Dermatitis (or eczema) is a condition that is near impossible to cure, but not hard to control.
Why you have eczema
Dermatitis is usually hereditary. It happens when your skin barrier function is impaired, due to the lack of natural oil. Other than dryness, itching, redness, rashes, blisters and weeping sores are also common symptoms.
Daily routine focus
Avoid products with common irritants/allergens* like fragrance (including natural essential oils).
- Gentle and rinses off completely
- Avoid hot water/showers
Your cleanser shouldn't not strip nor leave surfactant residue after washing.
Heat speeds up moisture loss. Use room temperature water, or lukewarm at most. Avoiding hot showers if you get eczema on your body.
- Humectants and emollients
- Avoid actives
- Cleanse once a day
- Medicate asap
Calming ingredients(e.g allantoin, bisabolol) are great for reducing redness and inflammation.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) promotes skin ceramide production, reinforcing its barrier function.
Your moisturiser should contain both humectants and barrier-enhancing emollients e.g. squalane and lanolin. Together, they combat dryness by increasing water content and reducing water loss. For body, rich creams are beneficial.
Our skin is most receptive when slightly damp. To get the most out of your moisturiser, apply on face/body within 3 minutes after washing to lock in maximum moisture.
The following temporary measures help your skin settle during a flare-up, so you can return to your normal routine quickly.
Ingredients like vitamin C, A and acids, though normally beneficial, can sometimes be too much for inflamed skin.
Limit cleansing to once a day, using a non-foaming cleanser at night.
Use your prescribed topical steroid as early as possible to subside the redness and inflammation. Don't wait for the situation to get really bad.
Eczema management is all about daily prevention. Being careful of what you use and when you use them will make all the difference.
*common skin irritants/allergens
Fragrance (natural or synthetic)
Naturally fragrant botanicals (e.g clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, basil, lemonbalm, lemongrass)
Potent preservatives (methylisothiazolinoe, methylchloroisothiazolinone, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea)