First a quick definition. Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation (a.k.a. dermatitis). If you’re someone who gets itchy, scaly or inflamed skin from this non-contagious condition, don’t lose your cool. There are several natural ways to soothe and soften your skin. Three tips from won’t be able to cure your skin condition—doctors haven’t yet developed a cure for eczema—but these natural remedies may make your condition easier to manage.

But it’s also important to know eczema is often triggered by an overactive response from your body’s immune system, usually to an irritant, such as certain fabrics, substances, (such as soaps or detergents) or even extreme temperatures. As a first step, try to identify what’s causing your eczema outbreak and then eliminate this element from your daily routine. In addition, consult a dermatologist about the specific type of skin rash you’ve been experiencing as this irritating condition can also affect your scalp and may need a different treatment approach.

Below are three natural remedies to get you going:

An oatmeal and milk bath. Soak your body, or the part of your skin affected by eczema, in some oatmeal and milk. If you’re picturing pouring gallons of milk into the bathtub only to have it go down the drain, that’s not quite right. Click here to read more on how to make an oatmeal milk bath that can lessen your skin irritation and reduce your stress level.

Kiss dairy products goodbye. Dairy and other foods can contain allergens that inflame the skin and cause eczema, so now may be the time to abandon milk products. For non-dairy alternatives try soy or rice milk for your morning bowl of cereal.

Gently exfoliate. Remove dead skin layers with an exfoliant for sensitive skin then slather on an emollient, such as petrolatum-based creams, or some other low-water, high-oil content moisturizer, such as shea butter. (If you do this immediately after a five-minute lukewarm bath, you’ll seal in moisture while the body is still wet).

Click here to learn more about other skin problems common among African Americans.