Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



There are many things you can do to prevent or reduce eczema flare-ups.

  • Avoid exposure to:

    • Extreme temperatures

    • Dry air

    • Harsh soaps

    • Perfumed products

    • Bubble baths

  • Use blankets and clothing made of cotton. Avoid more irritating fabrics, such as wool. Avoid stiff synthetics, such as polyester.

  • After showering or bathing, pat dry (rather than rub). That way, you leave a little moisture on your skin. Then apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to trap moisture in the skin.

  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air during the winter heating season.

To help to prevent contact dermatitis, avoid skin contact with:

  • Dish detergent, cleaning solutions, and other irritating chemicals

  • Plants

  • Jewelry

  • Substances that trigger skin allergies

If you have leg swelling, you can help prevent stasis dermatitis by:

  • Wearing compression stockings

  • Elevating your legs if you sit for long periods

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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