Constant itchy, dry and inflamed skin can have many triggers including a change in season and highly perfumed soaps and moisturizers. Some tips to keep the itching under control.
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Sherry: About 5 million Canadians suffer from eczema, constantly itchy, dry and inflamed skin. For many, the only treatment option has been prescription creams, but the development of new over counter products may also help ease some of the discomfort. Amanda Cresswell-Melville is an Eczema patient, she is also President of the Eczema Society of Canada. Amanda Cresswell-Melville: Eczema sufferers experience the recurrent flares or acute episodes. Many factors in the environment can contribute to these triggers, one of which is the change in season or the change in weather. Sherry: People with Eczema have a reduced lipid content in the upper layers of the their skin and an impaired skin barrier, resulting in a greater than normal loss of skin moisture. Amanda Cresswell-Melville: Treatment options with loss of moisture in the skin vary, but we recommend following our triangle of control, which is comprised of frequent bathing, regular application of moisturizers and the use of prescription products. We recommend that patient bath often and never with highly perfumes, soaps or body washes as those can actually act as triggers. We also recommend that you follow all bathing with the application of a rich moisturizer. Sherry: Rather they should use something gentle like Aveeno Eczema skin care moisturizing cream, it was developed with leading dermatologist specifically for Eczema sufferers, and contains no fragrance, dyes, or steroids. Amanda Cresswell-Melville: Once the skin of an eczema suffer has been exposed to a trigger, white blood cells rush to the surface of the skin causing the patient to itch. At that time it sets of a chemical reaction leading to inflammation. By keeping the skin moist and well hydrated, you can reduce the incidence of inflammation. After bathing or any contact with the water, such washing hands you want to pat dry the excess water, while still leaving a little bit on the skin because you're going to try and seal that in. You first want to apply your prescription products then your rich moisturizer to the rest of the skin, including healthy tissue. You want to try and apply your moisturizer many times throughout the day because that'll maximize hydration and will help you to keep your eczema under good control. Sherry: Aveeno Eczema skin care moisturizing cream and body wash are the first products to carry the Eczema Society of Canada seal of acceptance. For more information on the Eczema Society of Canada, visit eczemahelp.ca. Sherry reporting.