One of the primary symptoms of eczema, aside from redness and skin dryness and irritation, is skin itchiness. It can be unbearably itchy, and sometimes we can’t resist scratching or even just rubbing the affected area. But we all know that scratching – and even simple rubbing – can worsen eczema, and if you’re tired of sitting on your own hands just to prevent yourself from scratching or rubbing, this may help you out. Here’s how to effectively prevent yourself from scratching or rubbing your skin when you have eczema.
Keep it chilled
One way to deal with itchiness when it comes to eczema is to keep it chilled. Basically, you can use a cold compress on your skin by simply wetting a piece of soft cloth or a piece of gauze with some cold water. If you want, you can even use an ice pack or get into your freezer and grab some frozen vegetable packs such as frozen peas or corn. By keeping the area cold or cool, you can numb it. Keep it chilled for about 10 minutes at a time and do it as the need arises throughout the day. If you’re at work, simply get a plastic bag, pop an ice cube into it, and place it on the itchy area.
Scratch in front of a mirror
There’s a somewhat strange and bizarre way to prevent yourself from scratching when you have an itch, and it’s to scratch in front of a mirror. So how does it work? It’s quite simple, really. When you are starting to feel an itch on one side, face a mirror and scratch the reflection of the side which itches. For example, if you have an itchy right arm, face a mirror and then concentrate on scratching the reflection of your right arm (of course, since it’s a reflection, it’s not your right arm you are scratching, but your left). But if you can see yourself scratching, this somehow alerts your brain that the itch was scratched, even if it’s on the wrong side. Try it and see if it works – there’s no harm in trying, anyway.
Go for a special eczema cream
If you’ve been trying to deal with itchiness by using a skin lotion, perhaps it’s time to switch to something else. There are now lots of creams specially designed for eczema, and the right eczema cream can help soothe your skin and calm the irritation. It’s important, however, to look for a product which is free from chemicals like steroids, dyes, parabens, and fragrances.
Another way to prevent or deal with the itchiness of the skin is to soak it. What you can do is simply soak in a warm, calming bath for about 15 minutes so your skin has the chance to rehydrate. If you want, you can even add oatmeal to your bath for enhanced soothing. After you step out of the bath, dry your skin by gently patting it (not rubbing it), and apply an eczema cream or moisturizer within the first few minutes.
By following these remedies, you can have an easier time dealing with one of the worst symptoms of eczema – and you’re making sure your skin has a better chance of healing as well.