"With this condition, our job is to counsel people on eczema and get them on a really good and extremely moisturizing skin care regimen," says Palm. She recommends looking for products that contain ceramides, naturally occurring fats that are significantly lower in number in people who suffer from eczema. Products that contain ceramides will help soften skin and retain moisture. Your derm can prescribe topical steroids to quell flares or products with topical calcineurin inhibitors, nonsteriods that are great for treating sensitive areas like the face, around the eyes or near the genitalia. Over-the-counter oral antihistamines can help relieve itchiness.
Good old-fashioned petroleum jelly can help soothe eczema in a pinch. Another household ingredient that works surprisingly well? "Crisco!" says Palm. "Shortening actually has good moisturizing capabilities that really lock in moisture if you can't head to the store or your doctor." The only side effect is ... smelling like shortening.
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