Do you ever find yourself praying like a desert nomad for your eczema to go away? It’s a chronic, nagging disease that plagues many people I know and one friend even resorted to using lard to find some relief (you know who you are). Although a good dermatologist is key to battling this malady, a basic understanding of what the heck is going on will help you care for and prevent it.
Itchiness, dryness, rashes are the hallmark of eczema. In addition to genetics, it has been found that there is structural dysfunction of the skin that decreases its ability to hold onto moisture and fulfill its main function of creating a barrier. This poor barrier exposes the insides of the body to dust mites and other allergens that can cause the immune system to activate, leading to inflammation and that darn itch.
So what this means for you is that you need to give your skin a helping hand by restoring the barrier. One great way to do that is after your luxurious bath, pat yourself almost dry, and put vaseline or a thick cream, such as Cerave or Aquaphor, on your problem spots to trap water in your skin. Mere lotion does not adequately trap in the moisture that your skin so badly needs. Even after the rash is resolved and your skin is baby smooth again, you can prevent recurrences by continuing this soak and seal regimen.
Also, remember that the more you scratch, the more you will itch! I see you.. STOP SCRATCHING! An antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Allegra, should help you with that nuisance.
This is just a basic beginners primer on a bottomless topic. It definitely does not hurt to have a dermatologist on board with you on your journey to bee-oo-tee-ful, rash-less, healthy skin.