The most common of all types of eczema is atopic eczema. This condition has been linked with asthma and hay fever. People of all ages can be affected, but there seems to be a trend for it within some families.
A common symptom of eczema is itchiness that can become very uncomfortable. The skin has an overall dryness. It also can become very red and highly inflamed. Persistent scratching only worsens the condition. The scratching can break the skin leading to more inflammation and the possibility of skin infections. Skin hydration must be maintained in order to reduce itching, which reduces the likelihood of scratching and infection. This is where eczema creams and other moisturizers can be a vital component of managing your eczema.
The use of creams to keep your skin healthy and hydrated can actually help to keep eczema flare-ups from occurring. However, if for some reason you stopped using your moisturizer or cream.
Creams specifically formulated for eczema generally provide temporary itch relief. These kinds of creams are available in herbal formulations that can be used all through the day, as required. However, if your condition is severe you may need a prescription ointment. A prescription ointment will usually include steroids to reduce inflammation.
An oral antihistamine can sometimes help with itching, particularly if your eczema is allergy-related. Consider keeping a good, fast-acting antihistamine in the house to take when itching is severe, or before bed to avoid scratching in your sleep. Benadryl is an excellent product and has worked well for me in the past.
Eczema often runs in families and may be exacerbated by stress or contact with certain chemicals or other allergens. With that in mind, do what you can to reduce stress. Also, be aware of what chemicals you are coming into contact with, particularly in your own personal care products. Choose soaps and cleansers for your skin that are without fragrance or harsh chemicals. Consider buying a mild, non-drying soap or other cleanser. You might also want to consider a liquid, non-soap cleanser if your skin is particularly sensitive with eczema.