Home remedies: What can relieve itchy eczema?
If you’ve tried numerous remedies and nothing seems to stop the itch, you’re not alone.
Parents often tell dermatologists that nothing they try seems to stop the itch. Research shows that the best way to relieve itchy eczema is to get eczema under control. This can take time.
In the interim, dermatologists recommend the following, which can bring some immediate — but temporary — relief from the itch.
Adding colloidal oatmeal to your child’s bath can help relieve dry, itchy skin.
6 ways to relieve itchy eczema at home
- Soak a clean towel or washcloth in cool water.
- Wring th
e towel or washcloth until damp.
- Apply the cool compress to the itchy skin.
- After removing the compress, apply your child’s moisturizer to the skin you just treated with the compress.
Telling your child to stop scratching itchy skin rarely works.
Eczema is just too itchy, and telling your child to stop scratching can feel stressful. Stress often makes eczema worse.
- Add the colloidal oatmeal to the running lukewarm water.
- Let your child soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
- After the bath, gently dry your child, leaving enough water on the skin so that it feels damp.
- Apply your child’s moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing.
When using colloidal oatmeal, dermatologists recommend:
Don’t let your child eat the finely ground oatmeal.
Colloidal oatmeal makes the bath very slippery, so take care to prevent a slip or fall.
- Play peek-a-boo
- Feed your child a snack
- Play with a toy
- Tell a story
For teens and tweens: Children who are caring for their own skin can gently tap near the itchy eczema. Sounds odd, but this help reduce the itch.
2 surprising ways parents make eczema itchier
Some itch-relieving techniques that people use can make eczema itchier. To prevent this, dermatologists recommend that you avoid:
Telling your child to stop scratching: This rarely works and can leave your child feeling stressed. Stress can cause eczema to flare.
Using anti-itch products: This may seem strange, but anti-itch products often fail to relieve itchy eczema. To make matters worse, some contain ingredients that can cause eczema to flare. Only use an anti-itch product if your child’s dermatologist recommends on.
Prevent skin damage caused by scratching
Constant scratching can break the skin. To prevent bleeding and an infection, dermatologists recommend the following:
Keep your child's nails short: Checking nails after your child's bath lets you know when the nails need trimming.
Cover itchy skin: When skin is covered, children seem less likely to scratch. When dressing your child, be sure to:
Dress your child in lose-fitting clothes made from a soft, natural fiber-like cotton, a cotton blend, silk, or bamboo.
Consider using eczema mittens and eczema sleeves.
Eczema mittens can be effective when eczema flares on your baby's face. Your baby may still scratch, but the scratching will cause less damage because the fingernails cannot dig into the skin.
Itch relief can be fickle
You may find that a technique works one day and not the next. If one technique fails, try another.
Additional related content
Eichenfield, LF, Tom WL, et al. “Part 2: Guidelines of care for the management and treatment of atopic dermatitis with topical therapies.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul;71(1):116-32.
Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. “Part 4: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Part 4: Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014: 71(1);1218-33.