7 Skin­care So­lu­tions for Eczema Suf­fer­ers

Ev­ery­day things can trig­ger an eczema flare-up. Der­ma­tol­o­gists ad­vise how to break the cy­cle

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - The Digest - BY DENISE MANN

1 MOIS­TURISE

When it comes to keep­ing eczema symp­toms at bay, the im­por­tance of reg­u­lar mois­tur­is­ing can’t be over­stated. “Use a mois­turiser on damp skin to lock in mois­ture,” says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Adam Fried­man. The over­ar­ch­ing goal is to ‘lock in’ mois­ture af­ter show­er­ing to pro­tect the skin bar­rier. When this is com­pro­mised, ir­ri­tants can sneak in and wa­ter es­cape, re­sult­ing in dry, itchy patches of skin.

2 SKIP THE SOAP

“Soaps are de­signed to strip away fat and dirt from the skin,” says Dr Fried­man. “Soap is al­ka­line and skin is acidic, and shift­ing this balance messes ev­ery­thing up and can make eczema symp­toms worse.” That’s not to say all soaps are bad for eczema-prone skin. Avoid body washes that dry out your skin. For a good al­ter­na­tive ask your phar­ma­cist. “But if you are flar­ing up, plain old wa­ter is more than fine,” he says.

3 TURN DOWN THE HEAT

Use luke­warm wa­ter for show­ers and baths, says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Jef­frey Fro­mowitz. “Heat acts as a de­greaser and strips the skin of fats and oils”, which is what your eczema care regime is try­ing to pre­serve. Very hot wa­ter can also stim­u­late mast cells, which en­cour­ages the re­lease of his­tamines that trig­ger the itch­scratch cy­cle.

4 TAKE A DIP

A bath a day may keep eczema flare-ups away, says Dr Peter A. Lio, a der­ma­tol­o­gist and ex­pert in eczema. “Bath ad­di­tives such as bi­car­bon­ate of soda, sun­flower seed oil and even ap­ple cider vine­gar may also help soothe the skin, but bathing alone seems to have a pos­i­tive ef­fect, es­pe­cially when pa­tients mois­turise af­ter­wards. Wash­ing off ir­ri­tants and al­ler­gens from the skin may be part of why it works, but al­low­ing the skin to be­come deeply hy­drated pro­vides an ad­van­tage as well.”

5 MIND YOUR TRIG­GERS

Eczema suf­fer­ers are more sus­cep­ti­ble to en­vi­ron­men­tal ir­ri­tants such as smoke, dust, ad­he­sives, formalde­hyde from house­hold dis­in­fec­tants, isoth­ia­zoli­nones (an an­tibac­te­rial in per­sonal-care prod­ucts) and over­heat­ing. “In healthy skin, such ex­po­sure may make a per­son slightly itchy, but if you have eczema, it can send you over the edge and ac­ti­vate a flare-up and itch-scratch cy­cle,” says Dr Fro­mowitz. “Try to be aware of your eczema trig­gers by keep­ing track of when your skin is at its worse.”

6 SLATHER ON SUN­SCREEN

Sun­screen is im­por­tant for ev­ery­one in­clud­ing peo­ple with eczema, as long as you choose the right one. “Limit your use of chem­i­cal screens in favour of phys­i­cal block­ers with ti­ta­nium diox­ide or zinc ox­ide as these are gen­tler on skin and less ir­ri­tat­ing,” ad­vises Dr Fro­mowitz.

7 CHOOSE FRA­GRANCE-FREE

Ev­ery­thing from your clean­ing prod­ucts to make-up should be fra­grance-free. Peo­ple with eczema are sen­si­tive to con­tact der­mati­tis, so avoid dyes and harsh de­ter­gents when do­ing laun­dry. Look for plant-based in­gre­di­ents that are gen­tler on skin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.