As all eczema sufferers know, they are stuck with the skin condition for life. Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that has no cure, but it can be managed to reduce the severity of symptoms and the frequency of eczema flare-ups or outbreaks.
The major symptoms that characterize the disease are rashes and itchiness. The affected skin area can appear red or brownish-gray, blistery, leathery, thick, scaly or cracked. At times, small, raised bumps may be seen on the skin. Out of these, fluid may seep out when scratched, and then the bumps crust and heal.
The common locations of these rashes and bumps are the elbows, knees, arms, hands and feet. They can also appear on the face, especially the eyelids, around the eyes, and on the cheeks. They can be very unsightly, and the person will normally want to stay at home until the facial rashes disappear.
Some tips to relieve eczema during a flare-up are:
• Apply creams and ointments to relieve the itching. Most over-the-counter anti-itch topical medications will bring relief.
• Avoid harsh soaps and chemicals 貓皮膚發癢 which can further irritate the skin. Scented commercial skin products are potential irritants.
• Also avoid long baths (especially warm baths) to prevent aggravating the skin outbreak.
• Avoid triggers that may induce an eczema flare-up or worsen one when it is already underway. Triggers can include strong perfumes, rough clothing, heat, sweating, stress, low humidity, drastic temperature changes, and exposure to cats and dogs.
• Also avoid food triggers such as eggs, fish, milk, and soy products.
Meanwhile, these are tips to relieve eczema that are specifically aimed at breaking the itch-scratch cycle:
• Use cold or wet compresses to relieve the itching.
• Wear soft mittens at night.
• Keep the fingernails short.
• Take over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl.
• Wrap the skin with loose gauze wraps to protect it from scratches.
• Apply moisturizers.
The itchiness may increase at night, and scratching can occur during sleep, so be prepared beforehand by using these tips to relieve eczema. It is important to avoid scratching because this can lead to scars and infection. When the skin becomes infected, it may be necessary to take antibiotics under medical supervision.