If you came to this article, that probably means you have eczema. No worries! It's completely normal, even if it doesn't feel like it. There are millions of others who have the same condition as you, and today we're gonna go over what you can do to help manage your eczema!
What is eczema?
First, let's jump into what exactly eczema is. Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that millions of people have every year. It's an allergic reaction that can cause red, dry and itchy skin. The most common type of atopic dermatitis is eczema.
What causes eczema?
The root cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of:
- immune system activation
- environmental factors
People who have eczema often have family members with the condition, and stress can contribute. Eczema is usually your immune system's overreaction to environmental allergens and irritants.
Dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mould are among the most common allergens that can trigger eczema.
Certain synthetic chemicals in everyday products such as cosmetics, harsh soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, laundry detergents and household cleaners can irritate the skin and cause eczema flares.
Stress & Hormones
Stress can aggravate eczema symptoms due to cortisol hormone
, which increases glucose in the bloodstream and trigger your brain to alter immune system responses. As a result, many find that their eczema is worse in the days leading up to their period or during pregnancy. Food
Unfortunately, certain foods can be the things that trigger eczema flares. Including:
Seriously? Yes, I know. wool is one of the fabrics that is often recommended to be avoided if you have eczema. This is because wool can be a trigger that will cause the condition to flare up and worsen.
How to manage eczema?
These are the three most common ways to treat eczema:
These are medications and creams that you put directly on your skin. The most common topical treatments for eczema are ointments, prescription creams, lotions, gels and solutions. These work to reduce inflammation and bring moisture back to the skin.
If topical treatments don't work, your doctor may prescribe oral medications. These medications are taken by mouth and assist in controlling the inflammation and itching associated with eczema.
Exposure to ultraviolet light can help to improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. This type of therapy is known as phototherapy.
Topical therapies are generally the best and safest way to treat eczema. Since they are applied directly to the skin, they are more effective and have fewer side effects than oral medications and light therapy.
Finding a way to keep your eczema under control can be one of the most challenging things to do; there's lots of trial and error involved. But here are a few key points to help you out.
Identify your triggers and avoid them as much as possible
This is definitely not easy, but it's necessary to try to keep track and identify your triggers so that you can avoid them.
Keep your skin moisturized
Keeping skin hydrated is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can do to help control eczema. Pick a moisturizer
that works well for you, and make sure to apply it regularly, especially after bathing.
Skip using soap
Soaps are often filled with fragrances and dyes that can irritate your skin and worsen eczema. Instead, use gentle, fragrance-free products, and only use soap when your skin is noticeably dirty.
No hot showers and baths
One of the keys to managing flare-ups is not having hot baths or showers. When the skin is exposed to hot water, it can become dry and irritated. This can lead to eczema flares and further damage the skin barrier. Therefore, it is crucial to limit baths and showers to no more than 10 minutes and to use lukewarm water rather than hot.
Best skincare routine for eczema
Since eczema can be triggered by many things, it is important to have a basic skincare regimen that you can follow to help control the condition. Here are four tips to help get you started on your journey to healthy skin:
Using a gentle cleanser
that balances your skin's pH levels help to protect your skin barrier. Be sure to use a fragrance-free cleanser is a great way to keep your skin clean without using known irritants that will cause flare-ups.
Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!
As we wash our bodies, our skin is stripped of its natural oils, which help to seal moisture
. So, whenever you wash your hands or your body, be sure to apply generous amounts of moisturizing cream to your damp skin.
When we apply moisturizer, we hydrate the surface of our skin, which eventually sinks down into the deeper layers. So, allowing our skin to absorb it will help prevent flare-ups.
Applying a prescription cream to eczema can offer many benefits. Prescription creams are often stronger than over-the-counter ointments and can relieve the symptoms of eczema. They can also help restore the skin's barrier function, which is often damaged in people with eczema.
Applying sunscreen is a suitable topical treatment by protecting the skin from UV rays that can cause damage to the tissue and worsen atopy.
Sunscreen should always be near at hand as protection against photoallergic reactions.
Apply it 15-20 minutes before stepping outside in the morning so that it has time to set
It won't work if used as a one-time thing - continual use is essential to see results or hope to prevent eczema from worsening.
Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours; more if you're swimming or sweating.
Look for a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30, which will protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Find a sunscreen that does not contain any fragrances or irritants that could worsen your eczema.
Best skincare ingredients for Eczema
Taking your skincare seriously will be a game-changer when it comes to managing eczema-prone skin. Especially with facial eczema, you want to have a basic skincare regimen.
Hyaluronic Acid or Sodium Hyaluronate
Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient for soothing irritated skin because it helps keep the skin hydrated. Eczema needs all the hydration that it can get, so don't be shy! This will only help to further soothe your skin.
Coconut oil is the earth's natural moisturizer
that can treat eczema-prone skin. It is a triglyceride derived from coconut oil, and it is effective at moisturizing the skin and reducing inflammation.
Ceramides are essential for keeping the skin hydrated and help to prevent moisture loss. Ceramides
can be found in over-the-counter and prescription moisturizers, and they are also available in topical form.
Studies have shown that ceramides can be effective at treating eczema. They help to rebuild the damaged skin barrier and keep the skin hydrated. Ceramides also help to reduce inflammation and itching.
Tea Tree Oil
, or tea tree oil, is a natural remedy effective at treating eczema. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which help to reduce inflammation and infection. It can also help to soothe and hydrate the skin.
Glycerin is a natural ingredient that helps in maintaining hydrated skin.
Treat your sensitive skin
Eczema is a skin condition that can be difficult to manage at times. And the symptoms of eczema are often quite uncomfortable, and the flare-ups can be painful. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat eczema, including topical ointments and creams, oral medications and light therapy.
Managing eczema can be a challenge, but by following a few steps and using the right products, you can attain healthier skin and manage those painful flare-ups. Make sure to cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser, moisturize regularly, and use ingredients like hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, ceramides and tea tree oil to soothe and hydrate your skin. With a little bit of care and a lot of patience, you can keep your eczema under control and enjoy beautiful, healthy skin.