Eczema is an umbrella term for a variety of medical conditions that cause skin inflammation and irritation. Symptoms include itchy skin, followed by a rash that can appear scaly and dry.
There are many ways to treat eczema—including treatments you can do at home on your own and treatments that need to be administered by a healthcare professional.
Home phototherapy has undergone some impressive advancements in recent years. It has become an increasingly popular way to treat auto-immune skin conditions like eczema. Similar to topical steroid creams, phototherapy is a prescribed treatment. It uses narrowband ultraviolet light therapy to decrease the local immune system in the skin, instead of targeting the overall immune system.
Hand-held light treatment devices are convenient and easy-to-use and allow phototherapy to be completed from your own home. A home phototherapy device such as the one from Clarify Medical can connect to your smartphone so that you can guarantee that you are receiving the correct prescribed dose of light each time.
Most homes are stocked with household essentials like laundry detergent, fabric softener, hand soap and body wash that are packed with dyes and perfumes. These products can irritate your eczema. Replacing these products with unscented options is one of the simplest things you can to help prevent flare-ups.
Switch to fragrance-free, dye-free alternatives. “Free and clear” versions of these products exist for most brands.
Relaxing is easier said than done. But if you suffer from eczema, it can really make a world of difference. That’s because some eczema flare-ups can be triggered by stress.
Relaxation is not one-size-fits-all, so try a few techniques and discover what works for you. From meditation and deep breathing to hypnosis and yoga, there are many ways to relax and take it easy. Don’t forget there are tons of other ways to reduce stress too, like painting, cooking a new recipe or simply enjoying a good TV show. Whatever works for you will do the trick, even if it’s nothing fancy.
There are many over-the-counter products that can be used at home to treat eczema, although the information and research on such remedies are not always complete. From colloidal oatmeal baths and evening primrose oil to coconut and sunflower oils and witch hazels, there’s a seemingly endless list of skin products you can buy at a pharmacy or health store without a prescription.
Before trying any of them, chat with your dermatologist and find out what he or she recommends. Because many of these products and treatments are unregulated and not technically proven to treat eczema, having your doctor’s stamp of approval can help you make the right choices.