When eczema strikes, red, scaly patches invade the skin—and they itch like crazy. This chronic inflammatory condition (also called atopic dermatitis) can’t be cured, and tends to flare periodically and then subside. But with super-simple lifestyle changes and home remedies, you can ease your symptoms during an eczema flare-up—no doctor’s visit required. Here, dermatologists share some of their go-to skin soothers.
Pull out the coconut oil
Great for cooking, and…skincare? You bet. “The most common cause of an eczema flare is dry skin,” says Jeremy Fenton, MD, a board certified dermatologist and medical director at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City. “Coconut oil can be a great moisturizer, and may even have some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. People with eczema tend to have a higher load of bacteria on their skin, and that bacteria can make eczema worse.”