A health professional such as a qualified dermatologist will help you unpack a correct management plan, it may vary from person to person once you have identified your triggers. However at the basis of every eczema management routine, are two key strategies that may help prevent your eczema symptoms getting worse and ending in an infected flare up:
Identifying & avoiding triggers
Just as things like dust and pollen can aggravate hay fever, some irritants are known to trigger or even worsen eczema. These aren’t the same for everyone, but often include heat, animal dander, dust, sweat, fragrances, wool clothing & carpets, soap, stress, and food allergens like egg17-19.
It’s important to be aware of these triggers and watch for any others that might be affecting you or your child. One way to do this is to use a symptom diary, where you can record when and where symptoms occur. This can make it easier to spot patterns or triggers in your or your child’s diet or environment, it's ideal to share this with your medical practitioner.
Regular use of moisturisers
Even when the skin appears normal (not red or inflamed), people with eczema have a weakened skin barrier—the part of the skin responsible for keeping water in and irritants out6. Just like a bucket with holes in the bottom, eczema skin will lose water more quickly than normal skin and is often bordering dryness and irritation. Similarly, the incessant itch associated with eczema can be made worse by dry skin20.
To work effectively, the skin barrier needs to be hydrated all the time, so regular use of moisturisers should form the foundation of any eczema management plan. This is why all expert guidelines for eczema management recommend regular, liberal use of moisturisers 21-23.