The itchiness of eczema can be very distressing. There are many methods of reducing the itchiness of the skin and minimising the damage from scratching. These useful tips should help.
1. Try to use cotton clothing and bedding as much as possible. Synthetic fabrics and wool can irritate.
2. Always use a non-biological washing powder and avoid using fabric softeners. It's a good idea to wash new clothing before wearing it for the first time.
3. Keep nails short to avoid more skin damage from scratching.
4. During a flare-up try to distract yourself with other activities to take your mind off scratching.
5. At night-time, try wearing cotton gloves to reduce damage to the skin occurring during sleep.
6. Bathe in warm water — not hot.
7. Choose a unscented soap that has an oil or fat base; a 'superfatted' soap is best.
8. Avoid using washcloths, sponges, or loofahs as these can aggravate the skin.
9. Make sure you moisturise your skin at least once everyday.
10. Never rub your skin dry, otherwise your skin's oil/moisture will be on the towel and not your body.
11. When possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat, try to use a humidifier in dry or cold weather.
13. If possible, reduce the stress in your life—take a quieter route to work, get a new job, get help around the house, take yoga, or learn to meditate.
14. Learn what triggers your eczema flare-ups. These differ from person to person. Once you know your triggers you will be able to avoid them as much as possible. Keeping a diary and recording when you have flare-ups is a good idea.