Eczema is a frustrating, chronic condition. We work to control it with gentle bathing techniques, lots of moisturizer, and intermittent use of steroid creams. However, even the best-controlled eczema can still worsen at times. Stress, heat, cold/dry weather, infections, and lack of moisturizer use can all cause the eczema to flare.
At these times it is important to continue the limited use of gentle soaps, and increase the use of thick moisturizers. You can also soak in a bathtub a few times per day until your fingers get wrinkly, and apply the moisturizer all over right when you get out. Sometimes a stronger prescription cream may also be needed to relieve the itching and calm down the inflammation. Inflammation in the skin leads to itching. Itching leads to scratching, and scratching can worsen the eczema even further. An antihistamine taken by mouth such as Benadryl or another prescription may also be used to decrease this itching.