What is the Best Skincare Routine for Eczema?
A great skincare routine for eczema can seem like an elusive and impossible fantasy. Your skin is susceptible to a wide range of irritants. From reactions to soap to resistance to sunscreen, how are you supposed to care for your skin and give it space to heal?
While it’s not impossible to find that perfect balance, it may take time. You may need to experiment with different products or break old habits. Each person’s journey with atopic dermatitis is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all routine.
However, there are some general guidelines that nearly all eczema sufferers can benefit from. Here are some standard rules for living with eczema, as well as helpful tips for finding those products that work best for you.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that manifests as red, itchy, and inflamed skin. It is caused by a number of different things, including allergies, irritants, genetics, and underlying medical conditions. Eczema is typically diagnosed based on the symptoms and appearance of the skin. There are four different types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and nummular eczema.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It most often occurs in childhood but often extends into adulthood. Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant or allergen. Seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema that affects the scalp, face, and chest. Nummular eczema results in coin-shaped patches of inflamed skin.
Eczema develops when the skin’s natural barrier is damaged. This damage allows moisture to escape and irritants and allergens to enter. Flares can be triggered by a variety of factors, including dry skin, stress, exposure to heat or cold, sweating, and contact with irritants or allergens.
There is no cure for eczema, but there are treatments that can help to control the symptoms. These include over-the-counter and prescription creams and ointments, as well as oral medications. In severe cases, phototherapy or immunosuppressive drugs may be recommended.
To diagnose eczema, a dermatologist will typically assess the patient's symptoms and the appearance of the skin. Treatment for eczema usually includes a combination of self-care measures and medications.
Self-care measures include using a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer often, avoiding irritants and allergens, and reducing stress. Medications used to treat eczema include topical corticosteroids, immunomodulators, oral antihistamines, and antibiotics.
Causes of eczema
Eczema is a skin problem that causes dry, itchy, scaly, red skin. Dry skin is the most common symptom of eczema, and other symptoms include:
How does eczema develop?
Eczema develops when the skin’s natural barrier is damaged. This damage allows moisture to escape and irritants and allergens to enter. It is a chronic skin condition that develops when the skin’s natural barrier is damaged. This damage allows moisture to escape and irritants and allergens to enter the body.
What can trigger eczema flares?
Flares can be triggered by a number of different things, including dry skin, stress, exposure to heat or cold, sweating, and contact with irritants or allergens.
Eczema triggers are different for everyone, but the most common triggers are the following:
- Skin care products with fragrances, dyes, or other chemicals
- Stress and anxiety
- Allergens like dust mites, mold, pollen
Symptoms of eczema
What are the symptoms of eczema?
Dry skin, itching, redness, swelling, cracking, weeping, crusting, and changes in texture are some of the symptoms of eczema.
If you think you have eczema, you should see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.
How to prevent eczema flares
There are 3 principles to prevent eczema flare-ups:
- Keep the skin moisturized
- Avoid irritants and allergens
- Reduce stress
Use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer often. Apply it right after bathing to lock in moisture.
- Avoid irritants and allergens that can trigger eczema flares, such as harsh soaps, detergents, and certain fabrics.
- Reduce stress to help prevent eczema flare-ups.
- Talk to your doctor about possible treatments for eczema, such as topical corticosteroids or immunomodulators.
There are many different treatments available, and the best plan for you will depend on your individual case. Be sure to follow your treatment plan to help prevent flares and keep your eczema under control.
There are a few things that you can do at home to help control your eczema. These include:
- Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- Avoiding harsh soaps and detergents.
- Wearing loose-fitting, soft clothing.
- Avoiding known triggers, such as certain fabrics, pollen, and stress.
In addition, you can use the tips below to continue to be on top of your eczema and prevent its occurrence.
Gently Cleanse Morning and Night
If you’ve been struggling with atopic dermatitis for a while, you already know cleansing is a tricky topic. Hot water can strip fats and oils from your already-dry skin.
But just because you shouldn’t cleanse aggressively doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cleanse at all. If you’re not in the middle of a flare, use a gentle, all-natural cleanser to remove dirt and allergens from your skin. Skip anything that contains chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
However, if you are flaring, stick to lukewarm water alone. A gentle rinse in the morning and at night should keep your skin clean without aggravating it.
Use a Product Designed to Soothe Eczema
An effective skincare routine for eczema includes a moisturizing agent, but most products you find in the beauty aisle won’t do the trick. Your unique skin requires a specially formulated solution. Explore products created with your needs in mind.
Include Sunscreen in Your Skincare Routine for Eczema
Sorry. We can’t skip this one. No matter what other skin challenges you have, an SPF is still essential for maintaining the long-term health of your skin. Not only should you guard yourself against the threat of skin cancer just like everybody else, but you have to consider what a sunburn could mean for you. A sunburn is essentially another form of inflammation, and it’s likely to make an existing flare-up worse.
That said, we know sunscreen can be irritating or uncomfortable when you have atopic dermatitis. But if you’ve had a bad experience, don’t give up. Look for an SPF that’s made specifically for sensitive skin. Try a tiny dab in one area and see how it feels. If you can tolerate it, stick to that brand and make it a staple in your skincare routine for eczema.
Observe a Bathing Skincare Routine for Eczema
Whether you prefer a shower or a bath, always opt for lukewarm water. Hot water dries the skin and aggravates your condition.
Only use an all-natural, fragrance-free cleanser or body wash. And when you step out of the bath or shower, pat yourself dry and immediately apply a moisturizer or moisturizing solution. If you do this while your skin is still damp, you lock in that moisture.
If you are especially prone to flares on your hands and feet, you might find some improvement to your condition when you wear gloves or mittens for an hour after moisturizing.
Avoid Known Eczema Triggers
The most effective skincare routine for eczema includes more than moisturizers and smart showering techniques. It includes careful lifestyle choices. You must be mindful every day of the habits and choices that could harm your skin.
Eczema triggers vary from person to person, but many individuals experience flares due to contact with:
- Cigarette smoke
- Harsh chemicals
- Frequent hand washing
- Extreme temperature changes
- Dry air (consider using a humidifier in fall and winter)
Certain foods and allergens may also trigger your symptoms. Talk to your doctor to determine whether an elimination diet could help you discover new options for controlling atopic dermatitis.
Resist the Itch
Finally, the best skincare routine for eczema includes a plan for minimizing itch. You probably know the cycle all too well. When you feel the itch, you have to scratch. When you scratch, you damage your skin and the itch gets worse. But it’s hardly fair to advise you to simply avoid scratching and picking without suggesting a means for easing discomfort.
Some people find relief from cortisone creams. This is a perfectly reasonable option, but be careful not to overuse it. With frequent application, cortisone creams cause thinning in your skin.
Another option is Delfina Skin Dry Skin Oil. You can hear more from your fellow eczema warriors right here.
Whatever your perfect skincare routine for eczema turns out to be, remember that your skin condition is unique and complicated. Finding the path to soft skin sometimes takes patience. If we can do anything to support you along the way, please let us know.