Have Eczema? Prevent Cracking and Skin Infection with These Tips
Living with eczema can be tough, especially if you live in a climate where the winters are harsh and dry. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you prevent cracking and skin infection. Keep reading to learn more.
Use a Topical Hydrocortisone Cream
Steroids like hydrocortisone are excellent for helping ease eczema symptoms. Not only can creams like this help reduce eczema flares, they may also help your skin heal more quickly if it is irritated or cracked. These types of creams are typically applied one or twice daily, which means consistency is key. One of the best things about these creams is that you can pick them up at almost any neighborhood drugstore. Of course, those products may have a lower concentration of hydrocortisone in them. If you’re interested in a stronger product, it’s important to talk to a doctor about getting a prescription. You may also be prescribed similar products such as crisaborole, pimecrolimus, or tacrolimus.
Wear Gloves During Water-Based Work
Hand eczema is no joke. You use your hands for hundreds of small tasks every day, which means they’ll need extra protection. And while this is one of the simplest home remedies for eczema, it’s definitely still effective. A good pair of waterproof gloves will take you a long way when it comes to preventing cracked skin or infections. It’s most important to wear these gloves when you’re doing work that could put your hands into contact with water. Some activities that you might want to protect your hands from include washing dishes, doing laundry, or cooking. Even tasks that don’t involve water might warrant a good pair of cotton, powder-free vinyl, or neoprene gloves. Just make sure you steer clear of latex.
Keep Your Nails Trimmed Short
If you’re suffering from an eczema rash, then you know how tempting it is to scratch that itchy patch of skin. While it might feel better for a moment, you’re doing more harm than good with your long nails. Bacteria and dirt can easily get trapped underneath your nails when they’re longer, which means every time you scratch an eczema flare up, you could be risking an infection. This is why it’s so important not only to keep your hands and nails clean, but also to cut your nails short. When your nails are shorter, you’re less likely to damage your skin if you do decide to scratch an itch. It’s also much easier to keep your nails clean and tidy when they’re short. It might not be a medical eczema treatment, but it could help you out more than you know.
Use a Humidifier
Keeping your skin moisturized goes far beyond putting lotion on every day. During dry, cold winters, it’s typically a good idea to keep a humidifier running in your home. The best place to do this is typically in the bedroom. That way you’re not being bathed in dry air while you sleep. In addition to helping keep your skin more moisturized, a humidifier can also keep your airways from getting dried out and irritated.
Understand Your Irritants
One of the most important things you can do to prevent dry, cracked skin, and eczema flare ups is to understand what irritates your skin. Products you use every day may be the cause of your itchy, dry skin! If you haven’t been able to pinpoint these irritants on your own, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor about it. They can help you determine what exactly might be irritating your skin and causing your flare ups.
Eczema treatment doesn’t always need to be complicated. These simple tips can go a long way in helping you prevent cracked and infected skin. If you have more questions or want to better understand what is causing your eczema, don’t hesitate to contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology today.