One common characteristic of people with eczema skin is that the red inflammation, bumps and patches are very itchy. Scratching an itch seems instinctive and we do this often unconsciously when we have mosquito bites and dry skin. When there is an eczema dermatitis problem, alternatives to scratching are very important. This is especially something necessary for working with children suffering from this skin condition. A child’s impulse control is much weaker than an adult’s and children often pick at scabs, peel dry skin and are fascinated with any imperfection. If you are using a cortisone cream, apply this at a different time of the day than the moisturizer.
The first line of defense for itchy eczema eruptions is to be sure that during tough times an antihistamine is taken. At night, this will allow for sleep and help the body keep up it’s immune system. If you or your child has an allergic reaction causing the rash and patches it is important to strengthen your immune system. During the day there are milder antihistamines that won’t cause drowsiness which can be taken and are useful for the steadiness and focus needed for work and school.
Moisturizing with coconut oil, aquaphor, olive oil and other emollients is important to treat dermatitis. Be sure to put this on after a bath or shower before the skin has a chance to dry out. Hot water can dry the skin so take care the water you use is warm instead. Oatmeal baths are gentle on the skin and will also give a few hours of itch relief. There are products on the market with oatmeal or you can design your own using rolled oats. Avoid using anything abrasive on the skin and after the shower or bath put on cotton clothing. Wool and other fabrics can be scratchy and irritate raised skin problems.
Practice slow breathing taking ten to fifteen seconds to inhale. Hold or suspend the breath for ten seconds and then slowly exhale for ten to fifteen seconds. This has a calming effect on the mind and helps cultivate clarity. You can teach this to your child if your child has a problem with atopic eczema or another form of dermatitis.
Cold compresses can be used throughout the day. Coolness feels good on the skin and will help to relieve the reaction response. Avoid too much sun and keep a food journal of ingredients that may be causing an allergic reaction. Taking these steps will help the eczema skin heal, avoid a bacterial infection due to scratching and allow the body to heal.