Eczema treatments usually prescribed by GPs are emollients (moisturisers applied to the skin to stop the dryness), topical corticosteroids (creams and ointments to reduce swelling and flare-ups), and antihistamines (to stop the itching). But treatments can work for different people, and natural remedies may prove more effective. Dr Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, said there’s no single treatment people should avoid for eczema, but that it’s important to look at diet. He said: “Looking at what you eat can help. Sometimes foods such as eggs can trigger it.
“Foods like fish, veg and leafy greens have been recommended as good options to include in your diet.”
Food allergy is more common in people with eczema, says the National Eczema Association.
It explains: “Among children under five who have eczema, as many as 30 per cent may also have food allergy.
Allergic reactions to food can cause a variety of symptoms including skin features such as hives, itching, flushing or eczema flares or shortness of breath and wheezing, or gastrointestinal complaints such as vomiting, abdominal pain, or heartburn.”
The eczema body further advise: “Young children with moderate to severe eczema should be tested for food allergies if they have had one of the reactions noted above to a food that occurred shortly after eating it.
“Testing is also recommended if their eczema has not improved with standard medical care.
“The food allergies most important to test for in this age group are egg, milk, peanut, wheat, and soy. Current studies indicate that people with eczema and egg allergy feel less itchy on an egg-free diet.
“For people with other food allergies, it is not clear if avoiding those foods will improve their symptoms. Nonetheless, experts currently recommend that people with food allergies avoid the foods that they are allergic to.
“Most children with food allergy will lose their food allergy to milk, egg, soy and wheat after several years, but peanut and tree nut allergy may be more persistent.”
Alongside diet, Dr Thornber says looking at the toiletries you use and put onto your skin and the clothing quality/type you wear could also alleviate the symptoms of eczema.
Dr Thornber offered some other natural remedies to try: “Aloe vera gel has been known to soothe skin irritation.