Eczema is a highly prevalent dermatosis, affecting nearly 6% of adults in France. Those who suffer from it experience alternating periods of calm and eczema flare-ups. These flare-ups result in intense itching sensations, which are crucial to alleviate. Here are some tips to help reduce them.
Eczema: advice to alleviate itching.
- Advice No.1: Thermal water or certain oils to soothe itching
- Advice No. 3: Natural ingredients to alleviate itching
- Advice No. 3: Using cold to soothe itchiness
Advice No.1: Thermal water or certain oils to soothe itching.
In addition to the creams prescribed by your dermatologist, the use of natural products can help soothe itching. Thermal water is particularly popular due to its healing and soothing properties. Rich in minerals and trace elements, it can be applied directly to the skin through massage or by spraying if it comes in a spray form.
The same applies to certain essential oils or hydrosols, which are highly effective for soothing itching. For instance, you could try the tea tree essential oil (INCI: Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil), the true lavender essential oil (INCI: Lavendula Angustifolia Oil) or even the Roman chamomile hydrosol (INCI: Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water). These three ingredients are renowned for their calming properties.
Coconut vegetable oil (INCI: Cocos Nucifera Oil) has also been the subject of research which has shown that its daily application on eczema lesions can reduce the SCORAD, that is, the severity score of atopic dermatitis. This score takes into account various criteria such as the redness of the lesions, their extent, their appearance, as well as the itching they cause.
Advice No. 3: Natural ingredients to alleviate itching.
Several natural ingredients are recognised for their beneficial effects againsteczema. They notably possess anti-inflammatory properties that help to alleviate itching. This is the case, for example, with aloe vera gel, often considered a natural dressing. Healing and soothing, it accelerates tissue regeneration while moisturising the skin. These various benefits primarily come from the acemannan it contains, a polysaccharide that stimulates angiogenesis as well as the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Aloe vera gel is also capable of inhibiting the production of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus reducing redness and itching.
Honey is also a good ally in combating the itchiness associated with eczema. Indeed, this natural ingredient has been the subject of various studies which have shown that its application on eczema lesions helps to reduce the itchiness. Researchers have found that after two weeks of daily application, the SCORAD had decreased by 80%. Honey actually contains phenolic compounds and flavonoids that lead to the suppression of pro-inflammatory activities of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). These molecules are notably involved in the production of prostaglandins, neurotransmitters that contribute to the dilation of blood vessels and sensitivity to pain.
Note : other natural ingredients have proven effective in alleviating eczema, such as oats, clay, the turmeric, etc.
Advice No. 3: Using cold to soothe itchiness.
Another tip to reduce itching sensations is to apply cold to the areas of itchiness. Indeed, this is an excellent soothing method. To benefit from its effects, apply a cold compress, previously placed in the refrigerator, to the itchy areas for about thirty minutes. You can also use ice cubes, provided they are wrapped in a clean cloth. Do not apply ice cubes directly to your skin, as this could cause a burn.
LEINS L. et ORCHARD D. Eczema management in school-aged children. Australian Family Physician (2017).
YEUNG J. & al. Diagnosis and treatment of pruritus. The College of Family Physicians of Canada (2017).
WEINDINGER S. & al. Atopic dermatitis Lancet (2020).