Eczema: Answering your FAQs

From flare-ups to treatments, everyone’s experience with eczema can be different. But, when you don’t have the basic knowledge you need to look after your skin, tailoring your treatment routine is a challenge. 

To help you on your management journey, we teamed up with the British Skin Foundation to answer your eczema questions. If you missed the clinic, four experts answered queries on topics including topical steroids, itch cycles and suncream. 

Below is a round-up of the best Q&As…

Sunscreen causes my son’s eczema to flare up, what can I do?

Before you put the bad reaction down to suncream, it might be good to make sure it’s not a reaction to high temperatures first. If your child is perspiring, their eczema could be flaring due to the (sometimes) irritating minerals found in sweat. 

To find out whether it is the suncream causing the reaction, you should perform a patch test on a small part of their skin whilst indoors. If you find that the issue persists, the Alturist Family Sunspray is dermatologically tested and safe for eczema-prone skin. 

How can I treat varicose eczema?

Varicose eczema is a skin condition that affects the lower legs. You should try Eumovate Cream, a treatment that can be used to soothe lots of inflammatory skin conditions. You can purchase this over the counter and should use it for one month before expecting good results. 

If this doesn’t work, visit your GP and get them to check your leg artery pressure. If this is normal, try wearing support stockings over treatments for at least three months. Still not seeing signs of improvement? Ask your GP or dermatologist for a stronger topical treatment. 

How can I soothe the itch of eczema?

Itchy eczema can be very frustrating and trigger stress, which can lead to a vicious cycle of itching, stress, scratching, damage to the skin and scratching again. Itching your eczema can in some cases become a habit and you might find yourself scratching when there are minimal or lower levels of itch.

Some people find that their eczema flares in the summer months due to irritation caused by sweating. Keeping cool and using oat or urea-based moisturisers with anti-itch properties may improve your symptoms. You may also want to see your GP who can prescribe antihistamines or topical steroids if appropriate.

What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?

Eczema and psoriasis can look similar but there are ways to distinguish the two.

Eczema is an itchy skin condition which causes ill-defined red patches typically on the inside of elbows and behind the knees. Eczema-prone skin may be darker in the affected areas and it might be bumpy and raised. On your hands, eczema can show as small, itchy blisters. Eczematous skin tends to be dry due to an impairment of the skin’s barrier function which reduces its ability to retain moisture. Eczema is associated with other allergies such as hayfever and asthma.

Psoriasis is a scaly skin condition in which there are well defined, salmon pink patches with thick white scales. It typically affects extensor surfaces like the elbows, knees, belly button, lower back, and shins. Psoriasis can also affect the scalp, nails and joints.

We have an article all about the differences, here

Does your child have eczema? 

We're giving you the chance to win one of 20 Childs Farm brand new wash bar bundles, each worth over £30! To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is sign up to the myeczemachild support programme - it's that easy! Sign up here

Even if you don’t want to win the bundle, you should sign up to the programme which is specifically designed to educate you on the best ways to look after your kids skin. It covers topics including:

  • Types of eczema
  • Emollient advice
  • Patient stories
  • Eczema triggers
  • Preparing for nursery/school
  • The itch-scratch cycle
  • How to talk to your GP

Want more support for your eczema? Visit the clinic to see more Q&A’s! Whilst you're here, check out our eczema hub, where you will find loads of great resources and advice. 

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 27 July 2022
Next review: 27 July 2025