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If you have eczema, you know how irritating and uncomfortable the itch can be. It can interfere with your daily life, keep you up at night, and make you miserable. But there are ways to get relief. Let our skincare experts show you how to stop eczema itching immediately.
But first, let’s cover some basics about eczema so you understand why your skin itches and what you can do about it.
Table Of Contents
What You Need To Know About Eczema
Eczema is a chronic condition that causes the skin to become dry, red, and cracked. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which usually appears in childhood. But adults can get it, too.
Eczema is not contagious, so you don’t have to worry about giving it to someone else. It’s unclear what causes eczema, but it’s thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Why Does Eczema Make Your Skin Itch?
Itching is the most common symptom of eczema. According to the National Library of Medicine, this condition is often called the “itch that rashes.” That's because the itch usually precedes the rash, so it may be the first symptom you notice.
Inflammation causes the itch. When your skin is inflamed, it becomes more sensitive, leading to itching. Scratching worsens things because it further irritates the skin and can cause a cycle of itching and scratching that’s hard to break.
Additionally, eczema patches on your skin tend to be dry. And when you have dry skin, it's more likely to itch.
With all of these factors at play, it’s no wonder eczema itching can be so intense.
Other Symptoms Of Eczema
While itching is a common eczema symptom, it isn’t the only thing you might notice. This condition can also cause:
- Dry, red, cracked skin
- Thickened, scaly skin
- Raw, sensitive skin
- Dark spots on the skin
- Blisters that ooze or crust over
Not everyone with eczema will experience all of these symptoms, and the symptoms you do have may come and go.
For example, you may have an eczema flare-up that causes intense itching and rash for a week or two. Then, the symptoms may subside for a while before resurfacing again.
How To Stop Eczema Itching Immediately
While eczema doesn't have a cure, you can manage your symptoms with proper treatment. And one of the most important things to do is to learn how to stop eczema itching immediately.
These 10 tips can help you do just that.
1) Apply An Over The Counter Hydrocortisone Cream
If you have mild eczema, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can be a quick and easy way to relieve your symptoms. This type of cream is a topical steroid that reduces inflammation in the skin.
By treating the inflammation, you can help reduce the itch. Hydrocortisone creams are available at most drugstores. Read the labels to find one appropriate for your specific eczema symptoms.
You should see a board-certified dermatologist if you don't notice an improvement in your symptoms or if your eczema is severe. A more potent, prescription-strength steroid cream may be necessary to get your eczema (and the itching) under control.
2) Use Moisturizer
Dry skin exacerbates eczema and can make the itch worse. One of the best things to do for your skin is to keep it moisturized.
Apply a moisturizer at least twice a day, or more often if necessary. Keep in mind that there are a lot of products on the market, and not all of them are created equal. Look for one that’s thick and creamy, rather than one that’s light and watery. And it should be free of potential irritants.
Our Eczema Daily Calming Cream fits the bill. It starts working immediately to help relieve your itch and irritation. The colloidal oatmeal helps soothe and protect your skin, while the coconut oil and niacinamide keep your skin moisturized all day.
3) Try A Cold Compass
If you’re looking for how to stop eczema itching immediately, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends using a cold compress. The cold temperature helps numb the nerve endings in your skin that send the itch signals to your brain.
To use this treatment method, simply wet a clean cloth with cool water and apply it to the affected area. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and repeat the process throughout the day.
4) Run A Humidifier
Using a home humidifier can also relieve your eczema symptoms. That’s because dry air can dry out your skin, making the itch worse. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help keep your skin hydrated and reduce the itch.
Dry air is especially prevalent in the winter when heaters are running. But you may also need a humidifier if you live in a dry climate or if your home has central air conditioning. Ideally, you should keep the humidity level inside your home between 50-60%.
If you're unsure what the humidity level is in your home, consider using a hygrometer to measure it.
5) Take A Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
As mentioned above, colloidal oatmeal can help soothe and protect your skin. And one of the best ways to benefit from this ingredient is to take an oatmeal bath.
To do this, simply add 1-2 cups of colloidal oatmeal to a lukewarm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. The oatmeal will help relieve your itch and soothe your skin.
While bathing, use a moisturizing body wash to clean yourself. Our Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Body Wash is a great choice.
Remember that while brief soaks in the tub can help relieve your eczema itch, extended exposure to water, especially hot water, can dry out your skin even more and worsen your symptoms. So keep your baths short and lukewarm.
6) Avoid Your Triggers
- Dry air
- Certain fabrics
- Cleaning products
Once you identify your triggers, avoid them as much as possible to help keep your eczema itching from flaring up.
7) Choose Breathable Fabrics
If your skin can't breathe, it's more likely to itch. So, choosing breathable fabrics that won't trap sweat and moisture against your skin is crucial. Of course, this goes for your clothing and your bedding.
Cotton is always a good choice. But other fabrics, like bamboo and linen, are also breathable. But no matter the material, look for loose-fitting clothes. Tight clothing can rub and irritate your skin, making your itching worse.
When it comes to bedding, look for sheets and pillowcases made from natural fabrics, like cotton or bamboo, and avoid synthetic materials, like polyester. With the right bedding, you'll sleep more peacefully and wake up with less itch.
8) Put On A Wet Dressing
If you've tried all the above treatments and your eczema itch is still bothering you, it's time to try a wet dressing. This involves applying a wet compress to your skin and then covering it with a dry, absorbent material.
Feel free to use any type of clean cloth for the wet compress. But cotton gauze is a favorite because it's absorbent and won't stick to your skin.
To make the compress, simply soak the gauze in lukewarm water. Then, wring out the excess water and apply it to the affected area. Once the gauze is in place, cover it with a dry material, like a cotton T-shirt or piece of cloth.
Leave the compress in place for several hours for maximum relief.
9) Do Something Relaxing
When you're stressed, your eczema may flare up. That's because stress can cause your body to produce more cortisol hormone. And when cortisol levels are high, your skin is more likely to become inflamed and itchy.
To help lower your stress, find ways to relax regularly. This can be anything that works for you, whether reading, relaxing in a hammock, spending time in nature, or listening to calming music.
Whatever you choose, make it a point to do something relaxing every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. You'll take your mind off your itch and give your body a chance to calm down.
10) Apply Honey
Honey has a long history of use as a medicinal remedy and has been shown to be effective in treating eczema and other skin conditions.
To experience the benefits of honey, simply apply it directly to your skin. You can do this several times a day as needed.
Stop Eczema Itching Immediately
If you've been wondering how to stop eczema itching immediately, these tips will help. With a little trial and error, you can find the right combination of treatments to bring relief.
Before you know it, you'll be itch-free and on your way to better skin days.