Anyone with eczema is all too familiar with the dreaded itch scratch cycle. This cycle can lead to bigger eczema flares and even infections. Scratching breaks the barrier of the skin which can increase the chance for infection. The most common infection for people with eczema is a staph infection. While everyone has some number of staph bacteria on their skin, it’s been found that people with eczema have a greater amount. So, what can be done to manage the itch and protect the skin barrier? Below are some ways to prevent itching and scratching.
Tips to Manage the Itch:
- Daily skin maintenance goes a long way in keeping your skin healthy and the skin barrier intact. Wash regularly especially after times of sweating with a gentle, alcohol free cleanser cleanser and moisturize immediately after to seal in moisture with a thick, alcohol free emollient moisturizer.
- For more intense moisture and itch relief there is wet wrap therapy.
- Wearing lightweight and breathable fabrics can help to prevent getting too hot which can cause eczema to flare in areas such as under arms, the insides of elbow and the backs of knees. The Wrap-E-Soothe eczema sleeves and long eczema sleeves are great for these areas.
- Keeping finger nails short makes it less easy to break open the skin if you do scratch. Gloves can be helpful for kids and adults to prevent scratching and to cover eczema on hands or for wet wrapping hands. It can also help to cover hands with tops or clothing like the Wrap-E-Soothe Rescue Suit and Wrap-E-Soothe top with fold over hand covers. Scratch mitten sleeves can also cover children's hands.
- Bleach baths are recommended by doctors to cut down on the staph bacteria on the skin. For more information visit this link.
- Make sure to see your doctor if you do suspect a staph infection as they can be very serious.
We hope these tips help the next time you feel the urge to scratch that itch.