7 tips for treating eczema, according to dermatologists

  • Eczema is a skin condition that is a result of a damaged skin barrier — making it much more prone to irritation or infections.
  • There are several ways to treat eczema, but they’re all focused on restoring the skin’s barrier through proper skin care.
  • If you’ve tried these treatments and you’re still struggling, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.

Known as “the itch that rashes,” eczema can be a huge pain. Eczema, also referred to as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that is most commonly associated with a red, itchy rash. Flares are often caused by several different things, said Ellen Dabela, a dermatologist in New Jersey.

“Humidity, temperature, exposure to various irritants or allergens, the presence of bacteria or yeast, and even one’s own immune system will affect the severity and duration of an eczema flare,” she told INSIDER. “There is also a genetic interplay between atopic dermatitis, asthma, and seasonal allergies.”

But what actually causes it? A damaged skin barrier, Carley Fowler, a dermatologist in Tennessee, told INSIDER. “Think about your skin as a brick wall: You have bricks and you have mortar,” she said. “The bricks are skin cells, and the mortar is your skin’s natural oil. Your skin is a barrier to the outside world, protecting your body. Patients with eczema are missing their mortar, so their barrier is broken down.”

This means that anything can creep through your skin’s barrier, including fragrance, smoke, soaps, and other irritants, Fowler said.

The good news is that there are several different ways to treat eczema. But ultimately, controlling eczema is all about restoring the skin’s barrier so that your skin doesn’t get so irritated. From at-home remedies to in-office treatments, here are 7 ways to treat eczema.

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