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 remember that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, we are not medical professionals. Therefore, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately if you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection.
Understanding Eczema Lichenification
As we mentioned, when you continually scratch or rub an area of skin for a prolonged period, the skin cells begin to grow, resulting in a thick, hardened, and leathery appearance. This is known as lichenification. Typical skin markings like 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 color instead of white spots.
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, leading to subsequent itchiness. Itching is noted to be one of the most burdensome symptoms of this chronic skin condition.
Unfortunately, when you experience an itch, you automatically 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 exacerbates itchy symptoms, setting the viscous itch-scratch cycle in motion. Fortunately, the itch-scratch cycle can be broken with the help of lots of willpower, natural moisturizers, and scratch protection.
The Best Eczema Lichenification Treatment
Keep Skin Moisturized
To help combat dryness and reduce itchiness, it’s essential to hydrate your skin with a natural moisturizer. We recommend this ultra-hydrating Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream because it’s made with just six 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 prevent scratching for eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and chicken pox.
Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy is designed to provide short-term relief for itchy skin by quickly boosting 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 eczema-friendly clothing such as these handy Remedywear™ Bandages for Babies to Adults. Add a dry layer overtop and leave on overnight or for at least two hours. The damp clothing helps lock in the moisture, reducing unbearable itchiness.
Relax in a Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Lastly, we recommend drawing up a lukewarm water bath 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.