9 Ways to Manage Eczema Flare-Ups

by Ashley Wall Patient Advocate

Anytime your skin is out of control with eczema, you're desperate. You find yourself trying every concoction you can think of to get it under control. There are numerous ways to manage eczema. However, each way is different from the next and will not necessarily work for you. Here are nine ways that may help you in your quest to manage an eczema flare-up.

woman writing in journal

Identify Your Triggers

Figuring out how to manage your eczema will require serious investigative work. It’s up to you to really home in on what's causing your flare-ups. Was it the soap? The spike or drop in the temperature? The fabric or the animal fur? How about the food you ate? The dust behind the couch? The pollen? Once you identify your triggers, make a note of them so you can avoid and work around them.

Person Sitting And Applying Ice Gel Pack On Knee

Ice Packs Are Your New Best Friends

Ice can come in handy in soothing a really bad flare-up. “Ice therapy” works by applying an ice pack to your flaring skin to numb the area, contracting your veins and cutting down blood circulation. This method helps eliminate the itching and feels wonderful on burning-hot skin. It should be noted: Ice or ice packs should not go directly onto the skin. Make sure to wrap a towel or piece of cloth around it first.

Try the “Soak and Seal” Method

On your mark, get set, go! Anytime I read about the “soak and seal” method I always think of a pit stop during a NASCAR race. Think of yourself as a one-person pit crew: You’ve got a set amount of time to hop out of the shower or bathtub, lightly dab yourself dry, and apply moisturizer. It’s literally a race against the clock, but this method helps to seal in the moisture, which your skin can never seem to get enough of.

lotion on table

Moisturizer Withdrawal Can Help

This natural way of healing your inflammation involves bathing or showering and allowing your skin to dry without applying anything to your skin. Your skin will feel weird, tight, possibly even more itchy, ashy, and overall uncomfortable. The idea is to dry your skin out completely, and eventually the natural oils from our body will coat the layer of skin. I will vouch for moisturizer withdrawal, as it’s something I’ve tried and it really works!

Healthy grilled chicken, grilled avocado and asparagus salad with linen seeds.

Eat Clean

This may or may not be the cause of your eczema, but eating clean is always a good idea when it comes to your health. Anytime food can be broken down and easily digested into the body it's a win-win. The nutrients from the foods will help you heal internally and externally. You'll mentally feel better and reducing your intake of inflammatory foods can help you have a clean gut.

stressed man on bus
Lily Banse

Combat Your Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety will put your skin in a tailspin. Stress is something everyone experiences, so learn how to handle your stress in the best way possible. When you're stressed, your body releases chemicals that can cause your skin to be agitated. Find ways to reduce this by exercising, writing, meditating, or even hosting a simple get-together to vent with friends.

Bath Salts

Dead Sea Salt Baths

Rub-a-dub-dub, sea salt baths are nature’s best scrub. Anytime I’m in the bathtub I find it so soothing and hydrating on my skin. Dead Sea salt is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect due to the magnesium content. It also acts as an exfoliant, helping to scrub away a build-up of dead skin. This method for healing inflamed skin has worked wonders for many eczema patients.

man putting on face cream in mirror

Invest in a Quality Cream, Lotion, or Moisturizer

For some, it may be coconut oil and for others a generic store brand. When it comes to your skin, you really need to see which products work best, then buy your favorites in bulk. A quality skincare product makes all the difference in the world. No one wants to feel greasy and leave marks on everything they touch. They also don’t want to have to re-apply this product every five minutes.

young woman talking to doctor

Seek Medical Attention

When you are dealing with a flare-up, you need to have a grasp on the severity of your skin. Whether it’s a dermatologist, herbal specialist, or the hospital, consider seeking outside help if you’re not finding any relief from some of the things on the list or if you are in continual discomfort. Avoid going down the rabbit hole of self-treating.

Ashley Wall
Meet Our Writer
Ashley Wall

Ashley Wall is a freelance writer who started her blog Itchin' Since ’87 as a creative outlet. As a longtime eczema sufferer, she considers herself the ‘eczema aficionado’. She’s a huge advocate for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Her life’s mission is to help find a cure for eczema. With her experience, she also hopes to give insightful advice on living with eczema through her writing and work.