What Helps Eczema Heal Faster?
Eczema can be stubborn. You may need to try numerous treatments over months or years to control it. And even if treatment is fruitful, signs and symptoms may return.
Eczema can affect people of all ethnicities and races. Nowadays, 10% of African American people, 11% of white people, 13% of Asian American and Pacific Islander people, and 13% of Native American people have the condition.
The correct treatment for you depends on your age, medical history, how bad your symptoms are, and other things. You will perhaps need to use a combination of remedies to get the greatest results. And there are things you should do on your own to keep your skin clear and in the pink of health.
Phototherapy is generally used for eczema that is all over the body or for localized eczema that has not improved with topical treatments. The most common type of phototherapy used to treat eczema is narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) light, although other options may be recommended by your dermatologist, including those that use ultraviolet A (UVA) light. Treatment with phototherapy uses a special machine to emit either UVB or UVA light.
A combination of self-care and some natural remedies may be all you need to manage mild-to-moderate cases of eczema. Severe eczema may require prescription topical steroids or antihistamines. Work with your dermatologist to create a treatment plan that is best for you.
Stopping the Itch
Eczema prevents your skin from holding in water. That means your skin dries out more quickly and breaks open more easily than usual.
To prevent dryness and cracks, put a layer of moisturizer on your skin several times a day. You can choose from these different types:
- Creams – thick and less greasy. They sometimes contain preservatives and other ingredients that can make your skin react if you are sensitive to them.
- Lotions – do not protect skin as well as creams because they are thinner and they contain a lot of water. Once that water evaporates, your skin will dry out again.
- Ointments – thick and can hold water into the skin. They also provide a barrier to keep out things that might irritate your skin. The downside is they can feel greasy.
When you want to try a new moisturizer, test it out first. Put a pea-sized amount on the inside of your elbow. Watch for signs of a reaction, like itching, a rash, or redness.
Whichever product you choose, put it on right after you get out of the bath or shower to keep moisture in your skin. Also, moisturize during the day whenever your skin feels dry.
If you have eczema on your hands, put on a layer of cream every time you wash them. Also put cream on your hands just before you go to bed. Then cover your hands with a pair of cotton gloves to help the skin absorb the cream more efficiently as you sleep.
Wet dressings are an effective method to treat severe eczema. They should be used when the affected area feels hot and itchy, and when the itch keeps you up at night. They also help if the eczema is still present despite treatment with bath oils, cortisone ointments, and moisturizers.
A corticosteroid cream is applied on the affected area and covered with a wet bandage. The wet bandages are then covered with dry bandages. Wet dressings are best used at night, although it is okay to use them during the day if eczema is severe.
Making Good Lifestyle Choices
While there might not be one single thing we can do to make eczema go away forever, there are several things we can do to mitigate flare-ups. To start, you can keep a food diary. Many people with eczema have food allergies or sensitivities, so it helps to keep track of your reaction to food. See if you can identify which foods make your skin flare up.
Dairy, eggs, nuts, and wheat are common triggers for the condition, while salmon and tuna are examples of food that can help ease it. Kidney beans, lentils, and red meat rich in zinc act as natural anti-inflammatories.
Do not make significant changes to your diet without first speaking to your doctor. It may not be healthy to cut certain foods from your diet, especially in young children who need calcium, calories, and protein.
If your doctor suspects a food allergy, you may be referred to a dietitian. They can help work out a way to avoid the food you are allergic to while ensuring you still get all the nutrition you need.
If you are breastfeeding a baby with atopic eczema, get medical advice before making any changes to your regular diet.
Aside from dietary changes, another tip is to avoid wearing wool. Wool fibers are like little corkscrews that irritate the nerve endings in your skin. If you must wear wool, use a finely-woven cotton T-shirt underneath.
Exercising climate control can also do a lot to help regulate reactive skin. Try to keep a consistent temperature and avoid cold, dry weather as best as possible. Use a humidifier when air is dry and wear protective clothing in the cold.
Avoid situations that expose skin to excess moisture, such as hot showers, hot tubs, saunas, and steam baths. Do not make a habit of engaging in strenuous exercise that leaves you drenched in sweat.