Eczema comes with many symptoms that can make life difficult. However, we often forget to ask, “Why does this symptom occur?”. Learning how or why these symptoms develop can relieve pain and help you manage them better in the future. Below are detailed explanations of why itchy and dry skin are common eczema symptoms.
Things to remember
- Eczema symptoms and triggers can be different for everyone.
- Eczema is not contagious.
- Genetics can be a factor in eczema and the symptoms associated with it.
What causes itchy skin in eczema?
Nerve endings in the top layer of the skin, the epididymis, become irritated. This message is transmitted to the brain which can result in the action of itching. The itch from eczema can also be caused by both psychological and physical factors including allergens, stress, heavy detergents and chemicals, which can make the urge to itch more severe.
Make sure to always use a free and clear laundry detergent and use the extra rinse cycle on all towels, sheets and clothing. Only use skin care products with the National Eczema Association's Seal of Acceptance.
Avoid fabrics that can irritate your skin, such as wool or synthetic fibers. These fabrics are common eczema triggers and can cause more itchiness. Consider using Tencel® fabric for your clothing. Tencel® is naturally itch suppressing and moisture absorbing. It can absorb up to 50% more moisture than cotton fabrics promoting healthy skin and inhibiting bacteria. Avoid clothing with heavy dyes as dyes have been show to aggravate existing eczema. And if you have a metal allergy or suspect a metal allergy - stay away from metal infused fabrics. Zinc is a common metal infused into fabric and marketed to eczema sufferers. Be careful with zinc infused fabric if you have eczema. You can find purely natural Tencel® clothing here.
Why does eczema make skin dry?
The epididymis is responsible for protecting the top layer of skin and absorbing water. With eczema, you are not able to retain the proper amount of water. As a result, the epididymis cells shrink. In the gaps between cells, air and bacteria are able to enter the skin which makes the skin dry. This also makes skin very susceptible to infection. Try wet wrap and dry wrap therapy to repair the skin barrier.
Often times, dryness of skin can lead to a stronger urge to itch. We recommend using an eczema emollient after bathing. This will lock in the moisture, which help with dryness. Eczema friendly emollients can be found here.
Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.