The most common and well known symptom of atopic eczema is feeling an itchy sensation on the skin where the condition is present. The skin will appear to have a reddened rash where it is affected. The skin becomes dry which leads to it feeling itchy. As a result, many people scratch at their skin to try and lessen the itchy feeling. In doing this, they can cause more inflammation, or worse, create various forms of infection. Bacterial, fungal or viral infections can be caused when an eczema rash is scratched and fingernails break the dry skin. If you find that you scratch often with eczema flares up, it may be a good idea to try and keep your fingernails short.
Relieving the itch of eczema is important not just for your comfort, but to limit the spread of the condition or any infections. The main thing to do to prevent itching, is also the most important step to take in the treatment of eczema; keep your skin moisturized and well hydrated. Skin that is well moisturized feels less itchy and is less susceptible to allergens that cause eczema. After you bathe or shower, be sure to moisturize, especially if you’ve used warm water.
The clothing you wear also has an effect on how itchy you may be. Wear clothing that has a loose fit and is comfortable, such as cotton and cotton blends. Coarse materials like synthetic fabric and wool, or tight clothing can rub against your skin, causing even more irritation.
Scratching may feel good in the moment, but is not helpful overall. Scratching causes small amounts of pain on your skin, which doesn’t stop the itch but instead only serves to distract your brain. Your brain, in turn, may then release serotonin to alleviate the pain, which may make your skin even itchier. In addition, some people often say that scratching an itch makes them itch elsewhere on their body. If the itch is too much to ignore, patting, tapping or gently pinching itchy skin is a better solution than painful and damaging scratches. However the best way to deal with itchy skin from eczema is to stay moisturized and keep your skin healthy.