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Introduction - 2 min read

How can Eczema Care Online help me?

Eczema Care Online will help you to keep your skin healthy and live well with eczema.


The website has been developed by people with eczema and a team of health experts using the most up-to-date research evidence. We have spoken to over 200 people with eczema and their families to find out what is most important and helpful to them.


If you’ve visited before, click here

Chapter 1

What else can I expect from Eczema Care Online?

There will be quotes throughout based on the tips and experiences that people with eczema have shared with us.

These have been checked by people with eczema to make sure they will be useful for you.

You’ll find out more about:

  • Eczema and its treatment
  • Diet and allergy
  • Cosmetics, make-up, skin care and shaving
  • Dealing with scratching
  • Eczema at school, university or work and much more

I've been dealing with eczema for years and thought I knew it all, and was really surprised by the helpful new tips I found


In this section, we have pulled together the key information that people with eczema have told us was most helpful for them. 

Chapter 2

Frequently asked questions about eczema

Click on any of the questions below to find out the answer:

What is eczema?

Eczema is a condition that makes skin itchy. In lighter skin, eczema may look red. In darker skin, eczema may look grey, purple or brown. The skin can be dry and sometimes flaky. This should improve as you get control of eczema.

How common is eczema?

You are not alone.  Five million people in the UK have eczema. This means that 1 in every 10 people your age have it.

Will my eczema ever go away?

There is currently no cure for eczema. You may have heard that your eczema will go away as you get older but this does not happen for everyone. Usually, if you still have eczema at the age of 13, then you may still have some flare ups as you get older.

The good news is that there is lots you can do to control eczema. It does not have to stop you from enjoying life and doing the things you want to do.

You may find that your eczema changes over time. There may be times when your eczema is really good and appears to go away completely. While other times, it may appear worse or affect new areas of the body.

Taking a few small steps can make a big difference to your quality of life.

What causes eczema?

There is no single cause of eczema, it can be caused by a mixture of things.

  1. Eczema can run in families

  2. The immune system over-reacts

  3. The skin works less well as a barrier

Things can make eczema worse such as soaps or washing powders.


What does it mean that 'eczema can run in families'?

We know that eczema can run in families. This means that you are more at risk of getting eczema if your mum, dad, brother, or sister has eczema.
You are also more likely to get eczema if these family members have asthma, food allergies, or hay fever.


What does the immune system have to do with it?

The immune system is our body’s defence system. It helps us to fight infection. This system works in a different way in people with eczema. It ‘over-reacts’ to things that would not normally harm us.

Is there a link between eczema, allergies, asthma, and hay fever?

We know that people with eczema are more likely to get asthma, food allergies, and hay fever.

This does not mean that everyone with eczema will get these health problems. Also, not everyone with these health problems will get eczema.

What can make eczema worse?

In people with eczema, the body may react to:

  • Soaps, shower gel, shampoo, bubble bath
  • Washing-up liquid, washing powder
  • Grass, pollen, dust, animal hair
  • Clothes that are not soft, smooth, and breathable
  • Being too hot or too cold
  • Moisture on the skin, like sweat
Chapter 3

The skin barrier and eczema

Our skin is a natural barrier that stops things from getting into our bodies and keeps water in the skin. In someone with eczema, this skin barrier works less well. It lets moisture out, making the skin dry.

It also lets in things that irritate the skin, such as soap and washing up liquid. This can cause the skin to react, making it itchy and sore.

Watch this video to find out more about the skin barrier in people with eczema.

My eczema really annoyed me and I used to scratch all the time but now I know what I'm doing I scratch much less than I used to.

Chapter 4

Two treatments used well

Many people can feel confused about how to treat eczema. It can be hard to know what treatments to use and when because eczema changes over time.

There are two main treatments for eczema

Flare control creams (usually steroid creams) - To get control 

Moisturising creams (‘emollients’) - To keep control 

Both treatments are needed. This is because they help control eczema in different ways. 


When these two treatments are used well, they will treat most eczema.

These treatments come as creams, lotions, ointments or gels, but when we group them together we will call them 'creams'.

To get control

Flare control creams (usually steroid creams)

What are they for?

These creams are used to get control of eczema. They are:

•    Used to treat flare-ups where the skin is more sore or itchy than normal

•    Normally prescribed and are usually steroid creams (topical corticosteroids). Sometimes they are TCIs (Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors)

Most people with eczema will need to use flare control creams at some point. 


Use them as soon as there is a flare-up.

How often?

During a flare-up, apply a thin layer once a day until the eczema is under control. 

How much to apply?

As a rough guide, put on a thin layer, just enough to cover the eczema flare area.

How long for?

Use them for two days after the eczema is under control. If you need to use flare control creams for longer than 3 or 4 weeks, then it would be good to discuss this with a health professional.

Are they safe?

Yes. Studies show that flare control creams are safe when used following the instructions above. They should be applied to the affected skin only. They are usually used for just a few days or weeks at a time.

To keep control 

Moisturising creams (emollients)

What are they for?

These creams are used to keep control of eczema. They help to:

  • Stop eczema flare-ups by keeping out things that may irritate the skin
  • Make the skin soft by locking water in the skin
  • Stop itching

Most people with eczema will need to use moisturising creams every day.


Usually they need to be used at least once a day.  

How often?

The drier your skin is, the more often you should use a moisturising cream. 

How much to apply?

Put on a thick layer. Moisturising creams cannot be overused.

How long for?

Always. Use moisturising creams even when your skin is clear will prevent flare-ups in the future.

Are they safe?

Yes. Moisturising creams are very safe. They are used by millions of people with eczema across the world. Sometimes people find they irritate or sting. You may need to find one that works for you.

As soon as I started using moisturising creams more regularly, I noticed that my skin really improved and I didn't get as many flare-ups.

Quiz Chapter 5


Answer these questions for suggestions on where to go next...

If you know what your looking for you can go straight to the homepage by clicking the link below

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Is your eczema itchy?


Do you have patches of dry skin?


Is your eczema sore?


Is your eczema redder or darker than usual?

Suggested for you

Flare control creams

Flare control creams are used to get control of eczema flare-ups. They contain medicines to make the skin less sore and itchy. This helps the skin heal. Most people with eczema will need to use flare control creams at some point.


Suggested for you

Moisturising creams

Moisturising creams form a barrier over the skin to protect the skin and keep control of eczema. They help to stop eczema flare-ups by keeping out things that may irritate the skin.