Be Gentle When Moisturizing
Eczema is a highly reactive condition -- vehemently scratching a patch of cracked, itchy skin will worsen symptoms and can cause a rash for some patients. Gently moisturizing eczema is an extremely important part of managing the condition. Think of it this way: Treating skin with a soft touch should eventually lead to skin that's soft to the touch.
Dyes, perfumes, detergents, alcohol and other chemicals can irritate skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. Besides checking creams and ointments for these ingredients, it's important to note these additives in soaps and cleansers. Look for moisturizing elements like glycerin, mineral oil, linoleic acid and petrolatum when selecting soaps and creams [source: EczemaNet].
Select mild products geared toward dry skin -- Dove, Vaseline, Eucerin and Cetaphil are good examples of brands focused on gentle solutions to dry skin. Vaseline petroleum jelly and Aquaphor are simple, gelatinous products that go on thick and help protect skin.
As mentioned earlier, don't use too much friction when toweling off after a shower; gently pat dry so skin retains its natural oils. Avoid harsh materials that can scratch skin and set off eczema -- that means skipping loofah sponges and scrubbing puffs in the shower, as well as staying away from tight, itchy fabrics like wool and polyester [source: National Eczema Association, EczemaNet].
So you need an easy touch while you're moisturizing, but there's more to it than that -- find out on the next page.