Eczema is a chronic condition where patches of skin become rough and inflamed, or scaly and red, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding. It is very common in children but can occur at any age.
Eczema is not contagious and its appearance can vary from person to person. It often develops in problem spots like body creases where sweat and salt build up and skin rubs against skin. Scratching the skin can begin a vicious itch-scratch cycle.
Having eczema on elbows can be just as frustrating as having it on any other part of the body, but because it’s an easy spot to scratch, elbow eczema can become easily inflamed, and too much scratching can rip through sensitive skin, making this area more susceptible to infection.
Unfortunately, elbow eczema can cause discomfort whenever the arm bends during regular daily activities. It can cause a distraction during the day or a problem at night going to sleep. Itchy inner elbows can be especially problematic if the area gets dry and cracked, because bacteria can enter through the broken skin and cause infections.
How to Treat Eczema on Elbows
Eczema elbows are often treated with an emollient, such as Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream , that forms a protective film over inflamed areas to keep in the skin’s natural moisture. Emollients such as this can be applied twice daily and should always be used after a lukewarm shower or bath.
You can find an emollient and treatment designed for your specific type of eczema symptoms:
Garments made out of special, soft, stretchy fabric work well for dry or wet wrap therapy for eczema on elbows. For dry wrapping, try Remedywear's eczema bandages which are made with TENCEL and zinc. These are made from natural fibers that allow the skin to breathe while reducing bacterial growth. Or if you're wanting to try wet wrapping, which is a little more intense both in effort and effects, check out these eczema sleeves. Using these special treatment wraps is quick and simple.
Here's how to wrap:
- Take a bath with lukewarm water.
- Pat the skin dry with a clean towel.
- Apply an emollient like Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream.
- For wet wrapping, wet the bandage or sleeve in warm water, gently wring out, and slip around the elbow, then cover with a dry layer of clothing or another band/sleeve. For dry wrap therapy, simply moisturize the area and apply the sleeve over the elbow without dampening the bandage or applying another layer of clothing. Easy peasey.
- The band/sleeve can be worn overnight or changed every two hours.
- Remove if there is any irritation or discomfort.
Wet wrapping works by exposing the skin to constant moisture for an extended period of time, essentially locking in the moisture to provide instant relief. Eczema experts often recommend starting with wet wrap therapy because it gives quick relief. When the skin has healed, or if it feels more comfortable, switch to dry wrap therapy for maintaining healthy skin.
3.Know Your Triggers
Things our bodies come in contact with can cause eczema to flare. These “triggers” vary from person to person and can include:
- Airborne allergens like pollen, dust, grass, or pet dander.
- Food like dairy, eggs, gluten, and acidic food like tomatoes.
- Fabric or chemical irritants like laundry detergent, scented soap, or nickel jewelry.
- Oral and topical medications like antibiotics, steroids, and birth control
4.Boost Natural Healing
Diet and skin health go hand in hand. Try keeping a journal to track what may cause flare-ups. Certain foods, especially foods containing wheat or gluten, dairy, eggs, and acidic foods like tomatoes and oranges could cause eczema flare-ups, so avoiding them can improve skin health.
Speak with your physician or natural health practitioner about your overall health to determine if supplements like fish oil or probiotics may be helpful to improve your skin health.
Learn more about How to Get Rid of Eczema Naturally .
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes.