Eczema describes skin conditions where the skin has become irritated or inflamed. Other terms are atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. Atopic means a hypersensitivity reaction or allergy. Eczema occurs more frequently in families with a history of asthma, hay fever and eczema, but the exact cause is unknown.
No matter which part of the skin is affected, eczema is almost always ITCHY. A rash develops and the skin looks redder, thicker and scaly. The skin barrier is compromised – it is not working properly – so the skin in affected areas is unable to retain moisture and becomes very dry and ITCHY.
When the skin is ITCHY, we desperately want to SCRATCH. SCRATCHING damages the skin even more and makes it ITCHIER. This is the vicious cycle of eczema.
Don't let Itchy and Scratchy Ruin Your Party
- When the skin is generously moisturised, it feels less dry and itchy. Eczema-prone skin needs frequent moisturising throughout the day.
- Apply your moisturiser like jam on toast – nice and thick - and massage gently into the affected areas. This will keep your skin hydrated, softer, and less prone to itching.
- If your doctor has prescribed a treatment cream it is important that you use it according to the directions. Prescription creams reduce the inflammation and lessen the itch.
- Avoid soap and all skin products that contain SLS (sodium laurel/laureth sulphate). Clinical studies have shown that SLS increases the rate at which the skin loses moisture.
- Keep fingernails short and filed smooth. If you are scratching in your sleep, invest in a pair of cotton gloves to wear at night.
- Carry a tube of Rhino Repair in your bag. Frequent application of this powerful, natural healing cream helps reduce red irritated skin and softens it without leaving a greasy residue.
Rhino Repair is a proud supporter of the New Zealand Eczema Association.
For further guidance or advice about your eczema, dermatitis or any other adverse skin condition you are experiencing, feel free to comment below or get in touch. As a registered nurse, Susan is here to help you.
Susan Beach, Registered Nurse and Oasis Girl