Common Treatments for Eczema

If you suffer with eczema, you are not alone – over 30% of people in the United States are affected by it. It can be a frustrating skin condition and with many different remedies and treatments available, it can be hard to know which one is the better choice. The right treatment for your eczema can depend on your age, medical history, and the severity and location of the symptoms.

It is best to seek advice from a health professional who specializes in integrative wellness and functional medicine to tackle your eczema with a preventive, holistic approach. Let’s talk about the ways in which you can help prevent your eczema symptoms and minimize any flare-ups.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that can cause the following symptoms:

  • Skin which is raw and sensitive
  • Severe itching, which can be worse at night
  • Red and inflamed patches on skin
  • Small, raised bumps on the skin that, if scratched, can ooze fluid, bleed, and scab over
  • Thick, cracked, dry, and scaly patches on the skin

Eczema is more common in children, with most developing it before the age of 5. Many people outgrow eczema, but for others it can be a lifelong health condition. Although its cause is still in question, it is thought to be a problem with the skin barrier – known as the stratum corneum – which can become more sensitive than normal in someone with eczema.

What Can Trigger Symptoms of Eczema?

For some people, eczema only occurs at certain times of the year, such as in the winter months. For others, eczema can flare up or get worse as a result of other factors, including:

  • Food allergies including peanut, milk, soy, and wheat
  • Certain materials worn next to the skin, such as wool and synthetic materials which don’t allow the skin to breathe properly
  • Irritants which can be found in perfumed soaps, shampoo, bath products, and detergents
  • Allergens such as exposure to dust mites, pollen, and pet dander
  • Exposure to extreme changes in temperature, such as when going from the freezing outdoors into the heated indoors
  • Stress

How Can I Prevent Eczema?

If you have eczema, it is important to know what irritates your skin so you can avoid the triggers. This will help keep your skin healthy and reduce eczema flare-ups. You can be tested by a medical professional to find out what can trigger your eczema.

Some other tips to try are as follows:

Avoid Irritants While Cleansing

Make sure you bathe or shower only in warm water. Hot water dries out the skin and can lead to an eczema flare-up.

Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser instead of soap, and avoid using body scrubbers or washcloths – which can be abrasive on sensitive skin. After a bath or shower, try not to rub the skin too much with a towel, as this can scratch and irritate eczema. Also, avoid alcohol-based hand cleaners, as these can irritate and dry out skin.

Moisturize Regularly

Thick emollient creams act as a protective barrier, so try to moisturize your skin at least once a day. This will help to reduce water loss from the skin and prevent the skin from becoming dry.  Always apply the cream right after bathing, when the skin is still damp, to seal in moisture and hydrate the skin.

Check the Products You Use

If you have sensitive, eczema-prone skin, avoid products with added ingredients such as fragrance, dye, or chemicals. These can strip the skin of its protective natural oils and dry it out – making eczema worse. Also avoid using fragranced detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets for your clothes and bedding. Any residue can irritate sensitive skin and can sometimes cause an allergic reaction.


Choose comfortable, cotton clothes; wool and synthetic fibers can be irritating. Be sure to wash new clothes before you wear them for the first time in order to get rid of any chemicals left behind from the production process.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

This habit will help keep the body hydrated from the inside out, meaning your skin will benefit too. Water is the ideal drink, but a cold day may warrant a nice warm winter drink, such as hot cocoa.

Avoid Getting Overheated

If you get hot and sweaty, it can trigger itching and scratching. Therefore, after a workout, try to rinse off right away in a warm or cool shower.

Use a Humidifier

This will add moisture into the dry air of a room. It is very important to keep the humidifier maintained in order to avoid bacteria from forming, so be sure to clean it regularly and change the water daily. Consider using distilled water.

Reduce Environmental Factors

Many people with eczema have adverse reactions to allergens such as dust mites, animal dander, and pollen, so keep your environment clean to help lessen your symptoms of eczema. It is a good idea to vacuum daily and wash bedding frequently in hot water. Wash and brush your pets regularly to reduce exposure to pet dander, and stay indoors as much as possible when the pollen count is high.

Ease Stress

It can be hard to find time to relax, but lowering stress levels can help to avoid symptom flare-ups.

Eczema Treatments

There is no cure for eczema, but there are treatments available which aim to heal affected skin, relieve itching, and prevent flare-ups of symptoms. The main treatments for eczema include the following:

Emollients/moisturizers are used regularly to help prevent the skin from becoming dry.

Topical corticosteroid creams, foams, and ointments are hydrocortisone steroids that can relieve itching and reduce inflammation. They come in different strengths, including mild over-the-counter treatments.

Systemic corticosteroid pills/injections can help relieve symptoms of severe or difficult-to-treat eczema. Because of the risk of side effects, they should only be used for a short time.

Antihistamines can be effective when taken at night, as they relieve itching and can help you sleep.

Barrier-repair moisturizers are available over the counter and by prescription. They help to reduce water loss from skin, repair damage, and ease dryness, redness, and itching.


Phototherapy can help treat moderate/severe eczema, whether it is widespread all over the body or localized such as just on the hands or feet. This therapy is often used when eczema hasn’t improved with topical treatments.

This treatment involves exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, usually narrowband UVB light. Phototherapy has been found to help reduce itching, calm inflammation, increase vitamin D production, and increase the bacteria-fighting system within the skin. UVB rays can cause sunburn and skin cancer, so this therapy must be used only in limited amounts.

Health and Wellness Center in Weatherford, Texas

At AlphaCare Wellness Center, Dr. Catherine Oseni specializes in integrative medicine. She creates individualized plans for clients to address health issues including skin care, hormone imbalances, weight management, and more.

If you have eczema or an unexplained skin problem, or if you are looking for a new perspective on managing your health, Dr. Catherine Oseni is here to help you. Call us today at (817) 550-6332 or request a consultation online now. It’s time to take the first step toward better, clearer, healthier skin!



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