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Suffering from itchy, red, dry elbows? You may have atopic eczema. Also called atopic dermatitis, atopic eczema is the most common form of eczema. It can appear anywhere on the body, but it typically develops on the hands, backs of the knees, and in the creases of the elbows during childhood.
Elbow eczema is irritating, uncomfortable, and can be distracting when trying to get through the day. Plus, the elbows are an easy spot to scratch, making them more susceptible to infection if relentless scratching leads to cracking of skin.
Let’s explore the symptoms of elbow eczema as well as discuss some natural ways you can soothe or prevent this itchy skin disorder.
Please keep in mind that although what we discuss in this post can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
Symptoms of Elbow Eczema
Eczema keeps the skin from appearing smooth and healthy. If you suffer from elbow eczema, the skin in your inner elbow will likely be red, dry, cracked – and extremely itchy. Scratch marks may be present if you’ve engaged in intense scratching. In some cases, the affected skin can even develop a thicker, scaly texture. Symptoms will usually go through periods where they range in degree of severity. For example, there may be moments when symptoms are less noticeable and others where they flare-up.
Natural Treatments for Eczema on Elbows
Here are some great ways you can heal or soothe elbow eczema and eczema in elbow creases:
From airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust and grass, to fabric irritants, such as latex, polyester, and nylon, there are plenty of possible eczema triggers. Even everyday household, including soaps, detergents, and a variety of beauty products, can further irritate the skin. Avoid these triggers by being aware of the ingredients in the products you use, switching to natural solutions when possible, and washing new clothes before you wear them.
ILW Recommends: Eczema 102: What Triggers Eczema?
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisture
Since dry skin is a prime characteristic of eczema – and a key reason why your skin is itchy – hydrating your skin with natural creams and balms is a crucial part of eczema care. This balm by Emily Skin Soothers is great for relieving irritation in skin folds, such as the elbow.
This Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is also a wonderful natural treatment that soothes dry, itchy skin while keeping skin protected from further irritation due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wear Eczema-Friendly Clothing
As mentioned earlier, certain fabrics are known to make eczema worse. That’s why it’s so important to wear eczema-friendly clothing. To prevent irritation, all Remedywear clothing is made without latex, bylon, or nickel. Instead, the garments are composed of eco-friendly TENCEL and anti-inflammatory zinc to protect the skin and ensure comfort.
ILW Recommends: How to Choose Clothing for Sensitive Skin
Eat the Right Food
Eating the wrong foods can trigger an eczema flare-up.
To reduce eczema symptoms, try eating anti-inflammatory foods such as apples, kale, blueberries, and salmon or try your luck with this plant-based diet. Additionally, you might want to identify possible food triggers. This can be done through an elimination diet. Be sure to work with a nutritionist, especially when children are involved, to ensure their diet still provides all essential nutrients.
Wet and Dry Wrap Therapy
Spot treat eczema on the elbow and find fast relief for more advanced flare-ups by wet wrapping.
This is done by first soaking in a lukewarm bath and patting dry with a towel. Once you’ve applied a natural moisturizer that’s rich in emollients, gentle wrap the elbow area with a damp sleeve like this WrapESoothe Eczema Sleeve, followed by a dry layer of clothing overtop. The damp layer helps the emollients permeate the skin for longer. With this wet wrap treatment, studies report an average reduction of eczema symptoms by 70% in 5 days!
Dry wrapping is also a wonderful therapy that requires less time and resources. Instead of applying a damp layer, dry wrapping only requires one dry layer like this Remedywear Eczema Sleeves to be applied over an emollient. Like wet wrapping, this type of bandaging allows the emollient to permeate the skin and therefore soothe eczema faster. This therapy can easily be done during the day or as an overnight treatment.
How do you stop yourself from scratching when the urge to itch is so relentless?
Thankfully, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your skin. Consider wearing these eczema gloves or mittens. Suitable for babies, children, and adults alike, they eliminate the possibility of scratching skin, especially at night when you have less control over your actions.
For intense relief, you can also cool your skin with this Organic Aloe Vera Skin Soothing Spray to help reduce the itchiness.
Stress is linked to many health and skin conditions, including eczema. In fact, the relationship between stress and eczema is a bit of a vicious cycle.
The more you stress, the more your symptoms are exacerbated, yet the struggle of dealing with eczema is enough to cause anyone stress in the first place! The key is learning to keep your stress under control. To do this, take time to clear your mind by practicing yoga or meditation, going for a walk, or indulging in a soothing coconut oil or oatmeal bath.
Additionally, make sure to check out our blog post: The Power of Trust and Acceptance: 6 Tips for Living with Eczema. If you’re going through a particularly difficult eczema journey, we encourage you to read this post that discusses the emotional acceptance of eczema. Eczema can be extremely painful and emotional, but there are ways to find gratitude and blessings in pain.
How do you deal with elbow eczema? Share your tips!
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.