Eczema is the itch that rashes.
Managing the symptoms at home can seem can seem daunting, but patients can take control of this condition with changes to the daily routine and a stepwise approach when symptoms worsen.
Prevention (do this every day, always):
Apply moisturizer twice a day.
Ointment - most effective, greasy, hard to apply. Won't burn the skin if it is scratched and dry.
Creams - next most effective, thick.
Lotions - least effective, easiest to apply.
Apply the maintenance steroid cream
Once a week, even if there are no symptoms, apply the steroid cream as a proactive treatment to prevent flares.
Avoid drying the skin when bathing
Shorter showers (not baths) are better.
Use cooler water, less than 104 °F (40° C).
Use a simple bar soap like a Dove bar. Fancy soaps have fancy chemicals.
Soap the Face, Armpits, Groin, Feet, Hands. Other areas do not need soap unless they are soiled or very dirty.
Minor flare 🕯️Time to use your steroid every day.
Apply your regular steroid to all affected areas twice a day, Monday through Friday. Take a break on the weekend to ensure the steroid continues to be effective.
Continue to use moisturizers and avoiding long hot baths.
Severe flare 🔥 Time for a stronger steroid!
Apply stronger steroid twice a day, again Monday through Friday.
As always, keep using the moisturizer, and maintain your normal skin therapies.
When symptoms improve you should work your way back to Prevention in steps. First treat as a Minor flare and only reduce your use of regular steroid when your symptoms are back under control.