What is eczema?

Image of person applying lotion to arm.

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can develop anywhere on the skin. It’s characterized by dry skin (mild to severe) with recurring red and extremely itchy patches. Although no cure exists, you can effectively manage the condition with proper care and treatment.

How does it affect daily life?

Eczema affects approximately 17% of Canadians*. It starts with an itch, then progresses to physical and emotional symptoms that can impact your daily life, including mood, relationships, work performance, and more.

How do I know if I have it?

After a first flare-up, it’s common to treat the condition yourself by changing skin products, moisturizing dry skin regularly, avoiding triggers, etc. However, if your symptoms persist or start interfering with your life, you should seek out professional help.

Eczema symptoms

Itchiness; Dryness; Rashes; Roughness; Irritation; Redness; Inflammation

Eczema often shows up on the bends of the arms, back of the knees, hands, and cheeks.

What causes eczema?

It’s usually hereditary, with the most common form, atopic dermatitis, being closely linked to asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).


Eczema flare-ups can be brought on by environmental "triggers" such as soaps, clothing fabrics, deodorants, carpet fibers, and dust. Overheating, excessive sweating, low humidity, certain foods and stress can also cause this reaction.

Useful tips*

Skin Care

Apply a moisturizer (formulated for eczema that is fragrance-free and dye-free) several times a day to keep your skin moist, well hydrated, and help prevent flare-ups.

When bathing or showering, avoid harsh soaps and try to select products that are formulated for eczema and/or sensitive skin.

Body Temperature & Clothing

Avoid overheating and sweating when possible since it increases itchiness and can worsen eczema.

Cotton clothing is often best tolerated by people with eczema.

Personal Grooming

Keep your nails trimmed short and filed smooth. Damage done by scratching may be the biggest cause for eczema flare-ups, inflammation, and bacterial infection.


Certain foods can trigger eczema flare-ups through ingestion or simply by touching them. You can try avoiding those foods and see if it helps, but don’t cut anything out of your diet permanently until you talk to your doctor.

It is important to note, however, that food allergies don’t cause eczema, but they can cause flare-ups. This is also the case for common allergens like dust and pet dander. If you haven’t already, consider going for allergy testing if your eczema is getting worse.


Moving from a hot room to a cold one can cause flare-ups. To help avoid them, try keeping your living space at a comfortable and consistent temperature from room to room. Be sure to check the humidity levels too, as low humidity can dry out your skin. Using a humidifier is a good way to add moisture to the air.


Applying cool compresses to your skin can help relieve itching and inflammation quickly. Soak a soft cotton cloth in cool water, apply it to the affected area of skin for 20-30 minutes, patting your skin dry before applying your cream.

Get some relief

Eczema Relief Skin Protectant Cream & Lotion

Image Gold Bond Ultimate Eczema Relief Cream & Lotion 225 mL tube.

Clinically proven to help relieve 5 eczema symptoms.

Learn more

Eczema Relief 1% Hydrocortisone Cream

Designed for targeted use to relieve 7 common symptoms of Eczema

Learn more

What is Colloidal Oatmeal?

Colloidal Oatmeal is a natural complex of lipids, proteins, peptides, and starches that soothe, nourish, and moisturize skin – especially sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

What does it do?

It temporarily protects and helps relieve minor skin irritation and itching due to rashes, eczema, etc. This versatile ingredient can also soothe sensitive skin and trap vital moisture in the skin.

What is it good for?

Colloidal Oatmeal is ideal for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

*Consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your skin concerns or treatment.


  • Eczema Society of Canada (, February 2017.
  • Canadian Dermatology Association -
  • Barankin B et al., Psychosociall effect of common skin diseases, Canadian Family Physician, 2002, 48, 712-716.
  • Chattem Gold Bond Eczema Exploratory Final Qualitative Report, October 2012.
  • Update on the management of chronic eczema: new approaches and emerging treatment options, Dove Press Journal.
  • Canadian Dermatology Association,
  • Foley JF., Colloidal Oatmeal formulation and the treatment of atopic dermatitis, J. Drugs. Dermatol. 2014, 13, 10, 1180-1183. Eichenfield LF et al., Natural advances in eczema care. Cutis, 2007, 80 (suppl 6):2-16.