Eczema Prevention & Skin Care

Nearly 10% of people are affected by eczema in their lifetime and there are several types;

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with a particular substance
  • Nummular eczema (also known as discoid eczema) where there are round shaped and scaly lesions on the forearms, lower legs and trunk
  • Dyshidrotic eczema (also known as pompholyx) where there are tiny blisters on the palms of the hands

Click to view MedicalCentric video on Eczema

Atopic Eczema

Atopic eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema and usually appears during childhood.  Although there is NO known cause, it is associated with a family history of eczema, asthma, hay fever or allergies.


Although eczema can affect any part of the body, it is usually found on the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face as well as the scalp.  The severity can range from a few small patches to widespread lesions all over the body.  There are periods of flare-up usually aggravated by trigger factors such as soaps, detergents, chemicals, stress, weather change, dust, pollen or food (such as preservatives, food colouring, dairy products, shell fish, eggs, wheat, seeds or nuts). 

  • Red lesions
  • Extremely itchy
  • Dry skin which can get cracked or infected


A diagnosis of atopic eczema can be made if you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months plus 3 or more of the following;

  • visible red skin lesions on the areas mentioned above
  • a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas
  • generally dry skin in the last 12 months
  • a history of asthma or hay fever
  • family history of asthma or hay fever
  • the condition started before the age of 2 years

Click DrDray video on Eczema tips


Prevention by knowing you trigger factors

  • Keep a food diary to determine if there are any specific foods which can trigger a flare-up
  • Document the circumstances which can cause flare-ups to help identify trigger factors such as chemical
  • Get good sleep every day to have enough rest and reduce stress
  • Avoid harsh or scented detergents when washing your clothes

Skin Care and Hydration

  • Take care to avoid excess skin scratching to prevent infections or scarring
  • Trim your nails short and clean
  • Apply moisturising lotions or creams daily
  • Apply cold compress or anti-itching cream when you feel itchy
  • Avoid hot baths or harsh and scented soaps (to prevent dehydrating your skin)
  • Take short shower and change your clothing after exercise to remove sweat
  • Keep your skin covered with light clothing to protect against habitual scratching
  • Soft cotton clothing can be less irritating to you skin that wool or synthetic fabric

How to apply emollients

  • After a bath or shower, pat your skin dry and apply while the skin is still moist
  • Do not rub in but smooth gently into the skin in the same direction as the hair grows
  • Do not share the emollient or put your hand into the jar but use a clean spoon to scoop out to prevent contamination
  • During flare-ups, wait for 30 minutes after applying the steroid cream (or up to 2 hours after applying Calcenuerin ointment) before using the emollients
  • Apply 2-4 times a day (or as directed by your doctor)

See a skin doctor to get the correct diagnosis and effective treatment to avoid risk of side effects from long term medication use

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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