Here are some things you can do to keep eczema away:
- Stop scratching. This is hard, but it's important because it can make eczema worse. It even can cause your skin to get infected. Also, lots of scratching can make your skin tough, like an alligator. Keep your fingernails short so that if you do scratch, it won't hurt your skin as much.
- Avoid triggers (things that you know make you itchy) as much as you can.
- Put on thick cream or ointment to lock moisture into your skin. The kind of cream that says it's "fragrance-free" works best (that means it doesn't have any perfume in it.) It might be a little annoying when you first put it on, but it's a lot better than being itchy. Use it three times a day if you can. Your parents can help you find one that will work best. There's even a special type called a "barrier repair moisturizer" that has something in it that gives your skin extra protection. A skin doctor (dermatologist) can tell you what to buy.
- Take warm baths or showers. Keep them short, and make sure the water isn't hot, which makes eczema worse. Don't use washcloths or sponges. When you get out, pat yourself dry with a towel. Don't rub your skin. As soon as you've patted yourself off, slather cream or ointment all over your body. This works best when your skin still is a little wet.
- Try not to get too hot or too sweaty. It can make your skin feel prickly.
- Wear non-scratchy clothes, like those made out of cotton, rather than wool. Your parents can help you find clothes that won't make you itchy.
- Use "fragrance-free" soaps and detergents. Unscented won't do it; it's got to be fragrance-free.
- Try not to stress out about your eczema. It only makes it worse.
Next: Making the itch go away.