The key is to make sure the symptoms (ie the itchy, patchy or flaky red skin) stay away, so your skin feels soothed and the eternal negative cycle of scratching and sore skin is broken.
Dr Adam Friedmann of the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic (www.theharleystreetdermatologyclinic.co.uk) says "There is no cure (for eczema). However, with the right treatment, it can be controlled".
So, what can I do if I suffer from eczema?
Here are 9 top tips to make sure your eczema-prone skin doesn’t get out of control.
1.Use the right products
Endorsed by the British Allergy Foundation, Toleriane Ultra is the ultimate facial moisturiser for eczema-prone skin. Made for skin prone to allergies, it’s soothing and does not contain preservatives, parabens, fragrances, alcohol, colorant nor lanolin in its formula. It contains dry skin saviours, shea butter and glycerin: ideal for dry skin. For eczema on your body, try La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+. The balm hydrates for 48 hours, keeps itching at bay for 24 hours and regulates the skin’s microbiome - helping maintain itch-free skin sustainably over time.
2. Avoid temperature changes
Skin reacts to temperature changes, which is why eczema often flares up in the winter, or in the summer.
3. Shower after exercise
Sweating after exercise can also irritate eczema, therefore a quick shower is the key. Apply moisturizers and emollients within five minutes of showering to increase absorption.
4. Wear the right fabrics
Scratchy wool is a big no-no. Use breathable fabrics which will limit any unnecessary overheating or sweating.
5. Investigate your diet
Nutritionists like Sandra Greenbank (www.sandragreenbank.co.uk) believe eczema sufferers can change their diet for better skin, saying "there is increasing evidence that some types of eczema are triggered by food reactions". Investigate if your trigger is a food allergy.
6. Avoid allergens
Easier said than done but steer clear of obvious eczema triggers, such as dust, or pollen.
7. Get treatment
Topical steroids are recommended in the treatment of eczema, reducing redness and inflammation and letting skin heal.
8. Keep stress at bay
Stress and eczema are linked. With a lower immune system, rashes get worse.
9. Consult a dermatologist or GP
If you suffer from acute eczema, going to see a dermatologist, GP or other medical professional to get customised advice could be the best way to help keep your skin under control.