There are many ways to treat eczema.
Emollients are non-cosmetic moisturisers that keep the skin moist and flexible to prevent cracking. They come in the form of creams, lotions, gels and ointments. They are the most effective way to manage all types of eczema, as they keep the skin soft and supple.
Topical corticosteroids, or topical steroids for short, are creams, ointments and lotions which reduce the inflammation of the skin. Apply them once or twice a day. It is important to use the right amount of steroid creams as directed by your GP, as opposed to emollients – which can be applied liberally.
- Keep fingernails cut short and consider light gloves if scratching is a problem during the night.
- Moisturisers and emollients are most effective when they are applied to skin that is wet or damp. After bathing, lightly pat the skin dry and then apply the moisturiser right away to seal in the moisture.
- Use gentle skin care cleansers rather than traditional soaps, and limit use to only on your underarms, genital areas, hands, feet and face.
- Keep your home cool, especially the bedroom, as a hot environment causes itching.
- Use your emollient even when you are not experiencing symptoms.
- Ask your GP about special medicated bandages, clothing or wet wraps. These are used over emollients or with topical steroids to prevent scratching, promote healing, and stop the skin from drying out.
- Reduce stress by listening to guided relaxation, trying out meditation or practising mindfulness.
- Invest in specialist clothing and bedding available for eczema sufferers. Cool cotton or silk fibre clothes and bedding are ideal for eczema sufferers, as these allow the skin to remain cool and less irritated.
- Avoid sweating by not over-dressing during warmer weather and using suitable bedding for the climate.1
- Steer clear of chemicals such as washing detergents, perfume, soap and air freshener.
- Avoid hot baths and showers instead, keep water lukewarm and gently pat dry before applying emollient.
- Dust and vacuum regularly and try to keep allergens such as dust, pet dander, mould and pollen to a minimum.
- Avoid any foods that may be triggers – peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, fish, and eggs are common.
There is no solid evidence that certain foods cause eczema or trigger a flare-up; however, some people notice symptoms do develop after they eat a specific food.
Elimination diets may help you work out if a specific food is contributing to your condition. This involves cutting out a certain food, such as eggs or cow’s milk, to check if there is any improvement in your skin.
Unless you have been tested and confirmed to have a particular food allergy, be sure to discuss your diet with your doctor before cutting out a whole food group.
Despite the uncertain links between eczema and food, a well-balanced diet including lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and low fat dairy products is the best diet for overall good health.
Products that can help:
Bamboo and silk bed linen has features and benefits for eczema sufferers. Not only does bamboo reduce irritation during the night, but it also wicks away excess moisture naturally and helps regulate body temperature. Silk and bamboo are great choices as they are naturally resistant to dust mites, fungi and mould, therefore ideal for those whose conditions are triggered by these allergens.
For those eczema sufferers who also have a dust mite allergy, Anti-Allergy bedding is ideal.
Allersafe anti-allergy bedding dramatically reduces the growth of dust mite allergens. Providing a healthier sleeping environment for those already sensitised to household dust mite allergens and preventing the sensitisation that leads to asthma, sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. Allersafe bedding is blended with Amicor Pure fibre, an intelligent fibre with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal additives inside. It creates an environment that is not suitable for dust mites to survive. Its effects last for at least 200 washes.