If you have eczema, one key to managing it is to keep your skin hydrated, says Joel Gelfand, M.D., professor of dermatology and of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Unfortunately, he says, people often go about this the wrong way—washing too frequently or spending too long in a hot shower or bath. Lukewarm water in small doses is best, he says. That means short showers or baths, no more than once a day. Use a gentle cleanser–not a soap, which will strip your skin of natural oils (that squeaky-clean feeling is not one you want). Then slather on moisturizer as soon as you get out. When you do, pick a cream, not a lotion – the greasier it feels, the more oil it contains, and the better it will be at maintaining hydration. Ointments are best of all, says Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. “They’re less cosmetically elegant, but those are the ones that help the most,” she says.