As common as eczema (atopic dermatitis) is, it’s quite sad that many people don’t know what causes it and how its remedies.
Eczema could be triggered by some types of food, stress, changes in temperature and certain fabrics or through other means.
Here are some home remedies for eczema from Mayo Clinic:
Moisturize your skin at least twice a day
Find a product or combination of products that work for you. You might try bath oils, creams, ointments or sprays. For a child, the twice-a-day regimen might be an ointment before bedtime and a cream before school. Ointments are greasier and sting less when applied.
Apply an anti-itch cream to the affected area
A nonprescription hydrocortisone cream, containing at least 1% hydrocortisone, can temporarily relieve the itch. Apply it no more than twice a day to the affected area, after moisturizing. Using the moisturizer first helps the medicated cream penetrate the skin better. Once your reaction has improved, you may use this type of cream less often to prevent flare-ups.
Take an oral allergy or anti-itch medication
Options include nonprescription allergy medicines (antihistamines) — such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) or fexofenadine (Allegra). Also, diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others) may be helpful if itching is severe. But it causes drowsiness, so it’s better for bedtime.
Rather than scratching when you itch, try pressing on the skin. Cover the itchy area if you can’t keep from scratching it. For children, it might help to trim their nails and have them wear gloves at night.
Covering the affected area with bandages helps protect the skin and prevent scratching.
Take a warm bath
Sprinkle the bathwater with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal that is made for the bathtub (Aveeno, others). Soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then pat dry. Apply moisturizer while the skin is still damp.
Choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes
Use soap that’s superfatted and non-alkaline. Be sure to rinse off the soap completely.
Use a humidifier
Hot, dry indoor air can parch sensitive skin and worsen itching and flaking. A portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace adds moisture to the air inside your home.
Wear cool, smooth-textured clothing
Reduce irritation by avoiding clothing that’s rough, tight or scratchy. Also, wear appropriate clothing in hot weather or during exercise to prevent excessive sweating.
Treat stress and anxiety
Stress and other emotional disorders can worsen atopic dermatitis. Acknowledging those and trying to improve your emotional health can help.