Getting Back to Smoother and Healthier Skin
Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, is a condition that irritates the skin, leading to symptoms such as redness and itching. While eczema is common in children, it can occur at any age. Typically, eczema is a chronic condition consisting of a cycle of flare-ups followed by periods of remission. Additionally, eczema may be accompanied by other conditions, including allergies such as hay fever, and/or asthma. So, is there a home remedy for eczema?
Currently, there is no cure for eczema, however, treatments and self-care steps can help to manage eczema flare-ups and prevent new outbreaks. In this article, we’ll discuss a variety of home treatment options that you can try to help manage your eczema symptoms.
Best Home Remedies for Eczema
If you’re looking to soothe itchy skin at home, there are a variety of things you can try. The most effective and easy option is to make lifestyle changes that help avoid any triggers causing the skin reaction. However, there are many additional home remedies that you can try to calm your eczema symptoms, including:
- Switch up your laundry detergent – In general, liquid detergents are less irritating than tablets or powders. Additionally, using an extra rinse cycle for each load can help to remove any leftover detergent residue.
- Avoid scratching – If you’re tempted to scratch the affected area, keep the area covered. Also, be sure to trim your nails and wear gloves at night to prevent nighttime scratching.
- Use cool compresses – Applying a moist, cool compress to the affected area can help to soothe itchy, painful skin.
- Avoid hot showers – Taking lukewarm showers or baths for short amounts of time (less than 15 minutes) and thoroughly drying yourself afterward can help prevent dry, itchy skin.
- Avoid harsh, scented soaps – Opt for mild, unscented soaps when showering or bathing to prevent skin irritation.
- Moisturize – Applying moisturizer to your whole body after showering or bathing can help prevent dry skin.
- Use coconut oil – Coconut oil may have antibacterial properties, so applying raw coconut oil as a moisturizer may help to soothe eczema symptoms.
- Use colloidal oatmeal – Using this in a bath or as a paste applied to your skin can help calm irritated skin and soothe dry, itchy skin.
- Take an apple cider vinegar bath – Adding 1 to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar into your bath can help to soothe itchy skin, as apple cider vinegar may have antibacterial properties.
- Take a diluted bleach bath – While a bleach bath may sound odd, it can help kill bacteria associated with skin infections and eczema. Adding half a cup of household bleach (6% bleach) to a full bathtub of water, soaking from the neck down for 10 minutes and then rinsing can help decrease inflammation and soothe itchy skin. For babies suffering from eczema symptoms, adding one teaspoon of household bleach (6% bleach) per gallon of water is recommended. After taking a diluted bleach bath, be sure to thoroughly moisturize. Do not take more than 2 to 3 diluted bleach baths per week. Before trying this home remedy, speak to your doctor, as chlorine can cause issues for some people.
- Use a humidifier – Regularly using a humidifier can help add moisture to the air and prevent skin dryness and itchiness.
- Wear cool, comfortable clothes – Avoid clothing and fabrics that are tight, rough and scratchy, such as wool, as they can cause skin irritation and worsen eczema symptoms. Additionally, dress appropriately for the weather and when working out to prevent excessive sweating.
- Take an antihistamine (allergy/anti-itch medication) – There are various options, including Zyrtec (cetirizine) and Allegra (fexofenadine), to help relieve itchy skin. Additionally, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can help soothe severe itching but can make you drowsy, so it’s best if taken at bedtime.
- Be mindful of your mental health – Anxiety, stress and other emotional issues can worsen eczema symptoms. Taking steps to improve your mental health, such as meditation, yoga and seeing a therapist, can help tremendously manage your eczema symptoms.
When It’s Time to See a Doctor
While there are plenty of home remedies to relieve eczema symptoms, it’s important to seek medical treatment if your eczema is infected. Signs to look out for include:
- Fever and/or chills.
- Pain or swelling of the affected area.
- Pus or white discharge coming from the affected area.
- Formation of a straw-colored crust over the affected area.
- Redness of the area that is worsening or spreading.
Also, if you’re suffering from severe eczema symptoms that are interfering with your daily activities or sleep, it’s time to speak with your doctor to help get your symptoms under control.
If you’re suffering from symptoms of eczema, there are numerous home treatment options you can try to manage your symptoms. However, if you’re suffering from severe or infected eczema, speak with your doctor for appropriate treatment.