Eczema is a general term for a medical condition involving skin inflammation. The skin is usually red, inflamed, crusty, flaky, and dry. It occurs in children and in adults, but it is more common in babies. The exact cause of eczema is still unknown, but researchers have found that it has a genetic component. You are most likely to develop eczema if you belong to a family with a history of the condition. Even though eczema has no cure, it can be dealt with through the proper skin care. Here are some tips on caring for your skin when you are afflicted with eczema:
  1. Avoid scratching your itchy skin. Our natural tendency when our skin is itching is to scratch it. However, this would only aggravate eczema since it will start the itch-scratch cycle: the skin itches, the person scratches it excessively, and the skin itches even more. Scratching would only break the skin. If this happens, there is a risk that infection might occur since bacteria could enter. Use anti-itch medication or simply apply some moisturizer to the itchy areas to relieve them.
  2. Take care of your skin in the shower or bath. Avoid using soap since this will only strip your skin of its natural oils. Use non-soap cleansers that are mild and fragrance-free instead. Keep the water temperature lukewarm, not hot. After bathing, dry your skin gently with a soft towel, but leave it damp. Within three minutes, apply some moisturizer to your skin in order to seal in the moisture.
  3. Use a skin moisturizer daily. Avoid those that have fragrances. The best moisturizers to use are emollients, which soothe your skin aside from keeping it soft, supple, and smooth. You may also use plain petroleum jelly. Greasy moisturizers are better than those that are creamy, since creams usually contain more preservatives and chemicals in them.
  4. Continue caring for your skin even after your skin has healed. The area that previously had eczema may get easily irritated again. It thus needs special care daily.
  5. Wear clothes that are made of non-scratchy material. Rough materials such as wool and some synthetic fabrics can cause your skin to become red and irritated. Cotton is the material of choice of people with sensitive skin.
  6. Wear gloves to protect your hands. Use gloves especially for work that requires the contact of your hands with water and anything else that can irritate them. However, avoid the prolonged wearing of gloves. Remove them from time to time in order to prevent your hands from sweating.
  7. Minimize your exposure to things that you know can irritate your skin. Substances and chemicals, such as detergents, soap, turpentine, and household cleansers, may cause your condition to worsen so you should stop using them. Limit your contact with allergens, such as dust, pollen, house dust mites, and animal hair. These allergens canít be totally avoided so just try to reduce your contact with them by keeping your house clean and doing/avoiding some activities and places where they are present.