Itchy Skin And Eczema: Quick Guide + 7 Top Treatment Tips


We’ve all been there, right? 

Mid flare-up and minding your own business at the family BBQ, when Dave the idiot uncle comes over and asks why there’s red patches on your skin. Umm it’s eczema Dave, leave it out yeh? 

And then he comes back with that wonderful suggestion (like all people seem to)...”have you tried just NOT scratching it?”


Ok maybe you’re not quite as rude as us, but we’re totally with you on this one. Itchy skin can be one of the most frustrating and debilitating aspects of eczema, especially when you’re deep in a flare up that begins to impact your sleep and quality of life. 

When it then descends into the ‘itch-scratch cycle’ (making it even harder to escape from) we’re getting into the realms of seriously uncool vibes. 

So we’re here to give you the low down on itchy skin and hopefully provide some handy tips and tricks that should help ease your symptoms. 

In this article, you’ll find: 

1. What is eczema - a quick low down

2. Why does eczema make your skin itchy?

3. Top treatment tips to help you stop itching

4. Final word

So, what is eczema? 

Eczema is a common, chronic, non-contagious skin condition. 

Often those suffering have an overactive immune system that when triggered, responds by causing inflammation. 

This is what can lead to the red, itchy patches you loathe so much and very often a weakened skin barrier that is more susceptible to external triggers

Overall there are 7 types of eczema that are categorised by similar symptoms: 

- Dry, sensitive skin

- Itchy patches

- Red or inflamed skin

- Areas of oozing or crusting

- Swelling 

Basically, it’s the rude relative that no one invited to the party and farrr outstays their welcome. 

Why does eczema make your skin itchy? 

Right then, time to get sciency. 

Itch in atopic dermatitis tends to originate in the skin, with medical names often cited such as pruritus or pruriceptive itch

This type of itch starts when free nerve fibres are stimulated by nerve endings called C fibres in the upper most layer of the skin. 

There’s a whole host of ‘triggers’ that can stimulate these nerve endings, but common ones to look out for are: 

- External irritants (think dust, pollen, the weather, fragrance)

- Flare ups

- Dry skin

In response to this itch in the skin, the nerve pathways are activated and send messages to the brain. 

What happens next? Yup, you guessed it…scratching! And so the cycle begins. 

It’s also important to remember that eczema sufferers (as we briefly mentioned earlier) most likely suffer from a broken or weakened skin barrier. 

This ‘skin barrier’ is the uppermost layer and is made up primarily of ceramides, a lipid found naturally in skin cells that account for roughly 50% of the epidermis. 

When this barrier is broken, it means the skin is more exposed to external irritants and is more prone to TEWL (transepidermal water loss). As a result, it means the skin cells are unable to retain sufficient amounts of water and subsequently shrink, which can lead to dry skin. 

It has also been shown that TEWL increases at night, which may well be one of the reasons eczema sufferers tend to feel more itchy come bed time. 

That’s about as far as we’re going to take it with the science, as clearly it becomes far more complex than what we’ve run through above. If you’re really interested, then it’s best to turn to that big friendly search engine most likely set as your homepage. 

Top treatment tips to help you stop itching

1. Repair the weakened skin barrier and soothe inflammation

Repairing that weakened skin barrier of yours is absolutely vital if we hope to ward off irritants and stop your skin becoming itchy. It’s also a great idea to reduce inflammation and calm those angry spots you just can’t stop scratching. 

Fortunately our very own calming spray is exactly what you’re after! 

Enriched with a blend of 3 traditional Chinese herbs trusted for 1000’s of years to fight allergic skin conditions, it’s been especially designed to soothe sensitive skin and reduce inflammation. 

Reinforced further with probiotics and ceramides, it will even help repair and strengthen your epidermis and get your skin back on track to being flare up free.

We advise keeping it handy wherever you go and if an itchy patch appears, spray it, wait 30 minutes, and let our formula get to work! 

2. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

Seriously, we’re talking at least twice a day (at the very minimum). 

It’s vital you replace the hydration lost thanks to that weakened skin barrier and moisturising regularly is a great way to do this. 

Get a big tub and slap on the stuff like it’s going out of fashion. 

3. Identify and avoid your triggers

No cream, spray or oil is worth a penny if you keep exposing yourself to your triggers. 

We know it can be really hard to identify what these might be, but think patch tests and elimination diets and you’re on the right track. 

If you’re then lucky enough to find out what they are - avoid, like the plague!

4. Take short luke-warm showers

We know how nice it can feel to jump in a scalding hot shower when you’re in a flare up. 

But the truth? It’s probably doing you more harm than good. 

Hot water can strip your skin of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy as well as increasing inflammation. All things that can lead to even more itchy skin. 

So take a luke-warm shower instead and do yourself a favour. 

5. Apply a cold compress

Simple enough to apply, just grab a clean tea towel and soak it in cold water. Wring the towel until it’s damp, then apply directly to where your skin is itchy. 

Of course this won’t do anything to help treat the underlying causes, but it might help give you some temporary relief. 

When you remove the towel and your skin is damp…moisturise! 

6. Manage your stress levels

If you didn’t know that stress and your skin are linked, well, you’d best get up to speed pronto. 

When you’re stressed your body responds by producing increased amounts of the hormone cortisol, which can suppress the immune system and cause an inflammatory response in the skin. 

The typical result? Some of the red itchy stuff. 

We preach meditation and mindfulness to help here, jump over to our social channels for tips on where to get started. 

7. Avoid unconscious scratching 

This is surprisingly common. Have you ever noticed that sometimes your scratching feels like more of a habit than anything else? 

Well, it might well be, and is something to be very aware of whilst in a flare up. 

If you feel this might be the case, then habit reversal is a handy trick we’d recommend to help break the cycle. 

Oh and finally - make sure you cut your nails! With the best will in the world it’s still possible you’ll scratch now and again. When you do, it’s important you limit the damage. 

Final word

So there we have it, a short sharp run through on itchy skin and hopefully some useful tips that might help you the next time you feel like scratching and never stopping. 

What have we missed? Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know! 

With care, 

The yan-yee team


- Atopic Eczema. (2019). Link

Atopic dermatitis (eczema). (2014). Link

- Managing itch. (n.d.). Link  

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