Scratching your eczema only makes the situation worse, but how do you stop?
Eczema is a skin condition that affects our immune system and causes red, dry, cracked patches of skin that constantly itch. Eczema affects 35 million Americans, and 70% of them began in children younger than 5-years-old. So if you have a child with eczema, listen up because the problem is likely to continue into their adulthood.
Eczema patients are always told not to scratch their skin, because there is bacteria underneath our nails that could cause an infection, and even though it feels good it makes the symptoms worse. The problem is, how do you stop doing something that feels so good?
Stay manicured- You can’t scratch yourself if your nails are short and smooth.
Moisturize, especially before bed. A layer of moisture on your skin will help you fall asleep faster and help curtail the itch.
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Ice cubes- Holding an ice cube or cold compress to the itch will numb the area a little and lessen the symptoms.
Mind over matter- You can mentally condition yourself to do something else when you feel an itch by created a habit. The idea is to replace the urge to scratch by doing something else with your hands, every time you feel the urge. If you do that consistently you can change your habit and conquer the itch using mental power.
Learn your triggers- While your eczema is likely due to genetics, certain triggers will make your itch worse. Hot or cold weather, wool fabrics, dust, or scented lotions are just some of the possibly culprits to an eczema flare up. Knowing your triggers will help you avoid the problem before it arises.
Yoga and meditation- One of the big eczema triggers for many people is anxiety, because it releases cortisol, which worsens inflammation. Calming exercises to control stress, like yoga and meditation can also help control the itch.
Water temperature- While you may love a steaming hot shower, hot water can release itch-inducing compounds which is bad for your eczema. Shower in lukewarm water and moisturize after to help keep your skin in good shape.