Eczema is an atopic dermatitis, very common form of skin condition, prevalent in children and infants but can occur as an adult as well.
The red, rashy, skin ailment is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, where the skin barrier may be defective, leading to loss of function which means allergens can sensitise through the skin. Which means typically one may have itchy, non-contagious, inflamed skin that can be present on any part of the body. The appearance of eczema can vary from mild forms, when skin looks dry and flaky, to severe forms, when skin can be extremely irritated and red to a severe form which can make your skin crack and ooze. This is due to an overactive reaction by the body’s immune system to an irritant.
Eczema is commonly occurring in families with a background of other allergies or asthma. While it’s not contagious, it may be inherited infants with parents who have allergies or asthma are at highest risk for getting it. Eczema usually starts in babies or young children, symptoms improve when a child becomes a grown-up. For some people, eczema goes away over time for many, it remains a lifelong condition.
A combination of things ranging from allergens like dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff, certain foods as dairy or soy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, as well as wheat, certain fabrics particularly wool and polyester and stress levels can increase flare-ups. A combination of genetics and environmental triggers can result in this condition.
Extreme weather can irritate eczema, heavy perspiration can lead to itchy skin as well as prolonged exposure to water is another eczema-trigger. Water can cause dry skin, which can lead to persistent itching.
Beware of scarring which is usually from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or residual redness from inflammation so maintain a healthy skin barrier by using a gentle cleanser twice daily and moisturizer twice daily without any harsh ingredients.
Including vitamin C, niacinamide and aloe vera can help with evening our skin tone, minimizing inflammation, and boosting collagen production. Oatmeal baths for 30 minutes a day can also help remove dead skin cells, calm inflammation and restore hydration while reducing scarring.
However, it helps to start with soothing moisturizers, particularly those that contain ceramides, which are naturally occurring lipids (fats) in the skin, which help to maintain normal skin barrier function. Lotions can be a bit drying, as they have a higher water content, pick up a heavier cream with ceramides or petrolatum.
Scalp- The scalp can experience a few different conditions which may look like eczema. Depending on the condition, there are different shampoos, gels and creams containing ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, corticosteroid or selenium sulfide can also effectively treat the scalp.
Scrubs- Although scrubs may be a seemingly obvious fix for sloughing off dead skin, avoid using scrubs on skin with active eczema. A scrub may be really irritating for skin affected by eczema. However, if the granules are soft or paste-like, and the base of the product is heavier and more ointment-like, then water may be trapped in the skin which is ideal, and the hydration may soothe the eczema.
Naz Bashir, formulator and founder, Solo Skin London Beauty Oils recommends, ‘Eczema is a condition when the skin cannot retain moisture and dries it out. Eczema is a common condition where the outer layer of the skin becomes inflamed, red, flakey, itchy and cracked which are some of the symptoms. Sometimes it can go away in time and may can come back later in life. Primarily, the skin has 3 layers, outer layer (Epidermis), the middle layer (Dermis), and inner layer (Subcutaneous layer). The outer layer has layers within itself, the basal layer, prickly cell layer, corneal layer. The corneal is the visible skin what we can see with our eyes, it often starts from the Corneus layer of the skin. Eczema can also be hereditary and can lead to the skin looking dehydrated, creased and scaly.
It is important to understand certain triggers or certain things that can be irritants such as stress, scents, weather, environmental factors such as having the heating on in winter season.
Naz provides Tips on skincare and eczema, how to prevent it- The basic treatment would be of course to moisturise daily with rich oils to avoid flaking and dryness. Avoid skin irritants, for example essential oils which has irritants, scents and sensitizers so this could cause a flare up in your skin. Always opt for a fragrance free range, you can go organic, natural preferably. Also avoid certain harsh shampoos and soap bars as they are known to dry out the skin, if at all use mild ones. Keep a consistent skin care routine. For relieving itchiness, use antihistamines. Steer clear of heat, sudden temperature change, stress, scratching, wool fabrics, junk food etc which trigger the skin condition and keep a humidifier handy. While there is no permanent ‘cure’ for eczema one can only reduce the symptoms of a flare and manage the condition.
Keep a daily routine for your skin, ensure you have an AM and a PM routine Apply oils or eczema solutions at night or post bathing when the skin is damp to help let retain moisture. Of course, with eczema condition, skin needs moisture around the clock. Night oils has ingredients that help lock in the moisture. Apply a moisturiser at night and then use the night oil to act as a barrier which will help protect your skin from external factors.
Try non-irritating beauty oils, fragrance free range made for sensitive skin types. Packed with natural, skin-balancing properties Squalane is an incredibly ultra-gentle, anti-inflammatory, natural emollient. This makes it perfectly placed to calm redness and irritation and the ideal ingredient for those prone to sensitive skin Meadow foam seed oil will help lock in moisture. These oils will help renewed appearance!’