Scores of recent studies link getting enough vitamin D to eczema symptom improvement. “I recommend that my adult patients take 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day,” says Lio. People with adequate levels of vitamin D had milder eczema symptoms than those who had low levels of D, according to a 2013 review of studies.
Dry air sucks moisture from skin and worsens eczema, so pay attention to indoor humidity levels, suggests Nanette Silverberg, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University. Sweating when the mercury climbs also exacerbates symptoms. Running a cool-mist humidifier in winter and an air conditioner or a dehumidifier in summer can help. (Also consider these dry-skin remedies.)
Soak and seal
A daily 20-minute bath in lukewarm water restores moisture to parched, eczema-prone skin. (Hot water is too drying for tender skin.) Soaking also washes away allergens and bacteria, says Leung. Use gentle, low-pH, fragrance- and dye-free cleansers. After bathing, lightly pat skin with a towel and then apply any topical meds plus an additive-free cream to still-damp skin to seal in moisture. During the day, lavish on a moisturizer when skin feels dry. Ask your dermatologist to recommend a good product, or consult the guide from the National Eczema Association.