Lets Learn From Each Other
As a doctor, I learn continuously from my patients, and I know that all of my patients and families are unique. Each person is an individual each family has their individual issues. But you are not alone. Birds of a feather who flock together are happier. You are fortunate to have a support organization like the National Eczema Association. Not all patients do.
If You Are Not Familiar With The Skin Condition Heres A Clear Definition Of Eczema And Its Causes According To Mayoclinic:
Atopic dermatitis is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting and tends to flare periodically. For some people, it flares periodically and then clears up for a time, even for several years….Healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. Eczema is related to a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants and allergens.
To be completely honest, I cant pinpoint exactly what made my eczema flare up after so many years. However, it was evident that my current skin regimen was not cutting it. During my visit to the dermatologist, I explained my routine, and he felt that a steroid cream was the way to go. At first I was all for using the topical steroid, but after doing more research and reading about all of the side effects, I decided to revamp my skin care regimen instead.
Some of the side effects of the topical steroids that I was prescribed can include hypopigmentation , skin thinning, acne, cataracts, and glaucoma. It only took me a few minutes of researching to toss my steroids in the trash and clean up my skin care regimen. By simplifying my skin care and incorporating ingredients known to heal troubled skin, Ive kept my eczema under control. Its been over two months and were still going strong.
How To Choose An Eczema Cream Or Lotion
The issue most products pose for eczema sufferers is that they have the potential to further irritate already fragile skin. Choosing products specifically formulated to treat the symptoms of eczema and that are gentle and fragrance-free is extremely important. The best moisturizers for eczema help to seal moisture in the skin and contain colloidal oatmeal, an FDA-designated ingredient for treating the discomfort associated with eczema. Absolutely avoid ingredients such as alcohol and perfume that can trigger flare-ups. The experts at First Aid Beauty add, Our hero product, , is a head-to-toe moisturizer that delivers exceptional hydration while helping provide immediate relief and long-lasting protection for dry, distressed skin, even eczema.
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Does Special Clothing Help
Rough fabrics like wool or coarse linen can irritate your skin. Finely woven clothes made from cotton or silk are usually a better choice for people with sensitive skin. And loose-fitting clothes are often more pleasant to wear than tight clothes.
Special clothing made from certain kinds of silk or silver-coated textiles are available too. The idea is that these will prevent from growing on your skin. But they haven’t been shown to help in studies on people with , so dermatological societies don’t tend to recommend wearing them.
Ingredients To Look For And Avoid
Look for products with ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, hyaluronic acid and ceramidesthese moisturizing ingredients repair and protect the skin and relieve itching and irritation. Colloidal oatmeal specifically is an FDA-designated skin protectant that relieves itching and minor irritation caused by eczema, rashes and other skin conditions. Avoid fragrances, harsh ingredients and alcohol-based products as they can trigger flare-ups and dry out skin.
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How Many People Have Eczema
Overall, eczema is relatively common with at least 17% of people having some sort of eczema. The most well-known type of eczema is atopic dermatitis which is typically an inherited condition where skin is dry, hypersensitive and linked to asthma, hay fever and food allergies. The combination of these conditions is called an atopic diathesis. I have this and we are the classic ‘sensitive skin’ people.
Throughout my life Ive battled with my atopic skin including:
- keratosis pilaris
- dry skin prone to dry skin eczema and severely chapped hands
- allergic reactions to citrus, fragrance, adhesive, wool and jewelry
- seborrheic dermatitis type of eczema
Two: Distraction Action/focus On Something Else
As soon as youve treated the skin the way that is right for you, know that the itch isnt going to settle down instantaneously. Treatment needs a few minutes to work. While your skin action take effect, do something fun to distract the mind from the itch.
Try a relaxing activity before bed, like reading a book or telling a story, doing meditation, or listening to music. The idea is to find as many healthy ways as possible to forget about scratching. Laughing and doing fun or relaxing things increases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. All these brain chemicals can make you feel better and reduce itch.
Sometimes you might be able to notice that youre itchy, accept that youre an itchy person, and just let it be. If youve taken action to help provide relief, believing in it and giving it time to work can sometimes quell the compulsion to scratch. There is no one answer. Youve got to find what works for you.
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Medihoney Natural Eczema Cream
Product name: Medihoney Eczema Cream
Overview: This eczema treatment from Medihoney boasts many naturally sourced ingredients, including coconut oil, German Chamomile flower extract, Evening Primrose oil, Vitamin E and Medihoney Antibacterial medical honey. Long used as a natural treatment for eczema, honey has been known to sooth, hydrate and reduce inflammation of the skin. Vitamin E oil can be found in many skin care products because it is believed to have antioxidant properties. Medihoney Natural Eczema Cream can be used on both the face and body and is safe for children as well as adults. It doesnt contain any lanolin, parabens, added colours or fragrances, so thats good news if you like your skin care to be as natural as possible.
Review: Some people can be put off by how intense prescription or even over-the-counter eczema treatments can be. Many of these contain topical steroids, which are effective but may not be the best long-term solution. A natural product like Medihoney may work for sufferers of mild eczema who are looking for an extremely gentle solution.
You can buy it here
Keep The Cleanser Simple For Both Face And Body
I bath or shower with my Naturally Best Bar Soap that is fragrance free and entirely hypoallergenic. This soap is in every shower and at every sink in my home. When I bathe, I only soap up soiled or body-odor prone areas of the armpits, groin, buttock and feet.
I wash my face with my Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser. I double cleanse with my Naturally Hydrating Pore Minimizing Toner. I put them together in my Skin Cleanse Zen kit.
People with extremely eczema-prone skin may need to use skin cleansing products that are even more gentle such as VaniCream Bar Soap for face and body cleansing. It is a very safe alternative but not nearly as lovely as my personal cleansing skin care routine in my opinion. I’m grateful my skin cuts me a little slack here.
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How Are Emollients Applied
The higher the proportion of fats in a moisturizing product, the better it protects the skin from drying out. So people with are often advised to use products with a high fat content. But ointments are harder to apply, which can end up irritating the skin. They are also less practical to use in everyday life because it takes longer for them to be absorbed. Creams, which have a more liquid consistency, are easier and more pleasant to use. Lotions are very watery, so they’re less suitable for very dry skin. Because they have a cooling and dehydrating effect, they are mainly used to treat weeping areas of skin.
Some people decide which product to use based on the current state of their skin, as well as external factors such as how dry or moist the air is, or how hot or cold it is outside. For instance, they may use a richer product in the winter . But a person’s choice of skin care products is also a matter of personal preference. There is no scientific proof that certain products are better than others.
It’s important to be aware that many of the products contain substances that some people have an allergic reaction to . So it’s a good idea to look at the ingredients when choosing a product, to avoid anything known to cause problems. But special products are often more expensive. Trying out different things can help here: If less expensive products don’t cause any problems, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use them.
Avoiding And Recognizing Triggers
Eczema can get worse when you come in contact with irritants or triggers. One part of a good skin care routine should be taking active steps to avoid contact with known triggers.
If you dont know what triggers you have, you may want to keep a journal to help you determine the possible cause of your flares. This way, you can potentially avoid them in the future.
Also, keep in mind that not all triggers come from chemicals or irritants.
For example, the National Eczema Association states that cold, dry air can trigger an eczema flare. During the winter, you may need to change your routine a bit to help keep your skin protected.
Read Also: Why Does Eczema Flare Up
What Does Eczema Look Like
Most eczema appears as red, swollen patches of skin, usually on your face or neck, but sometimes on other sensitive skin areas like inner arms or behind your knees. Eczema rashes can also be dry and scaly, and, if untreated, these types of rashes can crack.
All eczema breakouts are itchy, that’s a clear indicator that your rash is eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that is genetic, and can be found in infants and children. Some children outgrow eczema of this form, but it can persist into adulthood. Other types of eczema appear only in adulthood and are caused by allergies or skincare product irritants.
There is no cure for eczema, but there are several lotions and creams that use ingredients that soothe and repair skin affected by eczema. The best eczema creams and lotions use ingredients are naturally derived and that are safe to use on infants and children as well. Read on to learn more about the ingredients used for eczema flareups and what might work best for you and your family.
Check Your Elbows Before Anything
You might be able to tell a serious case of eczema apart from occasional itchy skin by where the rash pops up. Shari Sperling, DO, a New Jersey-based dermatologist who practices at St. Barnabas Medical Center, says that there are two common areas on the body that are most often affected. “Eczema shows up more in patches, more commonly behind the knees and inside of elbows as well as on cheeks for babies,” she shares. “These patches are severely uncomfortable, dry, red, inflamed, and itchy.”
If you’re unsure about whether or not your patch of rough skin needs more attention, try doubling down on lotions and topical treatments first. If there’s no improvement in two weeks, it’s time to head to a professional treatment .
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Best Overall Eczema Treatment
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Eczema, also referred to as dermatitis, is a relatively common skin condition impacting approximately one in ten Americans at some point in their lifetime. Eczema is a group of conditions that causes inflamed, irritated, and itchy skin, says Nazanin Saedi, MD, director of the Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology Center in Philadelphia. Eczema can appear all overyour face, hands, on your elbows, behind your knees and other places on your bodymanifesting as a pink to red, scaly patch of dry skin, she explains.
There are plenty of factors that can potentially trigger eczema, and genetic and environmental factors may be influential. Cold, dry air can definitely make it worse and we need to be aware as we go into colder months, she says, adding that unfortunately, there’s no cure. Its often chronic and the inflammation leads to a disruption in the normal skin barrier.
We researched dozens of lotions and evaluated them for reviews, key ingredients, consistency, ease of application, scent, and usage. Each of the lotions chosen in this article were determined to be the best of these factors.
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To Fight Collagen Loss I Use Retinoids And The Aha Glycolic Acid On My Eczema
Retinoids are applied at night. This included retinol or prescription tretinoin, the two best retinoids for countering aging skin. Retinol is less irritating and I use it more often than tretinoin. I apply Retinol Intensive Night Cream and top it with either Glycolic Acid 15% Face Cream or Daily Face Creamboosted with Omega Enriched Face Oil.
Both of these products are fragrance free and hypoallergenic. Retinol is easier to tolerate because glycolic acid products need to have acid pH and over 10% concentration to work and this can make them irritating to barrier compromised complexions like those struggling with eczema. Also, Retinol Night Cream includes the high concentration green tea antioxidants so I don’t need to apply my Green Tea Antioxidant Therapy at night when I use the Retinol .
What Causes Eczema
Unfortunately, a combination of things ranging from allergens , certain foods , certain fabrics and stress levels can increase flare-ups.
We still dont know exactly what causes eczema, but researchers believe that its brought on by a combination of genetics and environmental triggers, adds Mustelas consulting dermatologist, Dr. Latanya Benjamin.
Another important factor is that eczema is generally a hereditary condition. Eczema is 40-50% more likely to occur in children if one parent has a history of the condition, explains Benjamin. This increases to 50-80% if both parents suffer with eczema.
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Can Wet Wraps Help
Wet wraps are mainly used in children and adults with moderate to severe . Two pieces of bandage are cut to the right size. A rich moisturizing cream is then applied to the skin. Next, one of the bandages is wet with lukewarm water and placed on the affected area of skin. The second bandage is placed on top of the wet bandage, or wrapped around it.
These dressings relieve itching by keeping the skin moist and cool. They also protect the skin from damage caused by scratching. There are no good-quality studies on the benefits and drawbacks of wet wraps. But a lot of people find them pleasant and say they help them sleep better, for instance.
Wrap Up In Cold Weather
Cold, harsh winter winds can dry out skin and cause eczema flares.
Keep the skin covered when temperatures are low. Also, consider covering the face with a scarf if eczema occurs on the face.
Many home remedies are suitable for babies and children, but always speak to a doctor before using them on kids of any age.
The following home remedies may help:
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I Rely On Hypoallergenic Pharmaceutical
As a dermatologist, I know the value of using a good anti-aging skin care routine. I started in my late 20s during my dermatology residency and now I’m 62 years old! Time flies and for an old tanning-addicted blond California teen, I know my skin care routine has taken years off my skin aging curve. I depend on retinoids, professional AHA glycolic acid creams, green tea antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to fight the appearance of facial skin aging. Having eczema-prone skin makes anti-aging skin care is tricky and I’ve worked out the kinks for my complexion.
Gentle Soaps And Detergents
Laundry detergent can contain harsh chemicals that aggravate eczema.
Many body washes and cleansers contain detergents, which help provide a soapy lather. Detergents and other lathering agents can dry out the skin, especially in people with eczema.
Bar soaps can also be harsh on the skin because of their alkalinity.
Try using a gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid products with rough particles for scrubbing or exfoliating, as these can further irritate the skin.
Many people with eczema also find that switching to a more gentle, fragrance- or color-free laundry detergent can help improve symptoms.
Try skipping fabric softener, which lingers on clothes and often contains fragrances and chemicals that can cause skin irritation.
Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can make eczema symptoms worse. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.
Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.
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