Here is an interesting article on the role of zinc and eczema. This article goes into the physiology of what our bodies go through during an eczema outbreak, and the role of histamines and zinc. This explains why a zinc preparation such as Benadryl, which is both an antihistamine and a creme with zinc in it, is so helpful. It also discusses the role of stress and eczema, and how we can apply a creme with zinc in it when we are under stress. This will help to counter the cortisol that builds up in our bodies that leads to an eczema outbreak:
Do you know if the kind of zinc you use topically matters? I have a tube of zinc oxide that I just put on my skin and it seems to have stopped the itching. The zinc pyrithione which is in head and shoulders shampoo is supposed to be the zinc one should use but I could not find any at the store anywhere.
I'm not sure, Socal, but I would think zinc is zinc and that any form of zinc would help. The test is in the results, though. If the zinc oxide ointment helps you, then that's the best information. I've read on self-help blogs about Head and Shoulders shampoo helping with eczema. One reader had success applying Head and Shoulders on the eczema outbreak and leaving it on for two hours or overnight. I haven't tried this, but it's something to consider.
The more I study eczema, the more convinced I become that zinc deficiency plays some role. I've begun watching my hands very closely since they are eczema prone to see if I can catch an outbreak at the very beginning. This week I found a raised inflammation on my index finger, which I knew was the start of an eczema outbreak. I immediately applied Benadryl creme, and within two hours, it had subsided. I kept applying Benadryl creme at the site for two days, and so far I've successfully averted another outbreak.
I tried the Doctors Defense another poster at this site had luck with, and it worked very well for me, too. Benadryl is so much cheaper and easier to find, though, that I'm hoping it will work just as well for the long run.
I've also read that we should be taking zinc supplements with 25 to 30 milligrams of zinc in it if we have problems with eczema. I checked my supplement, and it only has 15 micrograms. Upping zinc in my supplements is the next thing I'm going to try. Hopefully that will help, too.