching to an ointment or a natural treatment instead.

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