Skincare Principles in Eczema
Eczema can be a difficult condition to live with, but with proper medical advice and consistent effort, patients can greatly improve their quality of life.
To support the medical treatment of eczema, it is important for patients to take care of their skin. But given the nature of their condition, people suffering from eczema have extremely sensitive skin that has a tendency to flare up at the slightest provocation. A lot of thought has to go into choosing what product to use and how to apply it.
If you want to create an eczema-friendly skincare routine, here are some important principles to guide you on your way.
Choose products wisely
Eczema patients cannot buy products haphazardly and one must be deliberate with skincare choices. This goes for all products that touch your skin: soaps, cosmetics, cleansers, and even laundry detergents should be properly screened to see if they pass the eczema test.
Stay away from products that have irritating ingredients such as SLS, fragrances and dyes. Instead, look for labels with these magic words: “for sensitive skin”, “gentle”,
soothing”, “fragrance-free”. Some ingredients to look out for include ceramides, glycerin, paraffins and hyaluronic acid.
While these serve as general guidelines to follow, note that your skin may react differently than others with the same condition. It is important to keep track of what products work for you and what don’t. Take note of the ingredients too! This allows you to know what to look for and what to avoid. It may take you a while to find your Holy Grail products, but once you do, don’t let go!
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.
Keeping your skin hydrated is absolutely essential to managing eczema. It helps repair the skin barrier, minimise itchiness, and improve the appearance of the skin. Once you’ve chosen an eczema-friendly product, you can maximize its benefits by using it liberally and frequently.
After washing your hands or taking a bath, make sure to apply moisturizer. This helps lock in the water and keeps your skin hydrated for longer. Every time you feel vaguely itchy or dry, slap on more moisturizer.
You might also want to invest in a humidifier for your room or office, particularly if the environment is dry and cold.
Respect your showers
Keep it cool and keep it short. It’s what every dermatologist will tell you when you suffer from eczema or dry skin. Try and keep the temperature of your showers as low as possible without feeling cold or uncomfortable. Keeping your showers short will not only save on water, but will be an important step in caring for dry and eczema-prone skin. Try to keep your showers under 5 minutes. And one last thing, one important thing, don’t use soap in the shower. Water alone is enough to wash your body with. But yeah we get it, in skin folds like your armpits and ‘dirty’ areas, a small amount of soap-free wash can be used. And remember, soap-free washes are not therapeutic but rather are better alternatives to soap. So keep use of soap-free washes to minimum as well!
Handle your skin gently.
Mechanical friction is a surefire way to irritate sensitive skin. So eczema patients should stay away from scrubs, microbead cleansers, exfoliating brushes, and other face tools. Using your hands with a feather-light touch is good enough.
It is also important to avoid excessive rubbing. Avoid vigorously towel-drying after a bath, or wearing tight clothes with synthetic fibers. Instead, opt for soft towels, and breezy clothes to give your skin space to breathe.
Follow the doctor’s instructions
Tablets and injectable medications have their place in severe cases of eczema. However, good and gentle skincare will always remain a mainstay in eczema management alongside any therapeutic regimen. Consult your doctor so you can properly build your skincare routine around the treatments you may be prescribed.
The information presented on this website and in this article is for general information and example purposes only, does not contain health advice specific for users and must not be relied on for that purpose. Please see your GP, dermatologist or other health care professional for specific advice.