Rehydration as the Best Method to Treat Eczema
There are various medications for eczema available on the market. But still the best way to treat eczema is to keep the skin well-hydrated.
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a condition associated with inflammation of the skin. The symptoms include severe itchiness, dryness, irritation of the skin and rash. If you have eczema, your skin is likely to lack a protein that is supposed to keep it hydrated. Eczema may occur on a small isolated area of the skin or affect the entire body. In many cases, it appears on the face and hands, as well as on the inside part of the elbow and knee.
Itching is probably the most severe symptom of eczema, and it becomes worse with scratching. Besides, scratching may lead to a skin infection.
Among several different types of eczema, atopic dermatitis is the most commonly occurring. Atopic dermatitis is related to allergic disorders and can be triggered by allergens like food, fragrances and chemicals in soap or detergent, synthetic clothing, cold or dry air, etc.
Unfortunately, there is no way to cure the allergy, you can only control the symptoms using quality skin care treatments. It is important to keep the skin well-moisturized. However, it is not enough to just put on a lot of moisturizer on the skin or soak in a bath for hours.
Many people believe that bathing too much can actually make the situation worse. This may be true, especially if you use soaps and don’t apply a moisturizer to seal in the water. Dryness of the skin makes eczema more intense.
Specialists still recommend getting baths though, maybe shorter ones, and keep the skin hydrated be sealing the water in.
What Is a “Soak and Seal” Method?
You can treat eczema using various prescription medications. Another option is to rehydrate the skin using an effective method “soak and seal”. Soaking the skin helps to absorb the water, to seal it in, you should use a good moisturizer.
This method involves three steps. First, you need to soak your skin in the slightly warm water, in a bath or shower, for about ten minutes. You may want to use clear water without the soap or other cleansing products. However, if it’s necessary, try using a cleanser that has a gentle and smooth structure and is free of fragrances and chemicals. To soak the skin on your face, you can simply apply a wet cloth for about five minutes.
The second step is to dry your skin. Use a soft towel, and make sure to just slightly pat your skin instead of rubbing, which can affect the irritated areas of the skin.
Finally, you should apply a moisturizer, no later than three minutes after drying the skin. This will help to seal the water in. It’s better to use a high-oil-content ointment, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline), which is often recommended for eczema flares. If that seems too messy for you, you can use clear ointments or serums that are fragrance- and dye-free. There are also a lot of moisturizing lotions and creams, but they often contain too much water that easily evaporates or preservatives and fragrances that can trigger an allergic reaction.
Why Do People Take Bleach Baths?
According to some people, adding a tiny amount of bleach in the bath water (no more than one tablespoon) can help to prevent infections by killing the bacteria. However, the effect of bleach bath is still not clear enough. Besides, bleach fumes can irritate the lungs, so they are not recommended for people with asthma and lung-related conditions.
The Bottom Line
Eczema often means various underlying conditions like food allergies or asthma. If you have eczema, you should consult with a specialist. A professional allergist will make a proper diagnosis based on the allergy tests, as well as your symptoms. Then, you will get an individual treatment plan suitable for your case.
If you are allergic to pet dander or environmental factors, you may want to undergo immunotherapy (allergy shots). There are also a number of new biologic medications designed and approved for the treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.
Eczema can be different in different people. To find the right treatment, you should be evaluated by an expert.