How To Prevent And Soothe Eczema Flare-Ups Naturally
Eczema can be a tricky and unpredictable condition — not to mention straight-up unpleasant! The truth is that it may be manageable for quite some time when suddenly your old frenemy strikes: an eczema flare-up.
There’s no sure-fire treatment for eczema, so the name of the game is doing what you can to prevent flare-ups and soothe your skin when they happen. In this article, we’ll give you some tips to do just that — and do it naturally with no harsh chemicals involved.
But first, a quick review. What is an eczema flare-up?
What Is An Eczema Flare-Up?
Sometimes, your eczema may be in remission, meaning that it has disappeared for a time. The opposite of this is called an eczema flare-up, and it simply means that your eczema is acting up and worse than usual.
When a flare-up happens, your skin may feel itchier and spots of eczema could change color.
Preventing flare-ups is not simple, but can include avoiding triggers and irritants, moisturizing regularly, and other tips that we’ll mention below.
Oftentimes, preventing and soothing eczema flare-ups involve many of the same steps, which is what we’ll discuss now.
How To Prevent And Soothe Eczema Flare-Ups
Moisturize Your Skin Frequently
Moisturizing your skin frequently is key to keeping eczema under control since dry skin can be a trigger. What does “frequent” moisturization mean? Apply lotion at least once a day (if not more often).
If you’re spending a lot of time outside in the cold or you live in a dry climate, moisturizing multiple times a day might be called for.
But the frequency with which you moisturize is not all that matters. You’ll also need to think carefully about what you’re putting on your skin. After all, the wrong lotion can irritate your skin which is, of course, the opposite of what you’re trying to do!
Look for an ointment, cream, or lotion that is fragrance-free and designed for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Does baby lotion often fit the bill? You bet. And there’s nothing wrong with using baby products on your own, adult skin!
We recommend a cream like Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Miracle Cream or a lotion such as Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion or Sensitive Baby Daily Hydra Baby Lotion.
These moisturizers contain natural ingredients that come straight from nature, like shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, chamomile, and coconut oil, just to name a few. And they’re free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, fragrance, and common allergens like gluten, soy, and dairy.
That’s a big “yes” to gentle, natural ingredients and “no” to questionable, chemical ingredients. This brings us to the next point.
Use Natural Skincare Products Designed For Sensitive Skin
Harsh, chemical ingredients can do a number on sensitive skin. And whether you’re trying to calm an eczema flare-up or are simply on the daily quest to prevent them, you need to avoid irritating your skin.
No matter what type of skincare products you intend to use, we recommend treating your skin to products that are made specifically for sensitive skin and include gentle ingredients.
Stay away from parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, sulfates, and chemical sunscreen ingredients (such as oxybenzone and octinoxate).
That said, keep in mind that you know your skin best, and it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before slathering something all over your face or body!
For natural skincare products designed with you in mind, check out Babo Botanicals eczema and sensitive skin line.
Keep Baths And Showers Warm And Short
A steamy shower might feel great, but hot water can contribute to dry skin. To keep your skin as moisturized as possible, keep your baths and showers relatively short and run lukewarm (not hot) water.
Cutting down on the time you spend in the shower as well as lowering the temperature of the water will both help your skin to retain needed hydration.
Another way to care for delicate, eczema-prone skin when you’re showering: use a gentle, fragrance-free body wash like Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash.
Use Oatmeal To Soothe Skin
It’s true that oatmeal is a healthy, delicious option for breakfast, but it’s also a skin-soothing ingredient that can be helpful for itchy, inflamed skin! You may have heard about colloidal oatmeal, but if it’s still a bit of a mystery to you, read all about it here.
One easy way to take advantage of all that oatmeal offers eczema-prone skin is by having a relaxing soak in an oatmeal bath. And it’s easy! Read our article on how to make your own DIY oatmeal bath in no time.
You can also find colloidal oatmeal used as an ingredient in skincare products.
Here’s the most basic advice, but it’s so important: Don’t scratch your itchy skin! When it comes to preventing flare-ups as well as caring for your skin when they pop up, scratching only perpetuates the vicious cycle.
But we know that eczema can be sooo itchy! To help, applying a cool compress is one natural way to combat the itch.
Apply A Cool Compress
When you’re in the throes of an eczema flare-up, managing the itch to prevent scratching is essential. Applying a cool compress to your skin can help.
A cool compress sounds fancy, but it can be as simple as using a washcloth soaked in cool water. Wring it out until it’s damp, and then gently lay the washcloth on affected areas of skin.
Tend To Your Environment
Dealing directly with your skin is one way to tackle eczema flare-ups, but it’s also important to tend to your environment and make it as soothing and trigger-free as possible. This is important for both preventing as well as managing flare-ups.
What do we mean by your “environment?” Everything! For example, the clothes you wear, the air in your home, the activities you participate in, and what you put on your skin.
That said, of course there are aspects of your daily environment that you can’t control (such as air pollution and the weather).
But here are just a few tips for managing what is under your control:
- Run a humidifier at home to add moisture to the air
- Clean and dust often to do away with triggers like dust, pet dander, and mold
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t rub against your skin
- Stay away from irritating fabrics like wool
- Avoid overheating by staying cool and wearing layers of clothing
Wash With Gentle Hand Soap
If you have eczema on your hands — a common site of eczema — you’ll want to be careful with the soap you use day in and day out to keep your hands squeaky clean. It’s possible to wash your hands without exposing them to drying chemical ingredients.
With Babo Botanicals Lavender Dream™ Plant Based Hand Soap, you can cleanse your hands while moisturizing them at the same time!
Its rich, creamy lather has a delicate, dreamy Lavender Chamomile scent and contains antibacterial manuka essential oil harvested from a family-owned farm. It also contains organic argan oil, shea butter, olive oil, and aloe vera to leave your hands soft and smooth.
When you’re elbow-deep in water for reasons other than washing up (hello, dirty dishes!), remember to wear gloves. To provide a buffer between your hands and plastic material, slip your hands into cotton gloves before suiting up with the plastic ones.
Take Stock Of All Your Skincare Products
When you’re dealing with an eczema flare-up, you probably think long and hard about the lotion you use to moisturize every day. This part may go well! But it’s equally important to take stock of all of the other products that go on your skin.
This includes sunscreen, shampoo and conditioner, diaper cream for the little ones, body wash, makeup, and so much more!
Play detective to get to the bottom of what might be irritating your skin, and if you’re on the hunt for new products, choose from the natural, fragrance-free options as we mentioned earlier.
Take A Hike, Eczema!
Eczema is a pesky, chronic condition that can leave you with itchy flare-ups. Your role is to do what you can to prevent eczema flare-ups and also have a toolkit full of ideas for how to care for your skin when a flare-up strikes.
Start by moisturizing your skin regularly with a natural, gentle moisturizer, like Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion or Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Miracle Cream.
And remember to keep baths and showers short and warm, use oatmeal to soothe itchy skin, apply cool compresses, tend to the controllable factors in your environment, and wash your hands with Lavender Dream™ Plant Based Hand Soap.
With these tips, you’ll be one step closer to managing your eczema flare-ups and telling them to take a hike!