Eczema is an umbrella term for conditions that causes inflamed, itchy, cracked, and rough skin. Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema. As the NHS explains, there are usually periods where the symptoms improve, followed by periods where they get worse – these are known as flare-ups.
Moisturising your skin can help prevent the skin becoming dry, flaky, irritated and itchy.
Speaking to The Sun Online, Dr Anton Alexandroff, spokesman for the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “The most important part of treating eczema is moisturising.
“Sometimes you’ll need something else, like a topical steroid, but usually you just need a good moisturiser.
“Sunflower oil is a moisturiser and is actually included in some moisturisers.”
The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas as a result of chronic scratching, it says.
How to solve it
To resist scratching, you could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead, advises the NHS.
“If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin,” says the health body.
It adds: “Keep your nails short and clean to minimise damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.”