Eczema is a type of atopic dermatitis that results in red, irritated skin that may ooze and crust over causing the skin to appear scaly, according to the Australasian College of Dermatologists. Eczema of the fingernails occurs under and around the nail beds and occurs when the skin becomes irritated or is exposed to chronic moisture, such as when a child repeatedly sucks his thumb. There are several ways to treat nail eczema to clear up the unwanted redness and irritation.
Avoid over-exposure to water. This means staying out of the pool for extended periods of time and wearing rubber gloves when cleaning and doing the dishes. This will cut down on the dryness that will make nail eczema worse.
Apply moisturizing lotion to the nail beds at least once a day. This will keep the skin supple and can be used to treat eczema all over your body to help seal in moisture.
Identify what triggers your eczema and attempt to avoid it. According to Mayo Clinic.com, common eczema triggers include stress, contact with certain household cleaners, sweating and harsh soaps and perfumes.
Place a cold compress on the affected finger or toe nails when a flare-up is occurring. This could include a bag of peas wrapped in a hand towel or an ice pack. This will relieve the irritation, redness and swelling that is associated with eczema.
Cover the nails with a one percent hydrocortisone cream. This will help relieve any itching that might accompany eczema.
Speak to your doctor about any medications that will help treat the symptoms of nail eczema. These include immunomodulators that, according to the Mayo Clinic, will lessen the effects the immune system has on eczema. Another medication that may be prescribed is prednisone, which is a steroid that will reduce the inflammation of eczema.