What is Eczema and How Can It Be Treated?

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About Eczema

Eczema is the term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Atopic dermatitis, a type of  eczema, is known as “the itch that rashes.” It usually appears on the face, hands, and limbs, and is accompanied by an intense itch.  Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It affects approximately 15% of infants and children and 3% of adults in the U.S. Many people outgrow the condition during childhood, although some suffer with it throughout life.

How it Effects the Skin

Atopic dermatitis affects the skin’s barrier function—its ability to keep moisture in and irritants out. It also disturbs the formation of natural skin oils and reduces sweat secretion. As a result, skin loses moisture and can eventually become so dry that it cracks and fissures develop, allowing bacteria and irritants to penetrate the skin and possibly cause infection. While the exact cause of the disease is unknown, the good news is that it can be managed and treated with a good daily skincare regimen.  Your dermatologist or pediatrician may prescribe medications to help you manage your eczema or atopic dermatitis, but he or she will also tell you that daily moisturizing is your first line of defense against flare-ups and can help reduce itch.

Care and Treatment

To prevent skin’s natural moisturizers from being stripped away, try to take only one warm (not hot) bath or shower per day, and limit it to 10 minutes. Avoid soaps and instead, wash with a gentle soap-free and fragrance-free cleanser. After bathing, gently pat away excess water with a soft, absorbent towel and apply moisturizer while skin is still damp, to help seal in moisture.  Hydrating the skin is essential in helping to reestablish skin’s natural barrier, which keeps moisture in and irritants out. Use moisturizers at least twice a day or even more often if you feel that you need it. Choose a fragrance-free moisturizer that’s safe for sensitive skin.

More Tips For Eczema Relief

On EaseEczema.org you’ll find helpful resources and information for people who suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis. Among the suggestions they offer is to wash all new clothes before wearing to remove formaldehyde and other potentially irritating chemicals that are used during production and packing of clothing as these ingredients can irritate skin. Also use mild detergents that are dye-free and fragrance-free, as dyes and fragrances can irritate skin. Also look for Over-the Counter skin protectant with colloidal oatmeal to moisturizer skin and help relieve minor irritation and itching of eczema.  

The information provided herein is not intended to be medical advice. Nor is it intended to treat the underlying skin disease or condition. The information is provided solely to:

1. Moisturize, soften and smooth dry skin
2. Improve the appearance of the skin
3. Achieve healthier-looking skin

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Discover Eczema Relief

How to relieve your dry and itchy eczema prone skin

As a dermatologist-recommended brand our line of Eczema Relief products are designed to help relieve the itch associated with dry skin and eczema. Here’s how:


Dry skin and eczema are often characterized by a compromised skin barrier, which allows moisture to escape and irritants to penetrate the skin. Colloidal Oatmeal, a skin protectant, helps to relieve and soothe dry, itchy eczema-prone skin, and protect skin against irritants.

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Barrier Repair

Ceramide-3 enriched formula can help to repair and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, which is crucial to preventing water loss

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Soothing Ingredients

Formula with licorice root extract helps to soothe red, irritated skin.

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Hypoallergenic Formulas

Eucerin’s Eczema Relief products are hypoallergenic and specifically formulated to minimize irritation

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Key ingredients to strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier

A strong moisture barrier is essential for helping prevent moisture loss, protecting against external aggressors, and for overall skin health.  Eucerin products are designed to support the skin’s moisture barrier through a combination of ingredients and formulations for skin hydration and barrier integrity. Here’s how:

Colloidal Oatmeal

Formulas with this skin protectant, help protect exposed skin surfaces from irritants, and help provide relief from the itch and minor irritation of eczema. 

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Emollients and Occlusives

Formulas with emollients help soften and smooth the skin’s surface, while occlusives create a protective barrier on the skin, reducing water loss. Formulas with ingredients like shea butter, and glycerin help reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier. 

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Ceramides are essential lipids found naturally in the skin’s outermost layer (the stratum corneum) and play an essential role in replenishing and restoring the skin’s lipid barrier, helping to retain moisture and protect against external irritants.

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pH-Balanced Formulations

An appropriate pH helps preserve the acidic environment of the skin, which is crucial for the function of enzymes and maintaining barrier integrity.

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Clinical Testing

Eucerin Eczema Relief products are clinically tested to ensure their safety and efficacy, particularly for those with dry skin and eczema.

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The science of pH balance:

Did you know that the optimal pH range for healthy skin is 4.1–5.8, which is slightly acidic?  For context, this is more or less the pH range of a banana!  Here are a few reasons why that pH range is considered ideal:

Natural Acid Mantle

The acid mantle is a thin, protective layer of oils, sweat and dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Its acidic environment serves as a natural defense mechanism against harmful microorganisms like bacteria and fungi.

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Barrier Function

A slightly acidic pH helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier, preventing moisture loss and protecting against external irritants. When this balance is disrupted and the skin’s pH becomes more alkaline, it can lead to a compromised skin barrier.

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Optimal Enzyme Activity

Enzymes in the skin function optimally within the slightly acidic pH range. This balance ensures that essential skin processes like lipid production and desquamation (shedding of dead skin cells) occur efficiently.  Maintaining a healthy skin pH is fundamental for overall skin health and well-being, which is why Eucerin’s Eczema Relief Cream & Body Wash is a skin pH-optimized, low surfactant formula, free from soap, dyes and fragrances.

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Test your eczema knowledge:

Discover Eczema Relief for Baby

All statistics are pulled from the National Eczema Association (https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/)

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