Although anyone struggling with an intense flare up of eczema will be willing there to be a magic bullet, the short and disappointing answer is that nothing that will get rid of eczema instantly!
However, that’s not to say there’s no hope! Your skin just might take some careful, long-term looking after, rather than a quick fix - and there may be things that do calm down a flare almost overnight.
Let’s take a closer look at effective ways to get rid of eczema.
Eczema is a chronic condition
The reason there’s no magic cure for eczema is because eczema is a chronic condition, one that’s likely to come and go throughout your life, with periods when your skin is super sensitive, and other times when it’s totally clear. It’s not something you can cure, but it is a condition that can be managed.
Managing eczema usually takes a combination of strategies, involving working out what might be setting off a flare, moisturising dry or irritated skin, and looking after your skin and body so that you’re in a better position to resist flare-ups.
- Identifying and avoiding your triggers
- Calming your flares
- Nourishing your body and skin long-term
Avoiding your triggers
Anyone living with eczema will be aware that certain things set them off. Sometimes it can be very hard to pinpoint exactly what’s made your hands red and itchy, or caused a patch of dry, rough skin on your leg. It could be something you’ve eaten, it could be anxiety, it could be your new perfume or your laundry liquid. And to make the job harder, eczema triggers can change, so that what sets you off when you’re under the weather or already in a flare might be fine when you’re in a clear patch.
It can help to keep a flare diary, documenting what you’ve eaten, come into contact with, or are feeling, and matching it against flares.
Calming your flares
Even if you’re working very hard to avoid your own personal triggers, eczema flares still can and do happen. Once you’re in mid flare, your task now changes to find things that will calm down your inflamed skin. This is all about trying to protect and preserve your fragile skin barrier, covering it up with an oily protective emollient, and allowing it to heal without further disruption. Scratching perpetuates the damage, and increases the itchiness.
Think of it as a two-step strategy:
- Using emollients frequently to keep skin hydrated & protected
- Breaking the itch-scratch cycle (with distraction techniques, cold compresses, anti-histamines, scratch mitts etc)
The right emollient can work pretty fast; many of our customers report that applying Skin Salvation can calm a flare overnight, although it’s worth remembering this isn’t a one-off cure: it’s all about keeping your skin moisturised throughout the flare.
Skin Salvation is made with natural anti-inflammatory herbs (calendula, chickweed, nettle and chamomile) which are added to help soothe itch and irritation, which could also be why an application can help calm a flare down!
If your eczema is getting very bad and self-help techniques aren’t helping, doctors might prescribe medications like topical steroids or immunosuppressants, to calm a flare in the short-term. These should be viewed as supplementary to long-term eczema management, as topical steroids are not advised to be used long-term.
Nourishing your skin
This isn’t an immediate strategy, but it can help make flares less severe and less frequent in the long run. Eczema-prone skin is often depleted in essential fatty acids, which you can apply directly to the skin via natural oils such as hemp, safflower, rosehip and borage.
Other ways of boosting your overall well-being to make you more resistant to flares in the future include:
- Cutting potentially problematic foods from your diet (see our blog What Foods To Avoid If You Have Eczema? for more details)
- Eating plenty of nutritious, anti-inflammatory foods like leafy vegetables, seeds, berries etc
- Applying Skin Salvation every day as a topical supplement for depleted skin
- Implementing stress management techniques (stress being a huge trigger for eczema)
Recommended products for eczema-prone skin:
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula
Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil
with rosehip, calendula, lavender & chamomile