November 14, 2022

How to Deal with Eczema

How to Deal with Eczema

As the weather is getting cooler and dryer, the chances for eczema flares can get higher. 

Many adults continue to suffer long-term from this potentially severe condition. Chances are, you might have had this as a kid and experienced the occasional seasonal flare-up. It can cause dry skin, rashes, blisters, scaly patches, and in extreme cases, overlying skin infections.

There's never a wrong time to learn more about this complex skin disease and remedies. Let's dive into what eczema is, some of my favorite products, and how to find them.

Eczema Prone Skin

Eczema affects 16 million adults and can come and go. It can look and feel different for everyone, depending on factors like cold weather, allergens or irritants, emotional stress, or exposure to harsh substances. 

As a board-certified dermatologist, I understand how difficult it can be to find a suitable, fast-acting remedy. To get to the cause of the inflammation, it's best to take note of some recent changes you've made to your lifestyle -- new stressors, travel, diet, weather changes, etc.

Treatment depends on the severity. In conventional medicine, there is no “cure” for eczema but there are excellent over the counter and prescription topical products and oral or injection medications that can keep flares under control and improve the appearance and feel of your skin. Here are five  primary methods to alleviate breakouts at home:

  • Use restorative non-steroid or steroid creams and lotions to keep the skin hydrated and minimize the rash. The best time to apply a moisturizer is when your skin is still damp after a shower. 
  • Consider applying a wet/cool compress to temporarily manage your condition while you wait to see a dermatologist.
  • Minimize your exposure to hot water and your time in the shower or bath. I recommend lukewarm temperatures. 
  • Diet can play an important role in eczema, but everyone has different levels of food sensitivity. Common culprits I see are dairy, gluten, certain nuts, shellfish, soy, and corn. But it could even be something random, like strawberries. I recommend starting by keeping a food diary with your skin symptoms. 
  • Eczema and hives are linked to stress and anxiety. Find the best ways to manage stress at home. I like practicing gratitude, mindful breathing, and meditation.

How To Find Eczema-Friendly Products 

You can find the above products at your favorite local drugstore, pharmacy, or online store. However, when in doubt, three fail-proof tips can help you in your search.

  1. Always ask your dermatologist what is best for your skin when in doubt! We can take a closer look at what you're experiencing and figure out what you need.
  2. Stick to fragrance-free and unscented soaps, moisturizers, or detergents, as they can contribute to your breakout. Please note unscented and fragrance-free carry different meanings. Unscented means that the product contains ingredients that neutralize the odor. Fragrance-free means the product is free of fragrant aromas.
  3. Search for the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance! It is a sure way to find cleansers, moisturizers, clothing, or creams.
  4. And as a guide, I’m a fan of the following ingredients: colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, squalane, glycerin, petrolatum, shea butter, and pre and postbiotics.

Several of my favorites:

La Roche-Posay - Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Moisturizing Body Cream - clinically shown to reduce dry, rough skin with 48-hour hydration.

La Roche-Posay - Lipikar Wash AP+ Gentle Foaming Moisturizing Wash - The foaming wash protects the skin from drying and leaves it clean, soft, and soothed.

Skinfix - Eczema+ Targeted Body Balm - treats eczema, dermatitis, and related irritation while repairing the skin barrier.

Aveeno - Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion - a daily fast-absorbing lotion suitable for sensitive skin-contains prebiotic oat and works to nourish dry skin.

Aveeno - Soothing Bath Treatment with 100% Natural Colloidal Oatmeal - relaxing, gentle, fragrance-free bath treatment. It relieves eczema, poison ivy, insect bites, rashes, sunburn, chicken pox, and hives.

CeraVe - Moisturizing Cream - includes hyaluronic acid. Delivers 24-hour hydration for dry skin and rehydrates with ceramides.

Aquaphor - Healing Ointment - an essential solution to treat eczema. Created specifically for dry, compromised skin and clinically proven to restore healthy skin.

Cetaphil - Moisturizing Cream - Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizing cream that alleviates skin dryness for 48 hours.

CeraVe - Healing Ointment - locks in hydration to temporarily protect and relieve chapped and dehydrated skin.

CeraVe - Eczema Relief Creamy Oil - has a lightweight formula with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help mend the skin.

CeraVe - Hydrating Facial Cleanser - removes dirt and makeup without stripping moisture. Ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid keep your skin healthy and safe for moderate to severe eczema.