05 Nov 2014
Tips for Eczema Relief
Skin CC Photo Courtesy of David Gunter
The National Eczema Association states that over 30 million people in the United States are affected by eczema, a skin condition that leaves you itchy and yearning for relief. People have it in varying degrees – either very mild and occasional to extreme and constant, some itching until they draw blood. This is the problem with the condition. Your skin is itchy and irritated, so you itch it. This leads to more intense irritation, making it even more itchy. It’s a never-ending cycle of discomfort that leaves so many desperate for relief.
Some turn to the Fort Collins spa, receiving hydrating treatments that help temporarily. Others, not realizing it may be the root of the problem, turn to the lotion aisle and make the problem worse by purchasing lotions and treatments with heavy perfumes and artificial ingredients. Your sensitive skin just can’t handle these ingredients, responding with the rash.
When you can’t make it to the Windsor salon to beat the itch, here are some dermatologist-tested ideas that really work.
- When it comes to your cleansing regimen, easy does it. You want to choose a cleanser that doesn’t bombard your skin with harsh ingredients. These ingredients can degrade the skin’s own natural barrier against toxins, leading to further irritation. Doctors recommend choosing a cleanser like Cetaphil or Eau Thermale Avene’s Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Bar, what patients suffering from atopic dermatitis use at the Hydrotherapy Center in France. When you’re done with cleansing, you want to pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it vigorously as is your impulse.
- The three-minute rule. After you’ve cleansed, you should apply moisturizer as soon as possible. In fact, dermatologists say that you should apply moisturizer no longer than three minutes after your shower. The idea is to lock in the moisture while skin is most receptive to it – the shower opens up those pores, and if you wait any longer, you miss this window and they close up, and any moisturizer is then left to hover on the surface. It needs to get down in there to work effectively against eczema.
- Water temperature is key. When the brutal cold of winter sets in, we feel more inclined to crank up the heat in our showers. However, if you have eczema, this is the last thing you want to do! Keep the shower as cool as you can stand it – the hotter the water, the more drying its effects on your skin.
- Soak in Epsom salts. When you can’t make it to the Fort Collins spa, a nice soak in Epsom salts can provide many benefits to your dry skin. Not only does it offer anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits, it serves to relax your muscles which in turn reduces your stress levels. Stress actually contributes to eczema episodes, so this is a great way to combat eczema across all fronts.
- Opt for pure and natural moisturizers. Just as with your cleansers, your moisturizer should be as pure as possible in order to reduce the chances you are going to have a negative reaction. Stay away from parabens and fragrances, and look for something that is made with shea butter, which can fortify your skin’s own natural barrier against the elements. Coconut oil works wonders to combat eczema, and is both an economical and natural choice.
- Choose your clothing wisely. Just as you can have an allergic reaction to certain foods, so too can you react to your clothing. You should step away from the skinny jeans if your flare ups are located on your legs as tight fitting clothing can play a part in the irritation. You could also be allergic to the material itself – some can’t wear wool, for example. Opt for cotton.
- Look to your nutrition. Some studies indicate that a Vitamin D deficiency could lead to skin conditions like eczema. If you aren’t getting outside (some just don’t during the winter), see if a Vitamin D supplement helps.
When all of these things are tried but no relief is seen, it’s time to visit your dermatologist. If the problem is severe, you might require a prescription of some form in order to rid yourself of this uncomfortable skin irritation.