I’m having a problem with eczema flare ups on my face and arms. They pop up from nowhere (more often in winter), and they’re always painful, itchy, and sore. Is there anything I can do to treat them at home or keep them at bay, or should I see a doctor?
As you already know, eczema is an underlying inflammatory skin condition which causes skin to become red, rough, and itchy when exposed to certain triggers. There are actually multiple types of eczema, each a little different based on the trigger that causes it. Serious cases will require prescription treatments, but having a tried and trusted skincare (or bodycare) routine for day-to-day can help to keep flare-ups to a minimum.
As a general rule if you have eczema, you should treat your skin like dry skin, and then some. So, when it comes to choosing products pick ones that focus on hydrating and nourishing the skin, and look out for moisturising ingredients like glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalane, and oatmeal. Ensuring that everything from your cleansers to your serums are centred around rehydrating and restoring your skin will help both to soothe irritation and prevent further damage. It’s definitely worth speaking to your health professional, since they can prescribe intensive creams and ointments, but whether the eczema is on your face or your body, a thick, gentle moisturiser will be your best friend –so apply generously, daily.
As with any skin prone to dryness, I’d recommend avoiding long, hot showers as well as products that contain potential irritants (like fragrance or alcohol). Keep a diary of the products you try and any reactions you experience, and o nce you’ve found products that work for you, stick with them – all it can take is a reaction to one ingredient for eczema to flare up.
Grace’s top picks for eczema-prone skin
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