Lichenification is thickened or hardened skin that results from continuous rubbing or scratching. It often causes the skin to have a leathery appearance which some people may be self conscious of. In this post, we’ll explore some ways to beat the itch-scratch cycle so that you can protect your skin from harmful scratching and prevent lichenification from developing in the first place. Plus, we’ll share some natural eczema lichenification treatments that can help you lessen its appearance.
Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.
Understanding Eczema Lichenification
As we mentioned, when you continually scratch or rub an area of skin for a prolonged period of time, the skin cells begin to grow, resulting in a thick, hardened, and leathery appearance. This is known as lichenification. Normal skin markings, such as wrinkles or scales, may also appear more pronounced and exaggerated. Some people note that lichenification gives the skin a bark-like appearance. Additional symptoms include raised patches of skin that are chronically itchy and red or dark in colour.
Eczema and the Itch-Scratch Cycle
Eczema is an inflammatory condition that develops because of a damaged skin barrier that has trouble retaining moisture. As a result, the skin tends to be drier than usual which leads to the subsequent itchiness. In fact, itching is noted to be one of the most burdensome symptoms of this chronic skin condition.
Unfortunately, when you experience an itch, the automatic reaction is to scratch it. But as you probably know, scratching is incredibly damaging to the skin and can lead to increased inflammation, bleeding, and possibly infection. Worst of all, it actually exacerbates itchy symptoms which sets the viscous itch-scratch cycle in motion. Fortunately, the itch-scratch cycle can be broken with the help of lots of will-power, natural moisturizers, and scratch protection.
The Best Eczema Lichenification Treatment
Keep Skin Moisturized
To help combat dryness and reduce itchiness, it’s important to hydrate your skin with a natural moisturizer. We recommend this ultra-hydrating Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream because it’s made with just 6 ingredients, including the powerful Manuka honey. It’s sure to moisturize even the driest of skin. We also recommend this Grass Fed Tallow Balm because in addition to being moisturizing, its antibiotic and antiseptic properties help promote healing and prevent scarring.
Wear Scratch Protection
To protect your skin from harmful scratching, you may need help from these Adult Scratch Sleeves with Anti Scratch Mitts. They can easily be worn throughout the day or at night when you may be scratching unconsciously in your sleep. Made with closed natural silk mitts, they’re sure to protect your skin from even the most vigorous scratching.
Little ones can benefit from these ScratchSleeves with Scratch Mittens. Made with 100% cotton with natural silk mittens, they are gentle on even the most irritated skin. They’re perfect for preventing scratching because of eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and even chicken pox.
Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy is designed to provide short-term relief for itchy skin by providing a quick boost of moisture to the areas you need it most. It’s an easy-to-do at home remedy. Start by soaking the affected area in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. Then gently dry and apply a natural eczema cream like the ones mentioned above. Cover up with an eczema-friendly piece of clothing such as these handy Remedywear™ Bandages for Babies to Adults. Add a dry layer overtop and leave on overnight or for a minimum of two hours. The damp piece of clothing helps lock in the moisture which can reduce unbearable itchiness.
Relax in a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Last but not least, we recommend drawing up a bath of lukewarm water and soaking your skin in this soothing Conqueror Oatmeal Bath. Its wholesome and nourishing ingredients do wonders for soothing itchy, red, and cracked skin.
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes.