Eczema. A totally irritating but manageable condition… and the absolute bane of my life. What was once just the odd flare-up became out of control once I started university. At its worst, I would tape cotton gloves and socks to my person before bed so that I wouldn’t claw myself in my sleep.
Even with eczema-prone skin, everyone’s skin and its requirements is unique to them. I can’t share a magic routine which will cure all your skin problems but I can share what my personal routine is and what I found works for me through trial and error.
It has always been considered the rule of thumb that you should moisturise often if you want healthy skin.
Recently, some camps have begun to contest this, saying that over-moisturising can cause the skin to become drier as it begins to depend on the additional moisture from creams. This may be the case for some people but I can say with all certainty, my eczema-prone skin needs all the help it can get!
Diprobase cream was my long-time, tried and tested, holy grail product for daily moisturising. Unfortunately, this has since been discontinued and I have been struggling to find an alternative that I like quite as much.
A product that I’ve recently been enjoying is the Migh-Tea Moisture Balm from Delhicious. This solid, vegan moisturising balm is fast-absorbing, nourishing and non-oily. It can be used all over the body, including the face – which I love. It contains lovely moisturising ingredients such as Shea butter, as well as Indian Black Assam Tea which contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Use Steroid Creams
Manage flare-ups with the use of steroid creams/ointments. Steroid creams aren’t something to play about with and can cause side effects. Speak to your doctor about finding the right steroid for you.
Put down the fragranced lotions and potions, they’re most likely making your skin condition worse. Creams containing fragrances, dyes, sulfates and parabens should be avoided if you have sensitive skin or suffer from eczema. Instead, find a lotion/cream that contains soothing ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and colloidal oatmeal.
Antihistamines will help relieve itching if you’re having a particularly bad flair-up. It may not do much for the outward reaction but it will stop you from making it worse by scratching
Dry brushing eczema is widely debated, with some recommending it and others claiming the practice may actually cause more harm than good. And as with everything, I believe a little in moderation can go a long way. I like to lightly brush my skin once a week just to exfoliate and get rid of the dry skin build-up that comes with eczema. Dry brushing won’t alleviate eczema symptoms but will help with that pesky flaky skin.
Points to note: Do NOT dry brush if you are currently experiencing a reaction as it could potentially cause micro-abrasions. Moisturise immediately after dry brushing to prevent your skin from drying out.
This is the advice that I admittedly struggle the most with. As good as a hot shower or bath feels, your skin hates them. It may sound like an oxymoron but hot water will dry your skin out faster as it strips your skin’s lipid layer. Dermatologists recommend taking shorter, tepid/warm showers and moisturising whilst your skin is still damp to really lock in the moisture.
Following these steps should help you look after your skin during eczema flair-ups. However, if you are finding your eczema is becoming unmanageable, please consult with your doctor – in case there’s something more at play.
Until next time,