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You may need to try a few to find one that works for you.

You may also be advised to use a mix of emollients, such as: The difference between lotions, creams and ointments is the amount of oil they contain.

Deep scratching also causes bleeding and increases the risk of your skin becoming infected or scarred. You could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead.

If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin.

When using a topical corticosteroid: Occasionally, your doctor may suggest using a topical corticosteroid less frequently, but over a longer period of time. This is sometimes called weekend treatment, where a person who has already gained control of their eczema uses the topical corticosteroid every weekend on the trouble sites to prevent them becoming active again.

Topical corticosteroids may cause a mild stinging sensation for less than a minute as you apply them.

If you're breastfeeding a baby with atopic eczema, get medical advice before making any changes to your regular diet.

Emollients are moisturising treatments applied directly to the skin to reduce water loss and cover it with a protective film.

Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication. Most people only have to apply it once a day as there's no evidence there's any benefit to applying it more often.

Ointments contain the most oil so they can be quite greasy, but are the most effective at keeping moisture in the skin.

Lotions contain the least amount of oil so aren't greasy, but can be less effective. If you have been using a particular emollient for some time, it may eventually become less effective or may start to irritate your skin.

Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school, or a tub in the bathroom and one in a living area.

To apply the emollient: You should use an emollient at least twice a day if you can, or more often if you have very dry skin.

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