Atopic eczema  


Eczema: Ruby's story

Ruby was diagnosed with eczema when she was six weeks old. Her mum, Daniella, explains how they cope with Ruby's condition.

Media last reviewed: 10/01/2013

Next review due: 10/01/2015

Other types of eczema

Other types of eczema include:

  • circular or oval patches of eczema that usually affect adults (discoid eczema
  • eczema that occurs when the body comes into contact with a particular substance (contact dermatitis)
  • eczema that occurs on the legs, usually around swollen and enlarged veins (varicose eczema
  • red, scaly patches that can occur on the sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears and scalp (seborrhoeic eczema)
  • eczema that causes tiny blisters to erupt across the palms of the hands (dyshidrotic eczema, also known as 'pompholyx')

Eczema: 7 ways to stop scratching

Eczema can be tough for a child to cope with, but parents can help reduce the impact with these tips

Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children, but can continue into adulthood.

Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term, or chronic, condition.

Atopic eczema commonly occurs in areas with folds of skin, such as:

  • behind the knees
  • the inside of the elbows
  • on the side of the neck
  • around the eyes and ears

Atopic eczema can vary in severity and most people are only mildly affected. Severe symptoms include cracked, sore and bleeding skin.

People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as flare-ups when symptoms become more severe, needing additional treatment.

Read more about the symptoms of atopic eczema.

What causes atopic eczema?

The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown. However, it often occurs in people who get allergies ("atopic" means sensitivity to allergens).

Atopic eczema can run in families and often occurs alongside other conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

Read more information about the causes of atopic eczema.

Treating atopic eczema 

Atopic eczema clears up or significantly improves in many children as they get older. In about 53% of cases, atopic eczema clears up by the time a child reaches 11 years of age, and in 65% of cases it clears up by 16 years of age.

However, severe eczema often has a significant impact on daily life and may be difficult to cope with physically and mentally. There is also an increased risk of infections. 

Read more about complications of atopic eczema.

Many different types of treatment can be used to control symptoms and manage eczema, including medication and self-help techniques. 

The main treatments are:

Read more about How atopic eczema is treated.

Who is affected?

About one in five children in the UK has eczema. In 8 out of 10 cases, atopic eczema occurs before a child reaches five years of age. Many children develop it before their first birthday.

The number of people diagnosed with atopic eczema has increased in recent years. This could be because of changes in lifestyle or environmental factors that cause eczema, or because healthcare professionals are now more aware of the symptoms.

Males and females are affected equally.

Page last reviewed: 21/11/2012

Next review due: 21/11/2014


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The 78 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

AndyE91 said on 15 November 2014

Hi All. I am a 23 year old and have eczema all my life. I lost all confidence and it got to the point where my whole body was red and bleeding. However I found out the best thing in the world. All the doctors I met gave me emoltions and ointments which basically thin the skin out anyway which caused the bleeding. But I tried Aloe vera based cream and jelly aswell as an oat based shower and bath cream. These are the best things I have found so far to help deal with the problem. I recommend Eternal Skin care aloe moisturiser for after shower use and once in the evening and morning. Then the aloe vera jelly when you get those bad days when it just flares up. It gives a cooling effect which is great especially on a hot day. Then using the oat based shower and bath cream is a great shower gel alternative. Chemicals are good but constant use does take its toll on your skin. Im not saying what the doctor tells you to use is wrong but there are natural things out there which in my view do just as well if not better when used regularly. Also just being relaxed and not worrying or stressing about anything helps a lot as well. Just having a relaxing drink helps a great deal before bed and stops those night itching scenarios. Hope this helps and your not the only one who suffers. Just try new things and try and get rid of stress and staying cool helps.

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User919325 said on 11 November 2014

Thanks for all the previous comments- I certainly feel better for feeling from reading these recommendations & experiences. (& really sad for the children who suffer much worse than me)
42 year old, mild sufferer as a baby & child, over past 5 years it has gone from occasional finger & knee joints to constant all over body. 'dry' type of eczema- burning itching skin, red sores and flakey.
Anti-histamine tablets seem to calm things and night-time pills too. A 5-7 day cycle of steroid creams, which clear it up at its worse, then oilatum baths,dermol 500, a-hist pills to keep it subdued. Day 1 is after steroid creams all over which clears it up, get 1-3 days relief, then starts itching again so that after several days most of body is red and on fire.
Tried avoiding most foods- no difference. Alcohol dries out skin. E45 cream not good but Aloe Vera & the Hemp Body Shop & Dead Sea bath salt products do calm the burning temporarily. Too many creams make things worse.
Not sure of source- allergy, stress, physical or mental.
Out of the house being busy in fresh air seems to be helpful & light exercise (avoiding sweating & overheating)
Sounds like we have a load of different symptoms and remedies- I'd just like to say 'keep smiling'. Eczema is painful physically and mentally- I hate going out and looking a mess but not going to give up & you are not alone. (doctors- NHS & private - not impressed) best wishes.

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PAS5748 said on 23 September 2014

Much of Eczema in my experience is due to stress and I think initially it came about due to work stress and possibly homeopathy (stay away from this - radio waves changing water molecules or making them into very low radioactive chemicals). Eczema causes itching and this causes a vicious circle of breaking the skin and infection which in turn causes another level of stress and more eczema.
So I am not entirely sure what causes it. I assumed it was diet but this only stopped symptoms because it shut down my immune system reactors within my body and made deficient in other key food groups. It also meant changing my lifestyle for ever which I was never going to do.

The best results from products I have found are cold pressed oils such as castor oil or flax oil. Cold pressed oils can be used anywhere even around the face and eyes and there are no added chemicals or steroids or wax. I found it takes about 2 months, twice a day for 1 week and then once a day after 1 week and then once very 2 days until clear. My eczema has reduced considerably and the only reason it did not clear fully is because i stopped using the cold pressed oils too soon.

The itch will still be there for a while but you will see a reduction in the rash over time. I also find arnica is good to reduce inflammation of bad rashes.
Do not use steroids on children.

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User734455 said on 22 September 2014

I am using Dermovate, Diprobase and wet wraps with Viscopaste as applied by a demotolgy unit at a hospital, I rely on them to wrap my arms and legs. I have had recently 4 biopsies during treatment to which I do not know the results. Can I demand a patch test to attempt to find the cause?
I'm a 57 year old chap who has had this condition since birth. I'm fed up with being told I will grow out of this.

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Isolation said on 08 September 2014

What a nightmare eczema in children is, it effects every aspect of life when although being a new parent is hard work it ceases to be a time of enjoyment and becomes a.constant round of GP visits with so many creams and emollients you lose count.
We tried allergy testing, not a brilliant result when the child is so young, although later testing informed us it was dust mites and eggs.
We tried homeopathy but expected immediate results which isn't quite the way it works but desperation wants an immediate remedy doesn't it?
Like other comments we had the usual stares from people who should have known better where I used to feel like shouting "he is not contagious - its eczema !
We also tried sewing gloves to his sleep suits but somehow that didn't work, so we trolled the shops looking for alternatives that couldn't be removed so that scratching was at a minimum from bare fingers, eventually we found products with mittens that couldn't be removed, so what a godsend that was.
One of the things that we used to be told was they usually grow out of it by about 7 years old, well if your child is 3 months at the time that sounds like an eternity and anyway your child might not grow out of it.
BUT the good news is many children do grow out of it and although at stressful times it still does rear its horrible side I am pleased to say that at the moment it is ok. However, I can never be complacent and wouldn't want you to think I am. So don't give up hope, it is the hardest thing to cope with and as 1 in 5 children suffer from it you are certainly not alone.
Check out the health websites for up to date information. Google eczema for creams and products to help but what am I saying we all do that anyway.

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User899282 said on 28 August 2014

I've had eczema all my life. it's not terrible, but there's usually some, mostly on my hands. Lately the corticosteroid creams have been unable to shift it. Then a pharmacist gave me corticosteroid mixed wtih fungicide. That worked well for a bit, then it too stopped being effective. In annoyance that there ought to be something that can be done, I try lots of home remedies. The one that had miraculous results was opening a capsule of probiotic acidophilous, mixing it with a few drops of water to make a paste and smearing that on my hands. All the liquid-filled bubbles under the skin disappeared within an hour, and the skin had healed completely within a week or 10 days. Could helping the skin to acquire a colony of beneficial bacteria be part of the answer?

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connorsmummy2011 said on 11 August 2014

Hi fe252 I tryed not bathing him as regular sadly made him ten times worse his dose has been upped on his medication and sadly still not working still waking up to his bed covered in blood wish hed wear gloves theyve tryed everything to try stop the scratching but he finds a way as you can imagine most three year olds will :( got another appointment with his consultant in two weeks andstill on regular blood tests has all the nurses wrapped round his finger in hospital its like a home from home these days :) thanks for the advice though I really do appreciate it just wish strangers didnt look at him like hes diseased :(

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sirscribble said on 10 August 2014

Hi all :) i have had exzema for nearly 13 years now and to be honest i am sick of it. My life is on hold half the time and all i want is a way to make it better. My GP changed me from doublebase cream to cetraben but both creams have just made my skin sting violently. If anyone has a suggestion please tell me!

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Fee252 said on 15 June 2014

Hi connorsmummy
Try reducing his baths and buy a pair of cotton gloves to put on him and night so he doesnt scratch himself raw and try using scent free soaps also washing powder try aeril if your not already doing so

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Fee252 said on 15 June 2014

I was reading all your posts and just wanted to share my views with you all.
I have suffered from eczema from the age of 2 months and i have been in and out of hospital with it .
I itched like mad and when i was younger my mum found out persil washing powder wasnt helping my condition and tryed ariel instead it was a great improvement
i also stayed clear of anything with perfume in it apart from deodrant under arms and was careful what soaps i used
I am now 45 and still get cracked hands but nothing like i was ....i use to be covered in it but staying away from anything with perfume and buying perfume free soaps and using ariel helped
I hope this post is useful and helps

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connorsmummy2011 said on 08 June 2014

Mummymum hi thanks for your reply connor bsths daily inhis dermal bbath lotion prescribed by the dermatologist sadly hes is now pretty much immune to antibiotics theyve stopped clearing it up and no longer allowed steroid cream as his skin has gone that thin he falls and busts his knees open :( weve now been put on suppresents medication still have to do his daily baths and creams and de skin his bedroom every day but he doesnt seem to be blistered anymore although still extremely dry but weve only been doing it for 4 weeks so hopefully the start of something good this medication however is quite dangerous especially for a boy as little aa connor so he has to have blood tests every 2 weeks at hospital and had hia first chest xray to be sure there not doing him damage. Ive had to sadly stop him staying at his dads house because he always comes back flared up really bad im hoping this will change in the near future.

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Mummymum said on 05 May 2014

Connorsmummy2011. Sorry to hear about your son. As a child I had eczema but not as bad as your son by the sounds of it. My dad had it bad in his teens. Mine cleared up (I can't remember if I had cream for it, but I had bandages in bed). Mine flared up again very badly in my late teens due to a stressful period of my life. I went to see a homeopath for a year who gave me pills telling me it would have to get better before it got worse. I got so fed up I went back to my doctor (by this point I had it on my hands, face, all down my neck and arms) and got a tube of betnovate and it cleared it instantly (within 2 days). If you are bathing him, can I ask what you are putting in the bath? The water will sting his skin. Have you tried putting Epsom salts in the bath? Sounds a strange thing to do, but it makes the water lovely and soft and it no longer stings. I would imagine that the salt also helps to heal the skin. I wonder if this could be aggravating his skin further and drying it out? Might be worth a try. You should be able to buy it over the counter at the chemist. Maybe the creams also have stopped working as the skins gets used to them. Some of the steroid creams can also think the skin. If you can go without the creams for a while, they might work better when you do apply them (but check with a health professional first). Hope he gets better.

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connorsmummy2011 said on 20 March 2014

Hi all i just wanna say so good to hear all these comments and that my son is not the only one out there. My little boy connor is about tk turn 3 hes had severe eczma since he was a couple of months old. I had to stop him staying over aat his dads as he came back worse everytime and wasnt being compliant to his care« the doctors own words. He has been going to the dermatologist since he was 1 they have tryed the dressing clinic where he was wrapped in zincoid bandages and wrapped in coban it was working a treat until he started pulling the bandages up and cutting the circulation of in his arms and legs :( we had to stop that treatment we are still under the dermatologist and are looking into medication to boost his immune system up and maybe that will clear it up in the slightest. Every day I have to clean the house top to bottom and wash his bedding from the blood when hes cut himself from scratching in the night itd so hard to stop him ive done absolutely everything he even had the silk garments of the nhs and the little monkey bit at the seems in the night to get his hands free to scratch now hes getting older hes getting more and more irritated by me bathing him daily and doing his creams over 4 times a day he screams like im going to murder him puts tears in my eyes but I no it is to make him better and have to give him extra mummy cuddles after ive done it. I dont know if anyone else has a child with severe eczma connor his head to toe the amount of looks in discust I get of people when we bus to hospital or go out for the day is unreal like I dont look after my child but in reality his skin condition is harder than a full time job there is days when his skin is thay tight he just want eat or walk he will just lie down all day!! Ive had people say to me erww whats wrong with him is he diseased kids laughing at my baby saying he is disgusting and parents allowing it feel like its never going to end :(

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bob123456 said on 01 March 2014

I had variously been diagnosed with atopic dematitis, pompholyx, eczema, psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, contact dermatitis, latex and egg allergy, and hay fever. I decided to look more closely at family history, and elimination dieting and discovered a serious reaction to gluten, and other grains. Once they were cut out of the equation, at least 3/4 of my skin problems went away. When I tried those ingredients again, my symptoms flared quickly and severely confirming the problem. If you've tried everything else, I suggest you try elimination dieting. It was very hard to give up breads, but I don't regret it one bit. If only I had known this earlier. I'm 39 now. My hands and feet have been clear for the last 4 years.

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sc83 said on 25 February 2014

We have battled with this since my 3 year old was just a couple of months old, gradually getting worse with nothing we tried working. We have recently discovered she suffers with a nut, dust mite, dog and cat allergy. We have taken all measures to cut out nuts from her diet, dust mitd precautions and rehomed the dog. We have also had to look into coconut free shampoo as every one in the shops contain coconut only to find her creams for eczema also have coconut in. Only finding this out today, we have yet to find an alternative and been advised by the GP that we nees to speak to a pharmacist to do this. Little girl gone to bed with no emollient on tonight, we'll see how she goes :/

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Stella241 said on 24 February 2014

Hi folks...this is an update.....During December, I cut out chicken and fish, and my skin started getting bad as it was winter....So I upped my level of avocado and Udos oil consumption to make up for it...To replace the amount of protein I normally eat, I have been having lots of adzuki bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, almond milk (homemade) and vegetable soups with a base of coconut oil....Jason Vale recommends few carbs like bananas. I also try to have no natural food that contains sugar... Yup, that includes fruit! The only fruit I allow myself is green apples, to make my smoothies nice to drink.

Today, I had an Epsom salt bath with olive oil in it..Afterwards, I put on shea butter and coconut oil then blended some aloe vera gel (from real leaf) and spent 10 minutes massaging my face and neck and arms with it. All the dead skin came off....I had winter chapped skin on face and neck and felt very stiff in the face...

Now, I feel a lot better and will keep hydrated with aloe, cucumber, avocado and okra smoothies. I will also go to the gym soon to keep my weight stable...

I pray and hope that this post may help people who are suffering and at their wit's end....

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michelle0409 said on 14 February 2014

well ive got eczema, mainly on my wirst now but i get the odd patch here and there. it can get sore and red. but the issue i have is the non-steriod cream i have makes it more painful. does anyone have any tips if they have the same thing.

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jackf5 said on 04 February 2014

Ive had eczema since i can remember but I have use a wide range of creams and the best is double base I recommended it to every one and its help me clear my skin during teenager period but I'm hopping to clear all of it during when I'm 16

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Nm271 said on 01 January 2014

Simple makeup remover and bareminerals foundation have also been amazing!

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katie_app1984 said on 22 November 2013


All I can say is to people suffering from eczema and trying various creams is not only to focus on what you put ON yourself but what you put IN yourself. Cut out dairy, take probiotics and drink plenty of water. Look at what detergent you are using also and get one for sensitive skin, for the whole family. See a Dermatologist but only for creams used as a "just in case" situation. Living on steroid creams is not the way.

My little girl who will be two in January developed severe eczema at around 2 months old. By the time she was 6 months old, she had been on two courses on antibiotics. The first obviously not working because antibiotics kill your good bacteria too and the infection came straight back. The second (and last) time, we gave her probiotics with them and needless to say, she hasn't had an infection since.

Also, the milk she was on up until 5 months old (Aptamil) is made with egg powder and we later discovered that she could not digest eggs. We didn't realise this however but actually took her off the milk because she projectile vomited on occasions (whilst going very pale) and also looked scolded from head to toe when she drank a lot of it one evening. She has since had coconut milk with no issues.

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Stella241 said on 04 November 2013

Hi there.. I have had eczema for the last 15 years, but there have been periods when I have been totally clear of it. First, I did colon cleanses and liver flushes to cleanse my internal system, then I went to see a nutritionist who recommended green vegetable juices. My eczema which was causing me to limp, cleared up.

Now I have had a flare for the last 1 1/2 years because I was eating out a lot. I stopped this and now have a regime of green smoothies in the morning flavoured with 1green apple, celery, cucumber, beet root, carrots, spinach or parsley and always include a large avocado.

It has been 4 months and I have gone from 90% covered to 20%. All my friends have noticed the difference and my skin has also stopped the excessive shedding of flakes everyday. I have chicken and salad for lunch and chicken and salad for dinner. I drink plenty of herbal tea and do not have sugar or dairy. For snacks I eat either cashews, Brazil nuts or almonds. Once in a blue moon I might have a sugary apple strudel as a treat.

My arms have got thickened skin, but I can sort that out with more green juice or smoothies daily. Evening primrose oil, Udos oil helps moisturise the skin from within. Since my skin is very dry, I add 3 tablespoons of Udos oil to my smoothies or goats milk yoghurt. There are plenty of natural veggies, and sprouted beans and lentils that I add to my salads for extra protein. Absolutely no processed foods. This may seem drastic, but creams, steroids were just not working and I want to regain my beauty!

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Kathie32 said on 15 October 2013

I'd like to tell everyone suffering form this awful condition to try EMU OIL. If you get the pure oil (no essential oils or other ingredients) it is wonderfully moisturising and causes no reaction, even to children or babies.
Please, please research this oil yourself, ask companies for a free sample and see what you think. It will cost you nothing and, seeing some of the comments on here from people who have had it for years, I can only imagine the relief. Good luck!

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gkg42 said on 11 October 2013

I have had excema on my hands up until a few years ago when. I switched to washing my hands in. Liquid rather than bar soap. These are the small bottles you see in the supermarkets as antiseptic hand wash. My skin seldom breaks open now. I also find that Dermol 500 to wash with in the shower followed by a good emollient helps to keep the skin moisturised
My advice is to steer clear of bar soaps - even the non perfumed mild ones - and. Shower gels. The Dettol antiseptic hand wash is excellent, but other makes seem to work just as well.

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Babee22uk said on 01 September 2013

I am 53 female and had this inflicted on me from birth, over the years I have had everything tried on me. Told I would grow out of it as a child, then told my body would change every 7 years, used tar ointment with bandages, betnovate which has resulted in me having thinning of the skin so now I am constantly bruised and my skin is like tissue paper. I take antihistamine every day, cyclosporine anti rejection drugs everyday, and have constant blood tests to check the drugs don't damage my liver and kidneys, use elecom and diprobase every day and still it drives me mad. I have even had homeopathy which was suggested by my GP but ended up in hospital as the skin was horrendous . Sometimes It is under control but right now it is badly infected, so back on the steroids I go. It's just a vicious circle. I have done everything and more that previous comments have suggested, gym, exercise, walking, I don't drink or have I ever smoked, cut out chocolate and wheat and for a time I might get a little improvement but it always comes back. It has been the bane of my life for all 53 years and counting. If any medical doctors want to help me I am willing to give anything a go

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janes100 said on 02 June 2013

I agree with spagh bol. I've suffered with severe intensive eczema all my life, nothing has help really. It wasn't until I became pregnant and my eczema went through the roof that I noticed the instant itching caused by eating chocolates etc. After baby was born I cut out all refined sugars. It took several months (not easy) until my eczema started to clear. I went from covered head to toe in painful, broken, itchy skin to clear soft skin.
The last few years I've been eating sugar again and my eczema is slowly coming back so I'm going to remove all sugary foods. I'll do an update when/if this improves my skin again x

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Spagh bog said on 06 May 2013

I am 18. My personal experience of eczema is that body stimulants such as sugar exacerbate it. I try and lay of fizzy drinks and chocolate and it has a noticeable affect on my skins health. Creams i find more often than not simply slow the rate at which my body heals the eczema, sometimes they make my skin feel hot, as they trap heat and i often ich more. The NHS supply me with oilatum (a bath emollient) which ill often apply to my skin outside of the bath. I have found It soothes my skin and reduces scratching. Ill only do this after washing though to ensure my skin is clean before application. The major contributants of my eczema are; stress, sugars, cloths, bedding if dirty or have become irritable due to certain types of washing powder and dust (My dads house is always filthy and i always come back with it looking awful, very dry skin, red oozing spots, etc). To mitigate my eczema ill often try to relax a couple times a day and keep calm, keep my house and cloths tidy and regularly change my bedding, lay off of surgery sweets, snacks and artificial flavours (which is hard for kids i know). Hope I was of help. Peace and lots of love to those eczema sufferers out there x

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Heligan said on 23 March 2013

Forgot to mention olive oil is also good.

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Heligan said on 23 March 2013

I never found any of the medications helpful (neither steroids or antihistamines seemed to have much impact) and when they did work it wasn't for long.

In the end I opted for lifestyle changes; which left me virtually housebound in my efforts to avoid, wind, sun and chemicals.

Id wasted lots of money on various creams too, E45 mde things much worse, possible due to the lanolin... Oat baths didnt help me... nothing seemed to, I gave up trying these things too.

A few things that did help were:-
Glycerin soap
Ecover products for cleaning and washing clothes.

Then a few years ago poverty sent me out onto the moor to cut peat, and staggeringly peat seemed to help. Im assuming there is oils in it that do the work, its possible to buy it as a sterile product too apparently.
This got me back into trying, but this time I focused on plant oil and as natural as possible. Ive found witch hazel used daily to keep the skin under control (minor blips in this when Ive been ill, but thats usual for me illness triggers eczema). Heals up any minor outbreaks in a few weeks.
Ive been using the distilled stuff too, you would think the alcohol would be drying... but it seems to dry out the oozing and moisturise the skin all t the same time. I use it on broken and cracked skin too (though this isnt recommended on the bottle).
I use about a bottle a fortnight just rub a coin sized drop onto skin (mine is more or less restricted to hands and face). Its about £3 a bottle.

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KimSandhu said on 17 December 2012

I have a 7 yr old who has been suffering from eczema, but recently has began to get worse.
It was very mild as I stopped giving him dairy products untill some herbal Dr said it was ok to have it.
But since, his eczema has got worse.
So now I have stopped again as from today giving any dairy products.
Has anyone else tried cutting off from dairy products?
Apparently dairy products can be a cause for eczema.

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shane900z said on 14 November 2012

Im suffering from eczema for 5 years now. Its a very wierd diseace. I noticed that it increases when i get more fit, when my health is good. And when i feel tired or unfit its gone. I also noticed that if a medicine can make you feel sleepy the itching will be gone. It can be any medicine. So i guess the problem is in the blood not skin. Whenever you feel healthy that means the blood circulation increases in ur skin and then its start itching. A homeopathic doc told me the same thing. Something in blood cuzing this problem. And i think its also a mental problem cuz when i get out from my house it stop itching. I think its 50% mental and 50% other lyk lifestyle family history food and things like that. So now im just ignoring the problem, trying to reduce strace, exercising, eating healthy, and trying to stay busy with work friends or lyk dat. I use a oil before bath and a after bath cream, vaselin. Lets see if this works or not. If not then i will go for a alternative therapy like homeopathy or ayurved or something lyk that.

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spblackpool said on 05 November 2012

I've found this forum really useful recently, thanks all. I had eczema really badly in my late teens/early twenties but save for the occasional flare up I've been clear for years now so have hope that you can grow out of it!

To relax my skin I've found (daft though it sounds) that lying in a cold, dark room helps, as does the 'milk' thats produced when you mush up porridge oats in water.

I've always been reluctant to try moisturisers not prescribed but have also found that E45 and liquid/soft paraffins have aggrivated my skin as much as they've helped it. Apparently its possible to have an intolerance to synthetic oils and my doctor has told me to try natural proteins like almond oil or cocoa butter. So far I've found Body Shop hemp face protector to be amazing!

Hope you all find something that works!! :-)

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denyard said on 21 August 2012

i was born with exzema and it sort of went away during growing up but in the last 2 years now it has come back with a vengeance. i have what is called pompholyx exzema i have been in and out of hopital with tracking up both arms, i have had the light treatment, the perma tab dips and various steriod creams and it still will not settle, i have now started taking tablets which lower my inmune system and i also have to take tablets for blood pressure because of the other tablets i am on. i have also lost my job today because of my situation, the consultants say this is what causes the flare ups. i dont agree. the people i have seen say it was my work and give me the same old treatments. to be quite blunt i have little or no faith at all. i would a second or third opinion? stress, down, on the scrap heap now. by the way i am 48 and fed up

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usssy said on 01 August 2012

i am 17 and i suffered from eczema all my life... when i was little it use to be severely bad! my mum used to wrap my whole body in bandages. now at this age its so much better yet still does not let me live in peace. i have it on my face neck upper chest and upper back.... from time to time on my arms.. it is mild but gets overly dried up... point is though no matter what i do or try.. my eczema well at most only go away for a week and then returns.... its annoying because i try to revise, get stressed, start itching get even more stressed. Every night no matter what i scratch myself to sleep well it wont exactly let me sleep, it just stresses me out to the max. i get taken the micky out of but i seriously don't care about that... like my dry skin is quite flaky at times and i have no eyebrow due to excessive scratching them! i just wish it wasn't stressful. i actual feel for all you lot as it is much worse for you than me.. hopefully it gets better soon

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thatmh said on 04 July 2012

I am a 15 year old girl and at the end of april 2012 i have a weird rash on my neck, it wasn't really painful then but I went to the doctors and they gave me steroid cream and said it was an allergic reaction. It has now came back very badly it's itchy and very red and noticeable. Went to the doctors today and it's eczema :( Any tips?

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ShadowAngel said on 07 April 2012

I had / have the following symptoms, swelling, redness, oozing, cracking, stinging, itching, blisters and scaling. I saw a dermatologist who advised me that I had Atopic Eczema. Having had Eczema as a baby I knew what Eczema was and this was not. After further investigation and patch tests I can now confirm that I have sever Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Hexhavalent Chromium VI. This mainly affects the hands and can only be confirmed with a patch test. Once you have this condition it is irreversible. This comes from Cement Dust. I was exposed to a building site for more than one year, who did not contain their dust and has resulted in this condition. As a result if I am near any building site or where people are working with cement (wet or dry) the allergy takes over. Allergic contact dermatitis: Hexavalent Chromium in wet cement may cause allergies in some people. The cumulative effect of daily exposure may take months or years to cause a reaction. Chrome sensitization is irreversible. Sensitized individuals must avoid contact with any cement, wet or dry. Symptoms appear much like chronic irritant dermatitis, with swelling, redness, oozing, cracking, stinging, itching, blisters and scaling. The above article is how I was able to get the right patch test done for me. If there is anyone out there who is currently living near to a building site or near a building site and the symptoms are worse. Please ask your Dermatologist to test you for this. I am currently next to a Demolition site and my allergy has started all over again. The dermatologist who tested me says that it is not something that he has thought of and is now re-testing some of his patients. There is no cure for this all you can do is stay away from Wet/dry cement, the more you are exposed the more it is likely to flair up and the more pain you will be in. An Ice Block does help to relieve the pain. The Best Solution would be for builders to contain the cement dust which is airborne.

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Nicola Heaney said on 29 February 2012

I have had eczema since I was a young child. I have it all over my body (except my face) . Steroid creams work really well for me but I am only allowed to use them off and on. E45 cream helps a little just to moisturise really. Since December of last year i have been using a natural cream by mama nature which is specificly for eczema. It has really helped and although it doesnt work as quickly as the steroid creams the results are the same. I hope someone reads this as it may help them as well.

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shanlee500 said on 18 February 2012

I started to have eczema 2 years ago. Went to see GP last week and they gave me Eumovate Ointment which I only been using for 2 days and makes it even worst! I used E45 the next day and the flaring stopped.

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BenMc said on 26 January 2012

Eczema is caused by toxification.

I have had severe eczema for about 15 years which I could only control using masses of steroid cream. It was still getting worse. Since August 2011 I have almost completely cured it. I have not used steroids in 5 months and am continually improving. The straight answer is as follows:

Exercise: Try to get outside walking or jogging in the clean air. Get one of those mini trampolines if you like. You want to be moving your limbs around to help pump the lymph in your body.

Communication: Have hope and be strong, through the healing power of nature you can make yourself more well than you ever imagined.

I hope this helps. It may sound strange to you but try it and see the difference.

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Jane10 said on 03 January 2012

I have had eczema for twenty years now, I suffered dreadfully for years to the point where I was having to take time off school because it was painful to wear clothes during the really bad flare ups. I am allergic to emollients such as E45 and Aqueous cream and I could only use the steroid creams for two weeks at a time so that my skin wouldn't get too thin. My family were at their wits end as to how to help me when one of my Mother's friends suggested porridge baths. They aren't as disgusting as they sound and they worked amazingly well as within a few months I went from having eczema all over my body to just localised areas and now, I only ever get flare ups around my neck and upper chest.
What you do is get some porridge oats and muslin cloth, cut up the cloth into squares and pour a pile of the oats into the middle of each one. Then tightly tie up the corners to make a little pouch. When you go for a bath or shower, either drop one or two of the little muslin bags into the bath water, or wet a bag under a warm tap or the shower and rub it gently over the affected areas. I did this every time I had a bath or shower and after a few months, over 80% of the eczema had cleared.
I have tried almost every known remedy for eczema but porridge was the one thing that I found actually worked long term.

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Bladerunner said on 16 December 2011


I have had eczema from infancy, and now as an adult it has been severe for many years. Nothing seemed to work that well in my case, but recently I have had some success by switching almost completely to using extra virgin olive oil instead of margarine or butter on my bread. Since doing this recently, my skin is beginning to actually feel quite different - definitely more supple, and less prone to cracking. It isn't completely cured, but there is a marked difference to how it feels.

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Rebekah6 said on 13 November 2011

I am 18 years old now and have suffered with bad eczema since i was a baby. I often find it embarassing and hard to cope with, as people tend to comment and question why my skin looks so bad. I suffer the worst on my hands, which are almost always red, cracked and bleeding. I also get it on my legs and elbows. Not scratcing eczema is a lot easier said than done!! For years i was using Eumovate for my eczema, but it began to stop working. In the past few months i have been using Diprosone cream for when the flare-ups are really bad, and Diprobase cream to keep my skin moisturised. I have found both creams work well for me and i would reccommend them. I hope i can help at least one person!

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Karate Cath said on 11 November 2011

My daughter is 6 and has had it since she was small. we have found cutting down on acidic juice like apple juice has made a big difference. Also nothing in the bath other that water and kids shampoo. Double base is good but E45 cream seems great as it dries quickly and the biggest irritant seems to be wet cream

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Alice111 said on 06 November 2011

I'm 16 and when I was little I always had quite bad eczema, but it went away almost completely when I was 11. It came back severly when i was 14 and I've had it none stop since. I get it on my eye lids, elbows, inside of my arms, forearms, stomach, bum, thighs, backs of knees, front of knees, bottom of my legs and feet. On my arms and eyes its managable with regular moisturizer and steroid cream (when it flairs up) but it never fully goes away. My elbows are thick and cracked and bleeding and they get unbearabley itchy. On my legs i havent found anything that makes it better (i use moisturizer, anti-itch cream and steroids) because when i moisturize i get big spots that are as itchy as the eczema iself. I found that not shaving really really really helps although it does mean i dont like showing my legs or swimming etc. I have digusting scars all over my body from eczema but nothing seems to help - should I try changing my diet? Its not likely to be an allergy as it went away for a few years, and i have cotton clothes and bedsheets. is there anything that will my my skin less itchy?

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drew84 said on 01 September 2011

I'm 27. From the ages of 16 to 23 I had severe eczema on my arms, neck and face. I noticed that the effected areas tended to flare up when I became stressed or agitated (stress which was usually exacerbated by eczema itself). I visited doctors and dermatologists about it, as the flare ups were not clearing and I was very self-conscious about it.

Anyway, things which I believe helped me clear up my eczema (over about 3 months or so) were:

accepting I had eczema (ie. not getting as stressed out about something that is beyond my control).

frequent use of anti-bacterial hand gel (eg. when using computers, being around animals, at work etc.) this to me had a psychological effect too - just the thought of being clean made me feel a great deal better!

I cut down a lot on alcohol intake too (noticed a great improvement when this happened), then as my condition improved I went to the gym more and saunas.

Hope this helps :-)

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clf92 said on 21 June 2011

hey im 18yrs old and have had eczema on and off since i was a baby. Last year however it became must worse and previous creams which managed it no longer worked. I have now been through the process of visiting my GP to recieve several creams none of which completely solve my eczema which is worse on my face which is very depressing. This month i was referred to a dermotologist which i thought would cure all my problems how nieve this was just like the GP she looked at my skin prescribed a steroid cream for face and a different one for my body, neither of which helped anymore than the ones prescribed by my doctor. I am now waiting to be allergy tested which I am hoping will explain the flare ups. The two best mostisers i have found is double base gel and epaderm cream. I've found this page very useful and want to thank many of you for sharing your ideas as i intend to try many of them.

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AmishAshish said on 18 May 2011

Hello everyone. My son has had severe eczema since he was 3 months old....complete flare ups with weeping and bleeding lesions.

The GP 's treatment didnt work and we were referred to the Dermatologist who suggested wet wraps and streroid creams for him.

After much resistance to being treated with steriod creams, I requested the GP for him to be referred to a Homeopath under NHS. They referred me to the Royal Homeopathy hospital.

He is being treated for almost 2 years now. Though the treatment is slow, it works on the root of the problem and cure it at the base rather than topically.

The treatment involves oral medication as well as streriod-free creams and treatments in addition to the use of Dermol and Hydromol to keep the skin hydrated.

I combined the use of the wet wraps with the homeopthic creams instead of the streiods. It has worked very well for him and in fact he has not had a flare up for a year now.

He is stil being treated (though we have not had an allergy test for him yet)and we hope to eradicate it totally from his system.

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MarkWilsonBAU said on 28 April 2011

I have had eczema previously only mildy and found E45 cream very effective.

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lucy22 said on 03 January 2011

To: NinjaJellyBaby

I've had eczema since i was 10mnths old including around my eyes. I was prescribed "lid care wipes" morning and night plus told to take "benadryl allergy tablets" everyday. the wipes work brilliantly.

hope this helps

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NinjaJellyBaby said on 07 November 2010

I have suffered with eczema really badly around my eyes now for a fair few years (I am 20) but it flares up so bad at times that sometimes I look like a panda (basically 2 red circles around my eyes). I have been to the doctors and have been prescribed numerous creams and ointments, the latest being hydrocortisone 1% and oilatum. I have been previously referred to see a dermatologist but again all they did was say here is a bag of creams and ointments try them all, in which none worked. With it being on my eyes I obviously have to be careful with what I put on them and with the hydrocortisone I can only use it for 3 days, once a day.
They say not to scratch or rub because it makes it worse, but with it being on the eyes its difficult not to as the first thing you do on a morning is rub your eyes or when you get tired. It also makes me feel really conscious when people point it out all the time..saying like why are your eyes so red etc.

I was wondering if anyone else has suffered from really bad exzema on their eyes and if they can recommend anything.

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Emma Grace said on 03 August 2010

I've just been and had the results of my allergy tests from the dermatologist. Turns out I've got a massive wheat allergy. What gets me is that I'm 24 and have suffered badly for so long and no GP has ever offered to give me allergy tests until I really stamped my feed to see a dermatologist. It's a massive flaw in the system.

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Ollie John said on 30 July 2010

I've just read the comments on this page and am amazed that nobody talks about refraining from dairy products. I had bad eczema from birth until giving up all food products with cow's milk or cow's milk based products in them. I can still eat sheeps and goat's cheese/milk/yoghurt. These do not affect me and the only recurrence of eczema is when cow's milk/milk products accidentally get into my diet. I don't know whether this exclusion diet has been tried by everbody else who has posted comments or not but it's worth a try if you haven't ..........!

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wantlivenormal said on 29 July 2010

tom123, I have similar issue, not so strong however… what I found that hemp hand protector from the body shop working really well. I am washing bad places on my skin early morning cream it with hemp and no itches, pain until the end of the day. – yes the places is wet, but I can leave normal life. Regarding head – cannot do anything about it but to minimize use Simple collection without smell or perfume.

In fact I have had eczema in my ears for the last 24 years, and got it on head near some hidden places just after arriving to Scotland, apparently weather and environment(may be additions in to water or food) triggered it.

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James Brodie said on 28 July 2010

I am 44 and have suffered with excema since my early twenties. I tried many things that the doctor prescribed and none of them worked. There is some good advice here, especially don't scratch (easier said than done), moisturise at least twice a day (I find Aloe Vera Gel the most effective), and avoid things that cause or inflame it, such as:
Perfume (avoid anything that says parfum on the label).
Food additives, especially MSG, tartrazine, etc. I avoid any artificial preservatives, colourings and flavourings.
Biological washing powder.
Clothing made from man-made fabric.
Very hot baths or showers.
I read every label of every product I use very carefully. If there is something in my environment that is setting it off it will just keep on breaking out in other patches, even as I treat the ones I have already got. I have tried all sorts of creams and the only thing that always works is 99% Aloe Vera Gel, available from chemists (be careful some brands have perfume in them which will make it worse!)

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Emma Grace said on 19 July 2010

By the way, if anyone wants the name of creams that actually work to ask your GP for, they are as follows.

Betnovate and Elocon (strong steroid creams but they are fantastic for clearing up bad break outs).

Cetraban is a really good, light emollient that sinks in really quickly and puts loads of moisture in your skin.

Dermol is good as it is an antibiotic cream so if you have broken the skin anywhere, the antibiotic will help to clear up any infected areas. You can also get Dermol soap substitute for the shower.

Oilatum cream is also really good for extremely dry patches as it is thick and very creamy.

Prescribed anti-histamines are good too as they are generally stronger than over the counter ones, and you can get extra strong ones for the night time to stop you itching in your sleep.

A few friends have also told me that Aveeno cream is really good as it is oat based, but it's quite expensive so they get it prescribed.

You can get all of these on prescription from your GP. And if like me you were spending a fortune on prescriptions, apply for a Pre-Pay Prescription certificate. For £100 (£10 over ten months) you can get as many prescriptions as you like. It saved me an absolute fortune.

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Emma Grace said on 19 July 2010

I'm 24 and have literally had eczema since I was a baby. It's always been quite bad but since I moved from Manchester to London a year ago, it's got worse. I honestly think that the hard water here has made it worse.

I had to nag and nag and nag GPs' to refer me to a dermatologist...for some reason, they just don't like doing it and I don't know why. I used to go to my GP and literally sit there in tears and they still didn't refer me. One day I just went in and said "I've had enough, don't want any more steroids or creams, I want to see a dermatologist". I've had allergy tests for everything and I feel so much better.

My eczema used to stop me doing so many things; it controlled my life and I was very depressed. Some things that help me are obviously, not using any perfumed cosmetics, no red food colourings, less spicy food and shellfish, using soap nuts to wash my clothes. Not having boiling hot showers and baths really helps too and I have anti-histamines every day and because it stops the itching.

Also if you've got long nais, file them right down. I have to keep my nails as short as they'll go so that I can't scratch and break my skin.

Steroids do help but they thin your skin so much, I'll only use them when I absolutely have to.

Some of these stories on here are really sad and I hope you all find a way to deal with your eczema. My main piece of advice is to put your foot down with your GP. Just insist on seeing dermatologist; you have a right to.

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Lozerini19 said on 17 July 2010

I feel so good to actually hear other peoples stories that are similar to mine, its reasurring that theres other people out there that understand. I've had eczema most of my life. It makes life difficult and people who dont suffer find it hard to understand the way you feel about it and the condition itself. My skin constantly feels tight, extremely itchy and makes me feel self concious and depressed , all i wanna do when i get home from work everyday is soak in a bath of oilatum to feel like i can move and my skin not crack!. I recently went to the doctor after trying various creams and antihistamines. I was prescribed a steriod ointment that i was told i should use a pea sized amount spread to every hand width of affected area. I was also given another ointment to put over the top of the other ointment. This has calmed my eczema right down and i have been able to move much better and it looks much better within a couple of days. I have also been referred to a dermatologist because i want to find out what i could be allergic to i dont know what flares up the eczema?! I had never heard of the ichtopaste and think Im going to get some because its sounds like it works. :)

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miran said on 27 May 2010

I am 15 and i have had eczema ever since i was born it is fine in the winter but in the summer it gets aggrevated because of my hayfever my whole face goes red in patches and it starts to weep. Its really not very nice the doctors dont do very much because they say its not the worst that they have seen and that they have seen much worse and that i should not worry. I cannot sit on the grass or where clothes other than cotton sometimes i cannot go outside at all because i start to itch. I have to moisturise my face every half an hour eitherwise it will crack and become dry. I cannot get rid of the eczema on my upper lip that is the only place it does not go.

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jman22 said on 28 March 2010

thx 4 that malik17, im goin to continue using the ichtopaste and look it more about the homeopathic. i will continue to look at this page as you have provided helpful information. i hope you continue to also look on this page.

thx again.

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Elizabeth87 said on 26 March 2010

Hello. Some of the stories on here are really sad but also very familiar. I am 22 and have suffered with eczema all of my life. Although it has always been pretty bad it got worse from 17 where I had it everywhere from the neck down and then at 20 i developed urticaria which left me with a swollen face and eyes. I used to feel constantly self conscious and would always cover up and became an expert at applying my make up to hide the redness! However last year i was told about a herbalist in Frodsham who spent well over an hour with me and never made me feel like i was a lost cause or over reacting. We discovered that i was pretty much allergic to everything and especially sulphites which can be found in wine! :-( However she prescribed me this horrible tasting powder that i had to mix with water before eating which helped to block the harm that most foods cause me. I'm sure there's a better technical explanation of this but i am practically eczema free now and feel fantastic!
I would definately recommend looking into alternative medicines as although i still have to rely on prescription skin washes and moisturisers i no longer have to rely on the steroids that have scarred my skin!
Sorry this is a little long winded but i hope it helps people see there can be a way out no matter how long it takes! xxx

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jman22 said on 24 March 2010

its gd to hear from you man...did the ichtopoaste do any justice for you at all and wots homeopathic medicne? where can i get that.


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malik17 said on 24 March 2010

jman22.... lol u welcum... btw i dont use them any more... my ecxzma has all cleared up... and this happend by homeopathic medicne that i took... my eczxzma went in 3 months.... nywys all the best... hp it goes well

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jackpremature said on 04 March 2010

my daughter suffered from eczema and it was found she was allergic to parabens. Parabens are found in all sorts of things, i.e. shampoo, body wash, perfumes, make up etc. Go for the naked range in boots and see if this makes a difference.

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sgbarker said on 01 March 2010

I'm nearly 20 and have suffered with eczema since I was born, with severe eczema on my face, legs, and arms. Up until 2 years ago i'd found no relief no matter how many times i'd been to my GP and was just told to moisturise. I sympathise with all the teenagers on this page as I too became seriously depressed, missing school and being bullied.
However, my skin is now nearly clear (with the old patch of eczema on my arms from time to time) from using Elocon Ointment (it is a strong steriod cream but it works), Olay Sensitive Night Cream 2/3 times a day (this is a pot of wonder! The Day Cream irritates my skin but the Night Cream is magic), and for serious dry areas I apply basic Vaseline thickly at night. I have also found bathing in a prescribed Bath Emolient helps or Johnsons Baby Oil. When my eczema is really itchy I take an antihistamain (Sp?!) which calms my skin down. Trigger foods for my eczema are acidic based lemons and oranges so I steer totally clear of them.
Really hope this helps! Please try Olay Night Cream!!

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jman22 said on 18 February 2010

malik17...u given me hope again man. Im 17 aswell and i was trying to remember the name of mud wrap bandages in which is Ichthopaste. I used this when i was younger and it did get rid of most of my eczema but ever since i 4got about it, my eczema has grown bad. Im going to prescribe everything u have sed to do.Thx man.

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ShadowAngel said on 26 January 2010

I have read all the comments and no one has thought of going back to nature. I am 41 years old and have had bad eczema, until I read about and started using "Rooibos Tea" also known as "Red bush" tea. Firstly I bath in the Rooibos Tea, by putting two teabags in the bath, plus I also drink it as a black tea. My daughter who is 6 months and 26 days old, also suffered and I did the same with her. After three days the eczema was gone and I continued with this process and to date she has had no traces of eczema. I still do not use any soaps or shampoos. Even a warm moist Rooibos Tea Bag on the Eczema area will releive the itching. There is only one other thing I use after a bath and this is Johnson's Baby Aqueous Cream (Fragrance Free). The other thing that I noticed when my daughter drinks the tea. if she has a dummy rash this is gone withing a day or so. I hope this helps some of the people who are suffering.

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pet40 said on 25 January 2010

i am 26 uears old and suffer with atopic eczema, i have this on my face only, it is very embarrassing as i work in retail and you can see people starring at you, they think it is contagious.
i have seen a private consultant who did nothing at all to help me, just told me to live with it...£500 wasted.

i have tried all types of creamsand everything so far has made it flair up. ive tried aveeno, diprobase,e45,vasaline hair and skin vitamins. wheat based creams, none perfume, simple mosturiser( which made me look like id been burnt.)

Please please can anyone help. it is getting very expensive trying new creams, that only make it flair up with the first use!!

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malik17 said on 22 January 2010

Hi everyone, i hav also sufferd eczema since i was a baby and i am now 17, i am sick and tired of my exzema, it stops me from doing a lot of things, i cant be botherd going to college, cant be botherd to do my coursework, cant be botherd going out, stops me from doing house work e.t.c.
i have very bad severe exzema on my legs from my feet to my thighs, my full arms and my hands, some times it can appear on my eyes and my neck!!! its not worth to suffer like this i know how it feels!! but ive got a soloution and it will work after about 3 weeks, because i have tried it my self and i will guarantee you that your exzema will go away will amazing results, you will have to ask your doctor to perscribe the medicnes which are, Ichthopaste bandages, green line stocking which is for the arms and blue line stocking which is for the legs, the Ichthopaste bandages which is brown you will have to wrap it round where your exzema is, and then on top of that if it is your arms that you have hwrapped then use te white green line stocking to put it on top of the Ichthopaste bandags, and same for the legs but you use the blue line white stocking, please try this for two weeks and change your bandages every 2 days and have a shower too when you take them off!! just also remember when putting bandages on you have too put loads and loads of exzema cream on your affected areas, you can get exzema cream which is also called- epaderm cream, ask your doctor too for this!! you will see clean frsh results in 3 weeks, my exezma has gone so better and i hardly scratch like hell, i can move more and do more to!!
please talk to me if you need any hep!!!! thnks!! gud luk!!!

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Nia1992 said on 13 January 2010

I'm a 17 year old girl who's suffered with eczema for 2 years badly, my brother (who's 23) has suffered with it so badly since he was born he is severely depressed and can't work or do anything, because he basically has no skin.when my skin got bad i refused to go to the doctors, because i didn't think they could do anything, after all my brother had been going for 23 years and he still got worse and worse, i couldn't sleep, i used to wake up screaming in pain cause i'd ripped my skin off and i just didn't know what to do, i'd miss school cause i'd be in so much pain i just wanted to sit in my pyjamas and cry, so eventually i dropped out of 6th form because my head of year thought i was over reacting, and told me to just use some e45. i tried e45 of course and it didn't do anything so i just kept getting worse and worse, arguing with my mum, i didn't do anything i found it hard to get out of bed because i could never sleep in the nights i'd sleep through the day. my mum forced me to go to the doctors about it and they referred me to llandough hospital wear i was given light treatment, but that did nothing for me, only dried my skin out. my eczema got worse and worse to the point i used to just wear pyjama bottoms and long sleeved tops everywhere to hide my skin, i could never buy clothes i actually wanted. i was admitted into hospital after going to my light treatment session crying my eyes out and couldn't lift my arms to take my top off because they were so cracked. and to be honest i just regretted not going sooner, because they taught me how to moisturize, put my steroid creams on and everything properly. you wouldn't even know i had eczema within 2 weeks. that was 6 months ago now, and i moisturize 3 times a day, (i should do more but it's hard to find the time in college) and i can wear stuff i want to now, and i'm back in college. i actually cried reading one of these things, HeatherMcWha? just wanted to let you know it will get better :)

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snow lady said on 06 January 2010

i've had psoriasis since my early teens and i'm 35 now so i have a good idea of what people on here are talking about. i've tried practically everything i can think of - all the drugs from the GP, and all the 'natural' herbal remedies i can afford to try. recently though i've got a water softener and it's made so much difference. i'd heard it was good for eczema so thought it was worth a go. It uses salt and is one that has to be fitted by a plumber not a cheapy thing you fit yourself on a water pipe. i'm not sure if i can put the company's name on here - i don't want to get my message removed. i'm so glad i tried it, my skin is nearly clear and just feels so much more comfortable. and i barely even itch!!

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Jane Frost said on 17 December 2009

I find adding Bicarbonate of Soda to a luke warm bath helps a bit.

I buy a box - about 5ins high from a supermarket, then use about a third or a half, depending on how much water there is in the bath.

It's so cheap, it may be worth a try - and I hope it helps someone.

Sorry to read messages from teenagers - it must be hell for you. But your life doesn't have to always be the same.

It might be that you will find a life in a warmer climate, which doesn't antagonise flare ups so much as here in damp, well house-mited Britain and where you can bathe in the sea. I find sun and seawater helps me.

And to the teenager who wanted light treatment - why not ask for a box or whatever it is you need for your birthday or Christmas?

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Caspar said on 13 November 2009

Hi HeatherMcWha,
we're very sorry to read about the issues you've been facing with your eczema.

We can't offer any medical advice online, but would suggest you contact the National Eczema Society. They have a helpline who may be able to offer some support and advice. Their website is and their telephone number is 0800 089 1122.

Caspar @ NHS Choices

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HeatherMcWha said on 13 November 2009

I am 17 years old, I have had eczema since I was born.
I struggle to manage my eczema due tot he fact i hate the treatment.
I have been going to a consultant for the past 5 years and they have not helped.
I have had every treatment apart from the medication and the light treatment.
I spend alot of time worrying about my eczema.
Everytime I speak to someone about it, no one listens and just say its nothing to worry about, just get on with your life.
Its not that easy. I want to wear clothes that I like but I cant because I will show my eczema and people look at it all the time. I have no confidence anymore.
At 17 years old I should have plenty of confidence, but I dont.
I want to be able to go swimming, but my eczema irritates when I do, so I cant do that. I was told to go on sunbeds, but I dont want to damage my skin anymore than it is.

I am depressed with my eczema and I do not know what to do about it or with it. I cant talk to my family all they say is cream up. My consultant doesnt listen to me, so many times I have had days of school and college and it is affecting me. I have broke down alot of times because of my eczema and the consultants dont want to help me anymore. They say it is cleared and it is not irritating me, but it hasnt. I can have good days and bad days and it can flare up whenever. For any unknown cause. I have sat there in tears and begged for light treatment and the pills but they wont give me them because already my immune system is bad due to the steroids i have used since birth and all the medication.
It isnt helping.

I want to know what to do to get me on the tablets, I am not happy anymore. I used to not mind it but now its riduculous.

My life isnt good anymore. I hate it. I didnt think it could effect me as much as it has done these past few years and I dont know what to do anymore. Sometimes i feel like im invisable.

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tommi86 said on 28 September 2009

I am 22 and have suffered with eczema since i was a baby.

Here are a few things that have help me:

Moisturiser! Every couple of hours with a good moisturiser. The ones with liquid paraffin in seem to be the best such as aqueous and vaseline intensive rescue, avoid scented moisturiser as they can irritate. Apply it rubbing only downward to avoid clogging pores which could lead to infection.

Try to hoover your bedsheets daily and spray with febreeze allergenic about an hour before bed, this will cut down the level of dustmites in your bed and you will notice that you will not itch so much in the night. Dustmite mattress covers are also available and can help as well.

Wear thin cotton pyjamas and socks on your hands and feet, most sufferers itch the most at night, this will help to reduce damage by scratching in the night.

keep your fingernails short. Clip or cut them once a week, the shorter they are the less damge they can do!

When showering or bathing use warm water. Never have a hot bath or shower! As nice as it feels to jump into a hot bath or shower its not gonna do you much good. Use pure olive oil soap instead of smelly bath and shower gels. olive oil is said good for the skin. A few drops of lavender oil in a bath is said to relieve inflammed skin and relieve stress which can lead to itching.

I hope this helps guys!

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Christy1 said on 04 September 2009

I have had eczema since I was born and now at 22 I go through phases but am aware of pretty much everything that sets it off anf have some tips:

- No matter what try try try not to scratch..I know it can be so hard and is uncomfortable, sometimes if it is really hot and itchy it is good to put a cold glass on the skin

- Only where 100% cotton otherwise the skin cannot breath and the sweat itches like mad

- avoid trigger foods, especially not too much wheat and tomatoes (for me I notice around my mouth gets itchy after I eat them)

- Don't shower every day and apply a thick layer of moisturiser everywhere after showering and let it soak in for 10mins (I like cocoa butter)

- Also if it is on your hands and feet I would recommend wearing two socks on each foot in bed and filling them with a good moisturiser, I do this alot! I've heard people do it with gloves too. You wake up with smooth feet

- Swimming in the sea and the sun really helps, also hair skin and nails vitamin tablets help

- Oh and don't use too much soap - I only use on armpits where it wont dry it out too much

On skin that gets sweaty I find it doesn't heal until it has dried out, try wearing really light cotton clothes that don't rub until the skin heals and then keep it moisturised

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Jayde1 said on 29 July 2009

hi, im 17 i have had eczema since i was 2 and its gt worse and worse.. its all over the palms of my hands and feet and starting to come on my knees. Its so depressing to look at. I was just wondering if anyone has anything they could offer me. As i have been to the doctors so many times and i think i proberly have used every cream they offer i hate it, and its not like normal eczema its servere eczema.. Someone please help me? :(

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Louy_Ox said on 19 July 2009

I Have Eczema On My Head && I TriedUsing Baby Shampoo && Conditioner But It Just Comes && Goes &&Wenn I Itch It It It Weeps After A While!! Any Sugestions On How I Could Stop It From Being So Bad ?? _Ox

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cindymw66 said on 17 July 2009

l have Eczema mainly on my hands and feet, bit l also have big red wet,very very itchy sore patches under my breasts...any suggestions about what to try would be appreciated....tried many things.

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tom123 said on 13 May 2009

ive had eczema all my life but recently its starting to get really sweatty i have it between my legs near my crotch its on both sibdes and i cant walk for long because of it it goes relly wet wetting my underwear and even jeans and i cant walk without it hurtn alot it dries up in the morning after i wake up and it stings this happens everyday and i dont know what to do by the way im a 17year old male

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