Managing Eczema Itch
Soothing Eczema Flare-ups at Home: Expert Tips for Itch Relief
Eczema flare-ups can be incredibly uncomfortable, especially when immediate access to medications is limited. Dr. Peter Leo from the National Eczema association, recommends a few effective home remedies to alleviate itching and discomfort during eczema flare-ups. Here are a few simple strategies you can try to find relief in the comfort of your home.
1. Cool Down with Ice Packs
To soothe localized itchiness, consider using cooling ice packs. Always wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth to prevent direct contact with the skin, and gently apply it to the itchy areas. This method can provide instant relief by cooling down the skin and calming inflammation. Our pro tip—use this method to cool down an insect bite as well and prevent it from turning into an all-out inflammation!
2. Soothe using a Cold Compress
A milder, yet also strongly effective method with temperature is using a cooling compress. Simply dampen a soft cloth with water and gently place it on the itchy areas for a few moments. The cooling sensation can help ease discomfort and reduce itchiness.
3. Harnessing the Power of Wet Wraps
Wet wraps are an innovative approach to manage eczema flare-ups. We love this solution because it’s easy and you can carry on with home activities. Start with a quick shower or bath to ensure your skin is clean and free of dirt from outside. Next, apply moisturizer to damp skin. Then, apply water to a cloth, an old sock (with the foot section cut off, so it is like a tube), or even long underwear and wring it out until the fabric is damp, not dripping. Layer these wet fabrics over the areas of inflammation. Follow by layering warm clothing over the damp cloth. This method helps the skin retain moisture and reduces itchiness.
4. Apply Calamine Lotion for Relief
Calamine lotion is a traditional remedy known for its cooling and soothing properties. It’s made from powdered calamine mineral, and has been used throughout history for the treatment of sunburn, insect bites, poison ivy, and poison oak. Opt for plain calamine lotion without added ingredients like antihistamines, as those can sometimes (ironically) induce additional itching if one is allergic to them.
5. Easy Acupressure for Temporary Relief
When nothing is on hand, try acupressure. Acupressure is a form of targeted massage with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupressure works by meridians in the body, which are energy channels that are shown to be key to the healthful funcitoning of the body. These points are located all over the body. One poing in particular has been shown to be a safe, effective way to temporarily reduce itching without side effects. The name of the pressure point is Large Intestine 11. Locate this point by bending your arm and identifying the divot in the crook of your elbow. Gently apply pressure or circular motions to this point for a soothing effect. Try to persist with a massage for about 10 minutes to feel an effect. Remember that acupressure is a fairly mild form of meridian treatment in the TCM protocol. More potent results can be felt
Lio, P. (2020, April 13). Eczema & COVID-19: Managing itch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0IC85MEqTo