Eczema: How To Stop The Itching

pretty african american woman putting moisturizer on her skin( — Eczema has been called “the itch that rashes” because the itching usually occurs first. This group of skin rashes may first appear in babies and toddlers, becoming a drier, flaky rash in older children. Adults may see scaly, leathery patches or a stubborn hand eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a common, often inherited form, but there are other types, as well as many treatment options.

Stop the Scratching

People with atopic dermatitis may scratch as many as 500 to 1,000 times a day. That scratching worsens the rash and can increase the risk of infection due to breaks in the skin. Use a cold compress to lessen the itchy feeling. Distract children with activities. Moisturizers are soothing, and some medicated creams or ointments may help, too.



Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or ointments may help mild cases of eczema but should not be used on children under 2 or for more than seven days without consulting a doctor. Stronger corticosteroid products may be necessary to control the inflammation. Side effects from extended use include skin thinning, infection, and stretch marks.  In rare cases that haven’t responded to other treatment, a doctor may prescribe oral or injectable corticosteroids.