How do you cope with an eczema flare up?

Over the years you learn to cope with eczema. You know you’ll never be quite free but once you can get a handle on keeping your skin moisturised and avoiding the things that trigger flare ups it gets easier.

Some people do grow out of it but sadly that is not the fate for all of us. Some people have cyclical flare ups which seems to be the route I’m taking. I have no idea what happens to trigger the flare up. It isn’t always bad diet, late nights and over indulging, as you might imagine. Sometimes it’s just time. It’s time your skin gave you a good kicking.

I’ll try to explain to you what an eczema flare up is like. It starts slowly. You get a few dry itchy patches so you moisturise and use a bit of steroid cream if you have any. If you’ve had a good spell with clear skin chances are you’ll have run out of steroids completely. If you’re lucky you’ll have some manky, rusty, twisted leaky old tubes that have seen better days and run out just at that crucial moment.

It seems very hard to stay organised. Steriods are no longer left on your repeat prescription. You can only get them now if you visit your doctor or phone up to request them, and you need a good reason. It isn’t good enough just to say you’ve run out and would like to stock up your first aid box in case of a flare up. Oh no! You must now wait until such time as you really need it, but perhaps not wait quite as long as I do.

Eczema on hand and wrist

Eczema on my hand a wrist. Shows how dry my skin is

Night time is the worst. The pattern begins… you try not to scratch, give in, scratch, wake yourself up, scratch some more, get up to put on more moisturiser, itch more, scratch more, wake up finally dead to the world and feeling disgusting, slimy and gross. Tight, sore itchy skin that needs a soak in an oil bath but there is never time. So a shower and then more oily horrible ointment so you can move the sore skin. Sometimes it splits when you move. You can’t wear nice clothes or white clothes because the blood will show through. So then you get scabs the colour of your latest top. Purple today. Where the weeping sores pick up fibres from the clothes and a scab forms. Your hair is permanently greasy where your hands have pushed it back with greasy ointment traces. Nice!

It’s not nice. It’s painful, frustrating and stressful. I get by on a concoction of pain killers, antihistamines, vitamins and minerals and omega oil supplements in the vain hope that my skin will realise it’s getting some goodness. I drink plenty of water and try to get plenty of sleep, keep the eczema clean and moisturised but sometimes it decides it’s here to stay for longer than I planned for!

I often forget what it’s like for my husband to live with me when eczema strikes. When I’m good I’m very very good, but when I’m bad I’m horrid! If I’m not sleeping, neither is he. If I’m in pain and upset, he is usually the one who gets the brunt of my sharp tongue. Through thick and thin he is there for me though. He rarely complains and supports me as much as he can, short of organising a skin transplant. When he asks me, “What can I do to help?” and I demand, “New skin please, NOW! Like yours please but minus the bristles.” He will laugh, hug me and it is a bit better, but I know noone can change my atopic skin.

Eczema on face

Doesn't quite capture the tightness, soreness or rawness...

This morning when I found myself in tears, a hug from my husband helped, and he tells me to ring the doctor and make an appointment. Strange that I can’t get to that solution on my own. I never want to give in, think I can cope on my own and don’t want to worry the doctors.

I never learn. I always wait, leave it, try to cope, try to keep going, until I am literally on my knees with exhaustion, pain and frustration. These flare-ups seem to come to visit every six months or so and I just cannot cope without the intervention of steroid ointments. Winter does seem to be a common time when eczema gets worse. Whether that’s the cold weather, central heating or just pure coincidence, doesn’t really matter, but the dreary weather never helps the dark moods that come with it.

Well today I came home with a stern lecture from the doctor that my skin is far too dry, not to leave it so long before getting treatment, and a potential referral for further help. What I’m really pleased with though is the big paper bag of different steroids, emollients and antihistamines and whether it’s the placebo effect or just some sympathy from someone who was shocked at how bad my skin was and how raw, red, tight and sore – who cares! One application of steroids and I already feel ten times more positive, calmer and less in pain. Could just one application really start to make a difference that fast? Or is 50% of this battle that I am not making a fuss, this is really bad and that I only have to ask for some help…

I am telling myself I won’t let my skin get so ravaged and damaged again before seeking help. I’m pretty sure I will though, it seems the memory fades and living with eczema you get used to ignoring the itch and using natural things to try to keep it at bay. Allergies too don’t help. Often a mild reaction to a trace of an allergen will cause itchy skin and hives. If I can ignore it sometimes the lumps will recede fairly quickly without too much discomfort. Sometimes though it’s not allergies, it’s just eczema, an unwelcome guest who never announces his arrival, nor books to stay, just turns up unannounced and always outstays his welcome. Sorry boys but eczema is a man!

Sometimes oil baths, tea tree oil and aloe vera are just not quite enough. I have no idea why the flare-ups take hold, when at other times they fade and heal.

So I thought I’d share my sad little story. I talk about the allergies easily and a lot since they are so often life threatening and frightening, but I rarely talk about the eczema. Eczema is not life threatening. It’s just common old boring eczema. It’s not exciting and scary like allergies. It doesn’t need to be taken so seriously… or does it?

I find the eczema is pretty disgusting. It repulses me. I hate it. I’m ashamed of it. I feel dirty, the emollients make this worse. I feel in some way I am to blame that it comes, and it looks so horrid and it feels pretty awful. I get eczema all over too. I can’t hide it, though I can hide some of it. The worst of it gets my forehead, cheeks and neck. The eyelids take a bit of a battering too. I look pretty dreadful and generally become a bit of a recluse when these hard times hit. This just compounds the general feeling of depression and frustration. Add to this that I cannot exercise because this on bad eczema is like pouring acid into the sores. Sweat and eczema do not mix. But with no exercise you just feel worse, more isolated and more grumpy. If you can get yourself moving, even just for a walk it will help, exercise is so important but also, for the person with eczema, can be so painful.

I become paranoid that some allergen is invading my house. I am frightened to touch anything. Don’t want to eat anything in case it’s food making me so sore. I even cringe from be hugged because it hurts to be touched when really, a hug is just what I need, even if it’s a gentle one and not a painful bear hug.

Today eczema is packing its bags and let’s hope it’s gone for some time because quite frankly me and my husband could do with a good nights sleep.

So for now the rant is over and I thought I’d share a few eczema tips, though after reading this I wouldn’t blame for not taking them seriously! Clearly I’m not quite on top of this baby! But I’ll try anyway. I have learned quite a few things that both soothe and help heal and cheer me up.

  1. Have a supply of steriods for emergencies! Don’t wait till it’s too late, till you’re not sleeping and in agony. It’s not worth it. People go to the doctors with a tiny blemish so never feel bad about going with painful eczema, especially if you think it might be infected. The general rule is that you should use a strip of steroid the length of the distance from the tip of your finger to the first join or bend in the finger to cover an area the size of the palm of your hand.
  2. Keep moisturised! – this is so key. Once the skin is dry it’s so much more easy for eczema to get worse. The eczema you can see actually Goes much deeper into the skin. It’s not just on the surface. Twice a day is imperative but if you change clothes or have the time and space, more often will help if it’s really bad.
  3. Treat eczema immediately – with steroids but use sparingly, and because it can go deep into the epidermis, keep treating with smaller amounts and less frequently even after it looks like it’s gone, because it can flare right back up again if it’s not quite gone. Reduce the strength of steroid as you reduce the treatment.
  4. What’s worse? Thickened eczematous skin or using steroids? – you might think using steroids is bad, and it’s true that over-use can thin your skin. I would argue though that continued scratching and thickening of the skin is just as bad and far worse for your state of mind, well being etc.
  5. Get plenty of rest - early nights will work wonders. Once your skin starts to heal getting enough sleep will really help the rejuvination process.
  6. Have a warm oil bath – Too hot is not supposed to be good, but sometimes I find just the opposite. I use diprobath with a few drops of healing tea tree oil. When you get out of the bath, put baby oil onto your wet skin. This will seal in even more moisture. I’ve also been trying Epsom Salt baths which are also really soothing and help promote healing, my skin always feel better after a salt bath.
  7. Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, especially green, rooibosh, dandelion and fennel.
  8. Try not to touch your skin – This is very easy to say, but it’s key. The itch is persistent but if you can sit on your hands, wear cotton gloves, anything to try to break that habit. The less you touch your skin the better. I often find mine improves when I spend a day gardening for instance, when my hands are filthy or clad in filthy gloves, I don’t touch my skin because of this and as long as I always wash after gardening it can really help. I MUST leap in the shower straight away because otherwise stuff from the garden seems to irritate me when I DO start touching my skin and then you’re off again with another reaction. Get the book, The Eczema Solution by Sue Armstong-Brown, it didn’t cure mine but it DID help me realise just how often I scratch and that many times it’s a habit and not an easy one to break.
  9. Oily fish and omega 3 – supplements such as fish oil, evening primrose and borage can only help restore the elasticity to your skin. Make sure your diet is full of vitamins and minerals. Zinc, calcium, vitamin E and selenium are also good for your skin.
  10. Stay positive – keep smiling. Not easy in the face of an attack on your skin. Remember there is always someone worse off. Eczema is pretty horrible but there are far worse things you can have. Imagine your skin healthy, smooth and fresh. Wish hard enough and click your heals. Together, after three? One, two, three… see! I made you smile.
  11. Tell people how you feel – don’t suffer in silence. Explain how you feel to your family and friends, tell them you’re suffering and need some slack, help, just a cuddle. Explain to your boss at work and colleagues, most people will see you are struggling and be compassionate and understanding. If they don’t then they’re not worth bothering with.
  12. Demand help from your doctor – Never just accept eczema as the norm. It’s not normal and it’s not something anyone should have to live with. If yours is really bad you need to nag your doctor till you’re blue in the face, make them refer you to a specialist dermatologist or allergy specialist if you think allergies may be playing a part. Don’t settle for pain, suffering and isolation. Fight for your health so you can get on with life. I believe there are always things you can do to help your situation – just being told you have eczema and probably will never grow out of it now does not help. Don’t let your doctor fob you off just because he doesn’t understand. It’s not good enough. I have been in tears begging before mine has referred me but I got there in the end.
  13. Join forums like the Talk Health eczema forum and the Eczema society – Remember, you’re not alone. Having a moan on a forum or better still, helping someone else out, will really make you feel more positive. Click here to find out more about The Eczema Society.
  14. Finger nails can do untold damage – One last thing that has just struck me that I forgot to mention is that I try to keep my nails short and filed smooth with no sharp edges when my skin isn’t that healthy. It’s shocking what finger nails can do in the night. It only takes one second to create great gouges trying to get to the itch which is never satiated. Horribly the pain of torn skin can be better than the itch, but only till it starts healing and itching, and so the cycle continues…
  15. Be kind to yourself – If you are really struggling, take some time out. Don’t fight on, saying yes, going out, doing this and that and trying to keep going. If you really feel rough, exhausted and at the end of your tether you need some time out. Do something you really enjoy, sit in the sun (when there is any) for ten to twenty minutes, then seek shade, read a book, go for a walk, ring a friend, watch a good film. Be good to yourself and take time to recover.
  16. Stay cool – heat can really irritate eczema. Make sure you bed especially is cool, not hot and stuffy. Ventilate the room, put the sheets and bedding back to air them in the morning to hinder dust mite growth. Make sure you have the right kind of bedding for your skin, especially if dust is a skin irritant. Think about mattress, duvet and pillow covers to keep dust mites away from your skin and wash bedding at 60 degrees to kill all dust mites.
  17. Skin care and cosmetics – be aware of what you put onto eczematous skin, many skin care and cosmetic products can contain skin irritants which can in turn trigger eczema in people with sensitive skin. Always read labels and stick to simple, natural products that are for sensisitive skin and test on a small area before slathering on all over. Avoid all makeup and products you’re not sure of when you’re having an eczema flare up, allow skin to heal and calm before trying new products or irritating it further.
  18. Know your triggers – Keeping your skin healthy is really important when air borne triggers can also play a part. If you have hayfever or a dust allergy for instance, this can affect the skin far more severely if eczema is not under control, and it can also trigger hives, itching and so, a flare up. Understand what triggers your skin to ‘wake up’ and start itching, keep it healthy and you also protect it from some of the hay fever onslaught. (Special thanks for LRollins on Twitter for this tip)
  19. Cotton and natural fibres are best – avoid man made synthetic clothing on your skin when it’s bad. Wear 100% cotton, silk thermals and pure merino wool in winter. Some people find removing itchy labels and wearing clothes inside out so the seams don’t rub also help.
  20. Smile – stay positive no matter what. The power of the smile can work wonders. Even when you feel really rubbish you probably don’t look as bad as you think you do. So smile. Even when it hurts to. I will make you feel better and others smile back at you. Positive thinking rules.

Well, this was a fairly miserable, sad, ranty blog post. But sometimes things get hard. If you ever want a moan or have a question, come along to what allergy and we’ll do our best to either help, find someone who can, or make you laugh.

10 eczema secrets your doctor won’t tell you

10 Eczema secrets your doctor won't tell you about

And finally, here is a totally free pdf ebook with ten things your doctors won’t tell you about eczema, they are all really simply practical things that could just make a difference.

I’ve read it and it’s packed with ten really useful things everyone with eczema should know and it’s true – not one of them has ever been mentioned to me by a doctor…

It’s really interesting and anyone struggling with eczema flare-ups should consider reading it.

It’s free too so what’s stopping you? You never know, it might just help you to cope a little better.

How’s your eczema? Good? Bad? Gone for good? What do you find some useful tips on here to help keep yours at bay?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She runs a support group for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and also writes regularly for Exchange, The National Eczema Society quarterly magazine.


  1. hi Ruth,
    Sorry I didn’t reply so soon. any way took your advice it worked a treat. I use cetraban do you?? if not what creams do you use????? also fun fact my BEST FRIEND is called Ruth too!!!!is your eczema bad or good Id say mine is medium.

    • Hello Chloe, ha ha. well all Ruth’s are fabulous of course! I am glad you are feeling better. I don’t use cetraban no, but I do use Epaderm and Diprobase because I can get large quanities from the doctors. I love Spiezia ointment though and also Gentle Green Ecz-tend soothing cream – these two are far more natural and contain natural plant healing ingredients. I also like Pure Potions but at the moment it’s hard to afford buying the nicer products as I use so much of it. They say though, that because they heal so well you will need less. We shall see as I’m trying them now. When it’s bad though I need the cheaper horrible pertroleum stuff. I will check out cetraban though but I think it’s another petroleum based product. Something doesn’t seem right to me you know, to use something with such weird ingredients. I’m looking into using more natural stuff on my skin now as quite a bit of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Ewww.
      Ah and in answer to your final question my eczema is up and down, at the moment fairly medium but sometimes it’s mild. Sometimes though it’s awful!!! About 2-3 times a year it bites me really bad.

    • BOGDAN BILYK says:

      I had skin problems for the last year, including weeping legs because of kidney and liver problems. What I have found that works really well is useing Royal Jelly, diluted with a very small amount of distilled water, mix together to form a more fluid solution and then spreae it all over healing pads. I then cover my skin with those healing pads and wrap them all around my legs. I do this every day and in just a few days, my skin i healed with brand new tiue all over. I get the Royal Jelly in paste form that has Royal Jelly, Propolis and Bee Pollen along with Siberian and Korean Ginseng, which is why I mix the pate with a little bit of distilled water so that I can spread it in the healing pads. This works better than any other herb or dreug that I have ever run across. Good luck to all.

      • BOGDAN BILYK says:

        My keyboard needs cleaning.

        • So does mine! Not sure where to begin but since I am allergic to dust I really should do this more often. Needs taking apart and proper clear out. yuk! Now you’ve mentioned mine is awful… covered in skin dust!

      • I’ve never used Royal Jelly on my skin before but I think this is a great idea. I just tried a biopropolis ointment on a coldsore and I think it healed so much quicker than normal and I felt hardly any of the pain that I normally get from a cold sore. Thanks so much for sharing. This might really help some people and I’m going to look out for some of this. Thanks Bogdan.

  2. I went on the candida diet for 9 weeks and found no trace of eczema….3 weeks back on a normal diet with prosecco filled evenings and eczema is back in full glory.

    Worth checking out! It’s hardcore but you get used to it and is easier to live with than the eczema!

    • Oh no! I have tried that years ago and it’s a very healthy diet. I wonder how many people’s eczema is caused by candida?

  3. My daughter has severe eczema since she was born, she is now 15 and it gets so bad on her face, tonight she is flaring and peeling. Not a fun thing when you are a teen girl. We have used every ointment known to man, nothing really helps. She takes allergy medicine, has all sorts of steroids but really nothing helps her face. She actually had to take a sulfur antibiotic this fall to kill skin bacteria on her body. It’s terribly painful and you are right, it’s not taken as seriously as other health problems. The face is the first thing people see and lets face it, people get nasty and paranoid when someone has open weeping skin wrongly assuming it’s contagious. She has gotten so sick of people asking ‘ew, are you contagious’ or ‘ew are you scarred’ Eczema sucks, and her dad had asthma as a child so there is a link… I just wish skin conditions were taken seriously and something could be done beyond throwing steroids at us :( unfortunately oils of every sort make her eczema worse. Right now only an 80 dollar cream called acid mantle Amantle, is all that she can use that doesn’t make her feel she is on fire. But nothing absorbs enough.

    • Krystal Ahn says:

      I have had the same problem as your daughter since I was born.
      It went away for a bit during late twenties, until I got married had my baby and during my pregnancy… came back. Now my daughter (Thank goodness she does not have eczema) is two and I still have bad flareups on my face.
      I used basically everything and know it doesnt really help.

      Now I am just using Aquaphor on my face right after I get out of a shower. I hope this helps.

      • Hi Krystal, I feel for you, mine is worst on my face too. The last place you ever want a flare up because everyone can see it and you imagine it looks far worse than it ever does in reality. I have not use Aquaphor but I’ll check that out. I wonder if eczema is hormone related, with regards to why it came back during pregnancy. I’ve heard of this happening, my sister had very bad skin during her pregnancies. Hoping it improves with time. Make sure you’re getting the nutients and minerals your skin needs and boost your omegas ie. oily fish, green leafy veg. Good luck. Sending clear skinned thoughts your way.

  4. Samantha Tan says:

    Hi I am Samantha from Malaysia. I am currently 17 years old now. And have been suffering from eczema since I am a baby. I agree with you eczema really sucks. I can seriously say eczema have ruin the half of my life. It’s getting worst and worst even I take doctor’s prescription and medication daily without fail. Its true that having eczema makes you couldn’t sleep at night and when you wake up, there is skin flakes everywhere and what’s more worst is your whole body skin hurts like hell until I couldn’t even get up or walk. Worst still is coping with Malaysia’s weather which is so hot everyday, it makes me so uncomfortable in school and this really affects my studies so badly. Going out with friends I have to go with jeans and a long sleeve shirt and my friends they get to wear cute dresses or skirts and shorts which makes me feel really really sad. My family don’t understand how I feel and suffer. Especially when I get my monthly bad flare ups, I often get very emotional and I always sinks into depression. My mum will starts nagging and scolding me saying that this is what I deserve which I don’t understand why. Eczema just hurts so bad until sometimes I attempt to suicide but I stopped because I was too scared. It get worst and worst until even I shower my whole body skin hurts like hell. It makes so afraid of water. Life is just so miserable when you have eczema. :’(

    • Chelsea says:

      I know how you feel , I’m in constant pain with mine too sometimes I can’t move because of it. But lucky eczema isn’t for life I guess I’ll just have I wait *sighs*

      • Christopher Low says:

        Think again. I have had eczema since I was a baby, and I am now 46 years old and undergoing a “flare up”. It certainly can last for life.

        • You’re right, you can’t cure eczema but you can learn to live with it and cope with it better and avoid certain triggers. Mine gets easier to cope with but it’s never quite gone for good. Hope yours clears up soon.

    • Hello. I’m Sophie and i’m ten. Right now, eczema is ruining my life and at ten. It’s awful. many times I try to kill myself but it doesn’t work. I just keep thinking” God it doing this for a reason. My sister’s say sometimes I go crazy and say weird things but I never remember them. Everybody but my dad are unsympathetic. They say ” it’s your fault you itched. now you have pay the consequences.” NO one understands. I have never told anyone this before. I keep praying and praying it will go away but it never dose. Life is miserable.

      • Sophie I know what it is like. i have had eczema all my life. All I can say is that it does get easier to cope with. I grew out of mine a bit and learned which things were triggering my flareups but you really need to get an appointment or referral to a proper dermatologist. It is a horrible thing to have and people don’t understand if they have not had the dreadful itch themselves. You can come and chat here any time and share how you feel. Please don’t feel alone. There are lots of us out there with this nasty skin problem. Are you able to join the National Eczema Society? and see you doctor, kick up a fuss, make sure they take you seriously.

  5. Chelsea says:

    I’m 15 and my eczemas everywhere I can’t cope with it nomore , sometimes I just feel like dying and sometimes I feel ok. It’s changed me so much I’m usually cheerful and happy but now I’m just stressed and anti social around my friends I like being alone more but I’m trying some herbal Chinese remedies and hopefully it’ll work but for now I’m just in tears as usual.

    • Hi Chelsea, I tried a Chinese herbal remedy in capsules which I got from Canada. It did work but it took months and the biggest thing I found was that I also cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, yeast and alcohol.

      • Chelsea says:

        Might try that too & how many months did it take for your skin to clear up?

        • It was horrible as it did take and while and felt almost like it was getting worse at times. It was probably about 3-4 months and then suddenly I woke up not feeling tight, like my skin was cracking open and peeling in great sheets. I didn’t need the oil bath each morning and it just got better and better. I now still avoid dairy (I get anaphylaxis to that now) and wheat (intolerance) but do have sugar and yeast in small amounts. It worked for me but was really hard work. You have to be really strict about the cutting out to see if it makes a difference. Can you speak to your doctor and ask to be referred to a dietician so you can get some help on what to eat instead of the wheat and dairy?

  6. I’ve been an ezcema sufferer for 10 years, I’m 25 now. Countless steroid creams and it gave me dermatitis cos it thinned my skin. Seen a dermatologist, natropath, tried natural and unnatural treatments and only helps much. Like yourself I get it on my five, near the cheeks and around eyes, can look like a million bees stung my eyes and puffed it all up. For the last 8 months its been great, not a single flare up, Til this morning, but it’s also the day before I leave for a 5 week holiday to Europe. Stress, excitement, weather and dust all played a role in bringing this enemy back!!

  7. Great post. I used to get chronic, painful and extremely itchy eczema, I also have allergies and had mild asthma as a child. There is definitely a connection between these conditions. Using trial and error over the years I have found that I have triggering foods that can really exacerbate the eczema. Dairy is the main one, followed by refined wheat and sugar. My skin completely clears up without these foods. I cannot urge strongly enough how important it is to work out which foods might be causing you trouble, it can improve the quality of your life dramatically.

  8. FYI baby oil is an exfolliant… Better would be sweet almond oil, or avocado oil…

  9. thanks for that ruth ill see if my mum will ask the docter for that. do you use elecon its a very strong cream and it clears up my eczema right away you should try it and I have diprobase I ust to use it but now don’t. my eczema is flaring up again now it is summer wich is bad cause I love getting wet but I don’t when my eczemas bad cause I dry out clothes stick to me and I cant sleep at all its hot and we only have 1 fan for 5 people waaaaaaa, what about you . (your soo helpful thanks)

    • Chelsea says:

      Omg yes I’m using that right now it’s totally amazing my arms are back to normal however once you stop using there’s a chance it’ll come back but I’m hoping it won’t *prays*

    • Chelsea says:

      Omg yes I’m using that right now it’s totally amazing my arms are back to normal however once you stop using there’s a chance it’ll come back but I’m hoping it won’t *prays*!

  10. Really coool. I need to buy some more. Can u sleep at night cause its so hot i cant i have o take sleeping tablets. But ts gettibg colder where i live wich is good. What about you

  11. Please, everyone who suffers with eczema, and has used topical steroids look up this website:

    If you see yourself with these symptoms you could be suffering from RRS (Red Skin Syndrome) or topical steroid addiction. I never thought it could happen to me. Six long years of suffering, and the only thing that could control my eczema flares was cortisone. This website will give you the support you need to start the withdrawal process, which can be a long and painful road to recovery, but the most important thing is there is hope and healing in your future!

    God bless you all!

  12. Melissa says:

    So I guess I have always had a form of perioral dermatitis as I have always had little bumps around my nose, spotty eczema on my hands, and dry patches. I found that it has improved by going completely GLUTEN FREE. it is starting to flare up around my eyes. I think the next step is that I need to eliminate chocolate!!
    For the flare ups, I put on some Organic EV COCONUT OIL!! Super moisturizing, and soaks in well! PLUS eat 3 tbsp./day for internal immune support!
    Elimination diet would be the course to take, and kick all of the chemical creams and such to the curb!! Too bad Dr.’s are not leaning towards DIET first before prescribing MORE meds! What you eat has SOO much to do with how your body is reacting!! More greens, water and LESS if not going completely FREE of sugar/wheat/gluten/caffeine. These have worked for me, and yes I can say I am going to have a funeral for my chocolate, as I am partially addicted, BUT if that means I won’t have this horrible dry, itchy, oozy junk around my eyes & mouth, then BYE BYE chocolate!

  13. hi im asking for advice boyfriend has severe eczema and very very often has flare far as i know his using the same ointments and cream for the past two years..its time for change..any advice on helping with these sever flare ups? and i thought oils were bad for eczema or so we all believe. please please help. monique

    • Hi Monique, I find tea tree in bath water helps. I have also found salt baths really helpful. I use epaderm and diprobase on my skin to moisturise but have also used pure coconut oil on really dry areas. If it’s a severe flare up he may need to visit his doctor for some topical steroid ointments. Ointments are generaly better as they contain less preservatives and are purer but this may not always be the case. I also use a dab of tea tree oil if it looks infected and also 99% aloe vera gel to help heal bad bits. The key is moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.
      And for me, food can trigger really bad eczema. Has he ever kept a food and symptoms diary and recorded what he eats? For me it’s dairy, tomato and celery which trigger eczema. It’s worth thinking about if he hasn’t done so before. But it can just be stress. So hard to work out. Good luck and hope he can find some relief.

  14. I’m almost 24 years old, live in the UK and was born with eczema from head to toe. Right now it’s localised to only my hands (back and front) and behind the knees. Still takes over my life. Washing the hands is such a burden, it flares up every night like raw flesh, with an unbearable itch that makes you want to hack your own limbs off for some relief. I’m sure you all know the feeling.

    Anyway, after years of using Elecon and every other steroid cream in the book, which only work for a week till it comes back, i am now trying Homoepathic treatment. I’ve been specifically prescribed a very diluted concoction of Sulphur in ethanol, which i have to dilute even further and drink every day, and is supposed to ‘bring out’ the eczema. I’ve also been told to take daily lukewarm baths in E45 oil to keep it clean helping stave of infection, and only use Unguentum M Cream (love the stuff).

    I was a little skeptical at first at how a bit of Sulphur is going to CURE my eczema for good- his words. But it’s with a strict diet of no dairy, berries, tap water (only mineral), sugar, sea food, meat, poultry, toothpaste, makeup(struggling with this!) and many more restrictions. It isn’t easy. This medicine and diet is supposed to bring out all of the eczema that’s been suppressed by steroids for 23 years, and can take up to 4 years to have it all out and gone. ‘Cure time’ dependent on a number of individual factors. My eczema is certainly saying hello right now, i just hope within 4 years it says goodbye!

    Maybe i’ll post up my progress on this treatment if this page is still here, i’m staying hopeful. You should too :)

    Thank you for this platform to share feelings with those who actually understand!

  15. Hi,

    I was recently diagnosed with atopic dermitisis and while browsing happen to come to this site… I’ve read stories about people who stopped having dairy and added goat milk in their deit to have found significant relief from eczema… also found great reviews about goat milk soap which is available on many online sites… please do try them and i hope you find lasting relief from your conditions… Thnx

    • Hi Nithya, Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you found some relief by avoiding cow’s milk and using goat milk. Good luck and hope the flare ups don’t come back.

  16. My name is Luke Deane and I’m a 23 year old composer from England and I have managed to manage my eczema (and my anaphylaxis but that’s another story). I have written about acupuncture first, then films and tea and life second. My mum is responsible for helping me through all of these things, so I will mention her here at the beginning, with the view that it’s thanks to her that all of this happened. Everyone has their own fascinating stories about this, and I was very moved reading the honesty of Ruth’s. So here is mine:

    At one of my all-time-despairing-low moments (when i was sitting outside after dark for the chilling wind on my eczema covered face) I decided to have acupuncture, not knowing what else to do. It took around 6 months, but amazingly my eczema went, and my whole life changed.

    I had an acupuncture doctor called Dr Wen. I was very surprised to find that I fell asleep every session, whilst covered in needles. It was actually very deeply relaxing, as every muscle in my body needed to relax totally. My doctor taught me a very basic qi-gung walk that you can do before bed, to help calm the mind and body. Thinking about it, I was a very highly strung person all my life until I met that doctor. I can’t say what the needles did, but he taught me to be methodical in life, less scatty. Every week when I came to him, he looked me up and down and said “You think too much”. Every night I did the qi gung walk, in a circle, with my arms slightly lifted, slowly and smoothly. At first my mind was a whir with thoughts, but eventually, I learnt to listen to my feet moving against the floor, and my gentle breathing, and I found a kind of methodical calm.

    My eczema really started to diminish when I exposed myself more to the elements. I live in the UK but seem to thrive in other climates. Perhaps it was just more stable weather but I found that my skin liked dry places like Turkey. I stayed in England to study in Birmingham and I stopped treating my eczema with anything other than vaseline. Rather than ‘rubbing’ in cream, I just placed in gently onto my skin and let it sink in. I learnt important things: creams and ointments mask the pores and cause heat, so only put on a little and don’t rub, just place it on. I put a tiny tiny bit over my eczema before i went in the shower/bath too, and discovered that I could make my eczema waterproof with vaseline so it wouldn’t be dry afterwards.

    I never went to a Steiner school, but I do know that Steiner wrote about eczema. He recommended that parents ‘pat’ their children dry instead of rubbing after a shower. This is golden advise.

    So I tried not to treat it really. There was a time in my life when I wore cotton gloves to bed every night and even tied up my hands so I couldn’t itch. But honestly what it came down to was 1000 times more psychological than I could ever have imagined. My recovery was so much to do with a kind of relaxed living. I suppose it is a lot like Zen, although I never really studied that. Perhaps watch the film “The Big Lebowski” if you have time, and try to live more like The Dude in that film.

    I still have eczema, and I am typing this during a flare up which is stopping me sleeping a little, but I am not worried about it really. It’s so much more relieving for me to just accept it all, if I can. It’s not always that easy I know, but I am quite good at it now.

    As for my diet, I tried many many things, but eventually discovered that if I didn’t have milk+cereal in the morning, and didn’t buy breadish things, then I was largely fine. I eat lots of Bolognese and tuna with vegetables and rice. I don’t eat enough fruit, but writing this I think I will try and improve that. I don’t really drink (alcohol) either, because my skin gets hot, but mostly that’s to save money.

    Also, I am very allergic to cigarette smoke, in every way. My skin, my lungs, all of it. I am quite an amiable person these days, so I just gently disappear if people light up around me, but I think I can predict an age where smokers are more conscious of their impact on others. Now that there are e-cigarettes, it seems that smoking is not quite as cool as it used to be. Perhaps I am wrong, but it hurts my body so much to be around my own friends, that I will hope for that.

    So my advise would be, give yourself a break. Go on long walks for no reason. Drink different teas and enjoy their subtle flavours. Take up something creative that you can do to take your mind of things. Could be anything, pottery, fine dining, crosswords, hoolahooping, backgammon, playing the oboe, anything at all. Don’t worry about achievements. You are a great person and you can do the things you’re best at in your own sweet time.

    Oh and one more thing: cut your nails!

    • Luke, thank you so much for sharing your story. I think you are right about the effect of stress and mental health on eczema. And I love ‘go for long walks for no reason’. That is where I am failing just a little. I need to get up an hour earlier and do yoga and fit in walks if I can every other day. I love walking but don’t make the time to do it. Exercise helps both my skin and my asthma so what’s not to like? Our busy lives just get in the day don’t they?

    • Gina chidley says:

      The best advice I have probably ever read! And I’ve read lots on eczema. I’m a very up tight person and find it difficult to express myself when upset or stressed so end up scratching. The acupuncture is something I will have to look into.

  17. Nikki Preston says:

    I can’t believe reading this how it is exactly the same as I feel. My work don’t understand the pain I’m in and I get told off for being slow doing certain things. My clothes stick to me when my skin is at its worst. I have bad flare ups at least once a month especially around my time of the month. I’m currently sat here cursing myself for not having bath oil. I have steroid cream but it stings without having a moisturising bath first :( I’m even thinking about putting vegetable oil in there haha

    • Sorry to hear you are having a flare-up Nikki. Eczema can be truly awful and I wish people did understand the sheer effort to get up, which hurts, to wash – which also hurts. To move and be and work – which hurts. Oil bath tonight please? I have some epsom salts which I find really help. Have you tried that? I put a bit of teatree oil in the bath too. Olive oil might be best oil, or coconut oil. Hope yours gets better and get to your doctor if it doesn’t.

      • Nikki Preston says:

        The oil worked so well, it frees my skin enough for me to bare putting cream on it (the only cream that works stings). It seems to be getting better but as the eczema was all very open wounds it’s very sore while it’s healing. I’ve been coping with eczema my whole life and yesterday I finally had the confidence to pass an interview for a new job with flying colours! I want to thank you for that, you’re advice and knowing I’m not on my own has helped me tonnes. My doctor is a dermatologist and is pretty useless, so were the hospital.

  18. Gina chidley says:

    Oh my god it is like you have been spying on me and retold my life. It makes me less alone that others are going through the same as me. Currently going through a roller coaster flare up and have become obsessed with google-ing eczema. My partner is my rock and been so supportive I still don’t know how he fancies me though when I’m red bumpy and flake off gross amounts of skin. I feel exactly the same I think eczema is so disgusting! And I get self conscious if people think I’m gross flakey girl. But you can so easily forgot that people don’t care that much and are more understanding than you think.

    I’ve noticed I scratch a lot even when I’m not itchy and it has become force of habit. Or if I’m irritated by something my coping mechanism is to scratch. I wish I could have hypno therapy or something as this would help my skin sooo much !

    • Hi Gina, I have been spying on you… mwah ha ha ha ha. Only joking honest. It was really hard to write that actually and it upsets me just to read it. I’ve had a flare up too so maybe it’s that time of year? Your husband can cleary see through your eczema to the real you, and it never ever looks as bad as we think it does. Last week I had a red eczema face and went out. Immediately I arrived at meeting there was a comment about “Had I run there because my face was so red?” I just kind of ignored the comment and sat down and said something lame like, “I’ve been walking fast and it’s cold out there…” but it was just eczema. I often have it and the guy looked awkward and probably knew it was insensitive. Then the next night I plastered on the cover up to dull the redness. It was sore but I didn’t want to miss out on my writing group. Now I knew it looked like I had way too much makeup on but it didn’t look red anymore just way too made up but you know what? Sometimes that easier because noone would ever, ever say… “My you’ve caked on the foundation today!” would they? Noone stares because it’s just someone with makeup. I felt less of a leper and a freak but it’s a shame because I wore a mask to hide behind and some days it’s too bad for any makeup to be applied. I’d have rubbed it off or it would irritate me. It was an interesting observation. I’ve never tried any hypnotherapy but you never know. I too scratch when I’m cross, under stress etc. Weird? Good on your partner. He sounds just like my lovely husband who is so kind and gentle and has stuck with me for over 20 years so I can’t be all that bad!

      • Gina Chidley says:

        I get it really bad on my face always have done even when my skin is good. I also find it hard to find a good moisturiser for the face as most prescribed stuff is for your body. I have recently got some oilatum face moisturiser from boots and its pretty good going to see if I can get prescribed with dermo next week. If my face gets really sore I use Germolene on it as it has anaesthetic in so numbs the skin. Unfortunately I get so bad dry skin if I cake on the make up it gets up the flakes and shows them up worse (ewww). The best make up I got was the Clinque CC cream really moisterising and makes less red with no flakey bits! I highly recommend to any lady with face eczema. Face eczema is the worse as you can wear long sleeve tops and trousers but nothing on your face, I always joke that im going to become a Muslim so I can wear a burka.

        • I too sometimes wish I had burka to hind behind. Noone would know at all! Blissful thought. I have use Origins skin concealer and it doesn’t irritate me, but you’re right, if skin is flaky it can look worse. I try to really exfoliate the skin, then moisturise really well before applying – then sometimes I can go out and people don’t see the red skin, even compliment me sometimes and I’m thinking… if only you knew what it looked like underneath. Usually though facial eczema is best left makeup free. But I’m sure this concealer helps to actually bring down the redness. It’s always 10 time better the day after I use it. Must look into that.

  19. DesertMan says:

    ok, cheer people and your self. my little experience i had it and it is gone except one place in the center of my leg but not “weeping” just pumps about the size of 3 inches and which is staid with me for 3 years. all gone for very long time “behind the ear and weeping” in arms etc… all gone except that little place in my leg, and one day i read about the sunshine benefit in the “RIGHT DOSE” i started sitting in early sun at 9 or 10 when it is mild not hot.. for 10 to 15 min almost naked all around , and the last stubborn spot is now disappearing, at last after 3 years of being there. other spot goes and come back except that one it was there all the time, now it is vanishing after 10 days or 12 days of taking 10 min sunlight directly on it, i used not expose my skin to sun fearing it would make it worse, and then i read a good little dose of sun is actually great for vitamin D which help develop special protein produced by the skin etc etc…
    i use ole vera , oat , olive oil , sometimes sesame oil and gave up almond which was good but needed to be mixed cause it did not give long moisturizing effect as olive oil or Vaseline yes vasline. (for lasting dehydration yet i believe it does not give any helpful nutrition cause it is from petroleum) so alternate oat , oil, ole vera, or mix sesame and olive oil , another day oat (Quaker type with little warm water in a little bottle shake and get the milk ) the oat fight well new spot if you catch them on time, believe me, but this only work to stop and erase spot when they are just starting . if you apply it on old flare which is already there it wont help a lot just a bit. the best is when it is just starting, a spoon of oat in a little bottle and little water and shake to get the milk and apply it on the new spot, after follow it with ole vera or oil. it will go for sure.

    warning to everyone: long use of steroid is bad doctor says it and it make skin thinning, it give immediate effect but “temporary” effect, but flare comes back. careful please correct that in your article, and warn people about that, thanks i hope you get the best.

    Note: i read from a German doctor in web page that mixing ole vera and bee glue (not wax) is great after seeing a mother giving it to her son (a patient who was lost case with strong eczema flares) he asked the mom when she came to him 6 months after: how did you manage to cure your son, she said olevera and bee glue (it is kind of glue that bee makes from resin of trees) i cant find it here were i live, but thank God i already have no eczema at all now , every 2 months a new spot comes (cause i get lezy to oil my skin) and right there i apply ole vera alone (fresh i have the plant), and or oat milk , and oil (olive oil) and it is gone, in no time.

    please warn people about the effect of steroid (so much of it and skin get very thin and to dangerous consequences) no wonder they dont give it unless with prescription. i used it for 2 months then 3 doctors told me stop it and just deal with oil etc…… hope you will be ok… wish you all the best,
    adios bye salam

  20. DesertMan says:

    sorry i wrote it in rush, plus English is not my native lang.

    1-eczema (there are so many type ) a cure may work for one person but not another..
    2-definitly in my case oat milk (a spoon of oat flakes and 2 spoon of water and shake it ) and get the milk and apply it on flare is the best (when flare is just starting) then once dry apply olive oil just a bit cause oat although is great make skin dry once it is absorbed.
    2- use plant oil not commercial cream i heard that mineral oil which is in the commercial creams is great but tend to block skin porous which is bad especially for people with eczema, so it is better oil from plants, i haven’t tried all the oil out there, but i started with almond oil (which is recommended by doctors all over) it is good but does not give lasting moisturizing effect. for me olive oil is better (extra virgin), many time i mix a bit of sesame oil, olive oil, and almond oil to get benefit from all of them, and some times i added in that mix fresh aloe Vera juice from the plant … that was the best and give long effect. (this last one i have not read it anywhere, my experience but it was great for me) .. i keep all these oils in fridge to maximize there freshness. i use them in food (i buy oil for food) to make sure there is no chemical in it, if you can eat it then for sure it is safe for your skin, the opposite is not true)

    – ole vera alone: it is great i used it for 2 or 3 years.. .. it is great but i noticed that after application , say 3 or 4 hours when i wash that part of my skin it become a bit slimy (from ole vera for sure ) meaning it may block the porous, so what i learned is this: apply ole Vera on the effected area after 30 mn or an hour , with a wet napkin or soft towel i clean that part of my skin ,i got better result. maybe because if i left the ole Vera there it blocked the porous of the skin. i know vera dried fast on the skin but i keep it there for an hour just to make sure that the skin had absorbed big part of it, but once i passed a wet towel or with little water on it i see and feel the slimy part of that access of ole vera on my skin still which i believe block the porous of the skin, since i started that method i get even better result. but it has no scientific founding just my experience,
    ole vera should be extracted from the plant and applied right away before it is oxidized, 1% of it is the good part the rest is really water 99% but that part is really good for skin i feel it ..
    — i notice that it is best to apply oat every other day or 2 or 3 days , same with ole vera , it seems that your body takes it better in the long run i really feel it and can a test for that. if you do it every day the body get used to it. i felt and learned that by experience after having eczema for 3 years.. if i apply it for 4 or 5 times a day it actually seems or feel worse.
    or body does not respond, it is good for oat or ole vera to be used every other day or 3 times a weak. not every day.
    in the case of olive oil or good cream, it is great every day , twice a day even better.
    I like to take 2 showers a day and it is bad.
    every other day is good, i exercise in way that i dont sweat .. 10 min at a time. plus my body is used to exercise so even if i run 20 min straight i dont sweat (when body is used to something it become efficient sport people knows that well) again changing sport is better for your body to give it new challenge, that is what i mean about the oat application if you stop and apply again after 2 or 3 days you feel it better on your skin…. the right dosage is an art and science . I hope this well help. best wish

    • Exercising is really important so I’m glad you are able to do that. I find the fitter I am the better all my skin, eczeme and allergy symptoms are. There must be something in that. Thanks for sharing. I am using coconut oil at the moment but it doesn’t say moistirused for as long as Epaderm and is also much more expensive. Now where are my running shoes?

  21. DesertMan says:

    exactly Ruth5,
    I noticed improvement when i do exercises , plus my intution tells me that if sweating comes from skin pours, and that means pours “breath” and not closed which is the reason that somes advice not use miniral based cream cause they tend to close the pours, plants oils are better, like olive, almond, etc.. three doctors told me (and I read that all over the web too) that in particular almond oil, …plus dont you notice that your cutis and skin are cleaner after sauna or after sweating from sport, that mean “pours have gotten rid of what ever that blocked them to breath” sort of.
    SUN SUN SUN ihelped me to rid me of eczema. i was afraid to expose the affected area (the leg part fearing it well leave it permanantly dark) but it is not the case, if you are judicious in that. 10 minutes or so in early son (not hot time) , and 20 min (for the other healthy part of your body) for my dosage of vitamin D , have helped me. Plus Sun time when heat is mild early morning has suthing effect and bring peace that envelope your being, while i watch birds eating some of bread crumbs that i smash for them, now they are almost 40 birds: laughing doves, mourning doves, balck cheek bulbul (a bit bigger than a canary) which has great tweet,, ocasional hipoo , and regular pigeons blue and gray stripes, life offer many surprises if it is contemplated by apprciative mind and thankful soul.
    all this help reducing the stress (another reason that could flare the eczema) although i do that for pure pleasure , not to reduce eczema.
    I hope you get rid of eczema …once and for all, i understand your feeling, it is terrible, by the way i hope you are not using cortisone based medication a lot, it is really bad in the long run. Have a great day and best wishes

  22. DesertMan says:

    I forgot one thing: after sun bathe for 10 or 15 min, i put oil on my skin i heard and read about that to calm the skin, also i almost always oil my skin with olive oil or almond /olive oil after taking showers, they say skin become very vulnerable after the bath especially if it hot bath cause it strips it from its natural oil. luck, if you need me i will be here for awhile not that i am an expert, but trying to help …
    PS:hoopoe i meant not hippo the big animal rather the bird

  23. as for cocanut oil have used it 2 times only so i dont know, i made my oil by myself cause i could not find organic or at least unfiltered coconut oil. the regular one smell bad and double filtered. so I extracted the oil and cream from the coconut my self for pleasure one day it smell really great, i ate the cream :) could not resist . and applied the oil smelled great but the third day the little cream i left started to smell a bit acid, that is what i know about it. but my guess unfiltered cocnut oil should be better cause it has the nutritional value un changed. plus smell great and unlike my homemade one wont go rancid in 3 daysl

  24. Hi!

    My name is Cecilia, I came across your blog online and I just wanted to say I feel so much better from reading it. I too suffer from eczema and I get really frustrated and sad just like how you get. I enjoyed reading this because it made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my suffering from this annoying disease. I was glad to read that some of the bad habits you have with eczema, I do too. ALWAYS. Thanks for posting this and everytime I feel sad or frustrated with my eczema, I’ll always read this blog to remind myself that it will get better and that I do have th power to keep my symptoms at bay. Thanks you. You are so awesome!

    • Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. This makes writing my blog so much more enjoyable and it also helps me to know I am not the only one! From one secret scratcher to another :o)

  25. Hi. I really used to struggle with eczema and was offered some swiss skin care products to try which actually worked wonders. So much so I am now a consultant for the company now!! it is called Arbonne and I used the baby body was with the skin conditioning oil. if you are interested in hearing about the products then feel free to email me, I am happy to chat to anyone because I defiantly know how you are feeling

  26. Wow I read this article with such enthusiasm while at work.. i truly know exactly what your going through, wow your article was amazing, i have the most supportive GF and all I do is moan.. It is starting the be a negative spiral. I wear cloths and all i get is flare ups, etc etc, it comes and goes, i found going to the gym and becoming really healthy worked wonders, but due to my old spirit i stopped going and started indulging and its back, my curse.

    I cant even enjoy sex anymore as i feel that gives me flare ups, i am constantly worried about flare ups, e.g. foods, cloths, quit smoking, quite recreational drugs, quit amazing wonders of vallium and still i am cursed with my illness.. I truly feel like ending my life at times, but since i have read this wonderful article i truly feel inspired. If I could send you cream and the biggest box of emollients i truly would.. i know your struggle, my daily intake which i found works is drink as much mineral water as possible. and a multi vitamin, if you can go balls deep, take milk thistle, omega oil, morning primrose, but the reality is taking all these supplements every day is more hinder than help, my suggestion is water, and cloths inside out.. sounds silly but works for me, and most of all take a minute to thank your family and loved ones for loving you and always touching your hands and hugging you when clearly every outsider, e.g. shop assistant thinks you have contagious skin condition when you pay for stuff and your wrist and fingers are all blistered and covered in eczema.. I truly can feel everyones pain, I truly hope everyone who reads this womans bio takes a minute to pray for her, she has given me support and she doesn’t even know me.. i will seriously apologies to the love of my life today for being so difficult and bitter.. she is an angel and i can be such a monster at times.

    if you feel you could so with some support i am happy to do so as believe me i have gone through everything this world has to offer, believe me i have seen a lot and experienced a lot but nothing can compare my skin daemons. . I have had a horrendous journey in life at times, but finally getting my life together, its been an up hill struggle and a constant battle, believe me your local GP will do nothing to help and neither will a skin specialist, reading this womans article is all the medicine you need, and perhaps one trip to your GP :) Thank you Ruth :)

    • WOW! Just WOW. What an amazing comment. Thank you John. Give your long suffering wife a big hug if she has to go through anything like what my other half has to put up with. Good luck, get back down the gym and sock it to those skin demons! I really need to take my own advice at the moment and get fit – I have let that side of my life slide with stupid excuses but it really helps me too. Good luck and thanks for the truly lovely comment.

      • Nice to have a reply so quickly, thanks again for your detailed story really made me see the brighter side of living..

        You will no doubt be rewarded for your help. I don’t believe in God but I believe in Kama and you helping the thousands who read this article will reward you.

        Good things come to those who wait.

  27. Thank you….I am feeling so rubbish right now with my eczema but just reading this has helped me know I’m not alone.

  28. Hi I’m Andy, 25. I was born in Hong Kong but lived in New Zealand for almost 2/3 of my life. Never had any skin trouble till I turn 16-17is while in NZ. I remember I started with two patches of itchy areas on my arms then all of a sudden, during a very cold winter in NZ, ezcema invaded my whole body. The experience was very very very horrible. My entire body was weeping with fluid and had some kind of tinkling and painful sensation. I’m sure you all know what I mean. I was prescribed oral steroid and the dermatologist said I can only take one dose every 3 years and any more will be fatal. I took the dose, it went away for a complete 6 months. Then from that time till now it’s always coming back and going away.

    Moisturising doesn’t help, steroid cream does help but once you stop using them ezcema comes back right on the day of withdrawal.

    Recently I have moved back to Hong Kong, embarked on a very challenging postgraduate course and my ezcema gets really bad again. I found it worse in winter and in summer so I am sure the temperature has something to do with it. For more than 2 months now I have not been able to sleep at night and would fall asleep only at about 10-11am in the morning and wake up at about 6-7pm in the evening (on a day when I don’t have class). I would not sleep on a day when I have class.

    Have just tried taking Chinese medicine I hope it will help…

  29. Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m 20 years old and have been dealing with eczema basically my whole life. When I was a child it was food allergies that caused my eczema and my mom would make sure I didn’t eat things that would make it worse so it was bearable. As I got older however more things would cause it like heat or stress etc. after my mom passed away and I moved out of my house I found it harder to follow the diet I grew up with, and it seemed as though food allergies weren’t really a problem anymore, so what was causing my eczema? Only everything else! I make sure to use fragrant free soaps and such and I try to moisturize every day but eczema is relentless unfortunately. Anyway, I just wanted to comment on this page because it was so ironically funny in the way that it describes exactly how eczema makes you feel; the frustration, the pain, and not to mention the feeling embarrassed and disgusted about it too. No matter how many times someone tells you “oh it doesn’t look so bad” it’s like… yeah… it really does look that bad. Eczema takes a huge toll on self-confidence and it really hinders how I am able to look at myself, but I’m working on that. I stay positive 95% of the time, but then there’s those moments where it just really hurts and you’re at the end of your rope. This post was great because it also made me feel less alone in my struggle, not that I would wish eczema on my worst enemy but it’s nice to remember hey, I’m not alone even though it feels like I am all the time. Actually I would say eczema IS my worst enemy haha, that’s not even funny… Anyway. Yes. This page was a nice find and I’ll try my best to follow all the tips you gave.

  30. What you are suffering from is topical steroid withdrawal. Please research it and you will see that the previous eczema you had has now become topical steroid withdrawal. Watch videos on YouTube and blogs please guys you can heal!

    • Hi Parmin, thanks for this. Topical steroids aren’t nice really are they and I have heard of this so I will definitely look into it. Thank you. At the moment, when I get a flare up it’s the only thing that helps so you could be right. Doesn’t sound nice… so my skin is going cold turkey?

  31. If anyone has eczema, it’s me. I’ve had since I was born. Most people have when the are older but the worst thing is that I’m 10. I get tired of the look, sleepless nights, gross feeling and not being able to wear pretty, short-sleeved clothes, but the worst thing is the pain. awful, terrible pain that I am experiencing right this second. And to make things worse, I am a little pretty besides my eczema. I can’t even stretch my arms. MY sister’s say that there are point’s when i go crazy and say weird things, but never remember it. I hope it will go away. Please pray for me.

  32. Lately iv been using this small tube of cream call
    elocon and its really good and strong also I use
    demertroll in the shower well I thinks thats its name its green and has a hook as a lid someone should ask for it its really good xxxxxx

    • Hi Chloe, I use Elocon too and I find it works the best but I use it sparingly and only when I have a flare-up. But I love the idea of shower gell with a hook. I will definitely be looking out for this. I’m using Sanex in the shower at the moment.

  33. Hi
    I have “manageable” eczema which flares up now and then, but on the whole does not cause too much discomfort (compared to some sufferers).
    Recently I read an article about oatmeal and its benefits to the skin. Now I know it’s great as a topical remedy, but this article mentioned eating it (in the roughest form possible), and I have not realised the connection before.
    2 years ago my eczema was patchy on my legs and never seemed to really disappear, no matter what lotions and potions I used/consumed. Then last year I started running and eating oats with milk or yoghurt (uncooked as I don’t like hot porridge) for breakfast and my eczema all but disappeared (unless I was run down). At the start of this year I have not been running so much (but trying other forms of exercise) and have been eating other cereals instead, and my eczema has flared up.
    So… after reading the article I ate oats for breakfast and literally overnight, the red, itchiness disappeared! I have only been monitoring it for a couple of weeks, but I have been making sure I eat oatmeal at least every other day. This week I have been a busy so my skin has flared up a little, but to the same, red, weeping, itchy it was.
    Coincidence or not, I will be continuing to eat the oats regularly for general body health.

  34. These tips look like they could really help. I’m 18 and have had eczema all my life but it’s only really began to flare up badly so to hurts now, I’ll try and take your tips on and get back to you with the results :)

    • Good luck! My must have flare-up helpers are pain killers, anti-histamines to try to dull that incessant itch, my ice pack face mask and a quiet room to rest and chill. Tell people you’re struggling and be kind to yourself. Eczema can be so painful. It’s a deep inside never satisfied hurt. Sending you calm, clear pain free smooth skin thoughts. Hope it gets better soon.


  1. [...] bearing her soul about how totally miserable it is to have a bad eczema flare up. (Read her post here.) As she says, she often talks about her allergies (anaphylactic to nuts and milk and possibly [...]

  2. […] How do you cope with an eczema flare up? […]

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