Different solutions work for different people when it comes to getting relief from eczema itching.
There are many options available. It may take trial and error to find the right approach for you - seek medical advice if you need extra support or have concerns.
If you do have the urge to itch - rather than scratching try to rub with the pads of your fingers, as this is better for your skin. Keep nails trimmed short so they cause less damage.
Emollients and special moisturising creams, lotions, and ointments - help provide a protective barrier to cover the skin and help retain moisture to stop it drying out. Different formulations, including different amounts of oil, will suit different symptoms. Follow the directions on how to apply it and how often. Sometimes a product that's been working well may no longer provide relief so the search will begin again for an alternative. Different approaches may be needed during flare-ups than are needed for daily 'maintenance' at other times. Some products may contain coal tar. This can be smelly but effective.
Medicated bandages or wet wraps - medicated ready-to-use products can be used over emollients and doctors may suggest their use alongside steroid cream or hydrocortisone cream (topical steroids) to help with itching and inflammation. Wet wraps are simply fabric soaked in water and put onto the skin to help give relief. However, be aware, using them too much can result in skin infections.
Bleach baths - these involve a soaking in bathwater with an unperfumed low strength household bleach or a product designed for eczema. The idea behind them is to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin and, therefore, help reduce flare-ups. A well-mixed solution of 150ml thin bleach per 10cm of bathwater is often recommended for adults with eczema - but always seek medical advice first, and if you are unsure. Up to twice a week, bathe for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off and patting yourself dry with a towel rather than rubbing.
Complementary therapies - some people say approaches such as herbal remedies, acupressure, or acupuncture may bring itching relief but the NHS cautions there's not much evidence to support this.
Relaxation techniques - stress can trigger eczema flare-ups, so it makes sense when experts suggest trying to relax and avoid stress to help minimise itching and other symptoms. Approaches include self-hypnosis, meditation, and biofeedback therapy. Distraction can also be effective if it is possible to take your mind of the itching - even for a short time.
Antihistamines - these medications may help relieve the itching from atopic eczema by blocking histamine in the blood. Remember some antihistamines can cause drowsiness so should be used with caution before driving or going to work. However, they may help if eczema itching is keeping you awake at night. Seek medical advice about suitable products.
Cotton clothing and bedding - these are often found to be less irritating than artificial fibres and less likely to cause itching. Avoid biological washing powder and fabric conditioners too.