Keep an eczema diary. Certain things make eczema worse, and when you notice your eczema worsening, look back and see what caused it. Some people react to certain foods. Some react to fabrics such as wool. Most eczema sufferers avoid strong soaps and detergents. When they find a soap they can tolerate, they will never change.
Stress is a big problem with eczema. Finding ways to handle stress are helpful overall for general health as well as eczema.
Try to avoid irritating your skin. Take short and relatively cool showers rather than soaking in hot baths or saunas. Do not scrub hard. Very gentle exfoliation with a washcloth is appropriate once or twice a week, but avoid irritating the surface of the skin where you're having an eczema outbreak.
Take the medications that your doctor has prescribed, and ask what you can expect when taking them. Topical steroid cream is most commonly prescribed. More severe eczema requires stronger medications.
For the most severe eczema, you may need to include more than one doctor in your care. Your dermatologist may have a great deal of expertise in eczema, but because it is a complex and complicated condition, you may also be seeing an allergist too.
For now, there is no absolute cure for eczema. It is considered to be a life-long condition, and learning to manage your flare-ups becomes a way of life. Having a good line of communication with your doctor(s) is the best tool in this battle. When your flare-ups aren't responding to medication, go back and ask for a re-evaluation. Your doctor won't know something is not working unless you provide feedback.
Eczema is becoming a more and more common problem throughout the world with 1 in 5 children being diagnosed with this condition. As more is learned about eczema, better ways to handle it will result.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.