Have you ever washed your hands only to find that your skin appears significantly inflamed? Or maybe when it gets colder, you find the skin on your hands, elbows, and other parts of your body becomes drier. In either case, eczema may be the cause.
“Eczema manifests on the skin as itchy red patches and it’s important to keep your skin barrier intact,” says dermatologist Joyce Park, MD, founder of virtual dermatology organization Skin Refinery. You are sure to prevent and treat eczema flare-ups. “You can keep your skin healthy by moisturizing regularly, using ingredients that are scientifically proven to hydrate and protect, and by stopping the itchiness cycle.”
In other words, when you feel the urge to itch, don’t. “The more you scratch, the more unfortunately, the more itchy that patch of skin becomes,” Dr. Park warns. “And the more you scratch, the higher the risk of injury to the skin and possibly subsequent infection.”
While we can’t precisely control your scratching habits (it’s up to you, pal), we maybe helps ensure that you know which ingredients will minimize itching and discomfort. More on the best skin-soothing actives for eczema, below.
Our skin is a protective barrier against the outside world and all the allergens and bacteria that breed around it. When that barrier is cracked and damaged – as is the case with eczema – allergens can more easily enter the system, causing irritation and inflammation (eg, eczema flare-ups). According to Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Brown Dermatology, one of the best ways to create a stronger skin barrier is to supplement with ceramides. your skin care routine. “Ceramide is a natural fat found in the skin that helps the skin cells in the top layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, stay hydrated,” she says, noting that one of her ceramide-rich products is SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore ($136).
2. Moisturizing agent
Humectants — aka water-absorbing ingredients — are another important defense against eczema flare-ups. “Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps absorb water and hydrate the skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Karan Lal, MD. Fun fact: Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it’s one of the most hydrating and plumping ingredients available.
To add it to your eczema-healing routine, Dr. Lal suggests CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($17). “This product has hyaluronic acid and ceramides, both of which help hydrate and heal the skin,” he says. “It comes in a wonderful jar and is a thick but smooth product.” Other humectants include glycerin, urea, and honey.
Would you recommend another product? Park says that No7 Menopause Skincare Instant Cooling Mist ($12) soothes and hydrates skin with a cooling combination of rose water and glycerin.
3. Emotional substance
Emollients are known to soothe and smooth the skin. To use them to ease eczema, Dr. Libby recommends looking for products formulated with sunflower oil. “Sunflower oil is an anti-inflammatory emollient that is rich in fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acids, and vitamin E, making it a popular ingredient in moisturizers,” she says, noting that it It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores. Other vegetable oils that act as emollients include marula, jojoba, and argan oils. With this in mind, Drunk Elephant Wonderwild Miracle Butter ($38) is a great solution for treating eczema. (Just remember, a little bit takes a while — you only need a pea-sized amount to cover your entire face and can be used alone or in place of other slug skin care products.)
Another emollient that Dr. Libby recommends? Petroleum. “Petrolatum is a thick emollient that helps prevent water loss from your skin, known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and notes that it can be found in Cetaphil Healing Ointment,” she says. ($17). “When the skin loses too much water, the skin barrier can break down, causing dry, itchy skin and eczema,” she adds.
While greases and vegetable oils tend to be some of the most popular emollients in skin care, Dr. Libby is quick to remind us that colloidal oatmeal is also an emollient and nothing is a godsend for people with eczema. “colloidal oatmeal is a natural ingredient derived from ground oats that functions as a skin protectant, anti-inflammatory and helps to smooth, soothe and moisturize the skin,” she says and recommends. Mustela’s Stelatopia Intense Eczema Relief Cream ($21).
One more thing to keep in mind…
While each of these ingredients works against eczema, Dr. Lal says the best approach is a multifaceted approach. “When people have eczema, their skin doesn’t have a normal amount of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and other lipids,” he explains. “There is also inflammation that needs to be taken into account. That’s why I love using products with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and fats/lipids.” Go to his? La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP + M Triple Repair Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin ($20). “This product has ceramides, shea butter, and hot spring water (which is packed with antioxidants), he says. “This is one of the main pillars of my clinic. It’s affordable, non-greasy, and safe for all ages. “
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