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Skin Care Tips for People with Eczema

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Dec 12th 2023

Skin Care Tips for People with Eczema

Did you know that around 1 in 10 people in the US have some form of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association? That’s over 31 million people in one country alone. If you face that daily battle, you already know that eczema is a chronic condition that can change throughout your life but doesn’t have a “cure.” It’s mostly a matter of day-to-day symptom management, and your skin care is a key part of that management. While everyone’s needs will vary and you should consult your dermatologist for personalized recommendations, these skin care tips for eczema can help.

Make Hydration a Priority

When you have eczema, the protected barrier in your skin isn’t working the way it should, so your skin is highly sensitive to irritation and inflammation. One of the best ways to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier (for people with or without eczema) is to hydrate your skin well because moisture is a vital part of that barrier. How do you do that, exactly? Using intensive, emollient-rich moisturizer twice every day as part of your skin care routine.

Look for the Magic Words: “Sensitive Skin”

If you have eczema, your skin is prone to more irritation and inflammation whether or not you’re having a flare-up. No matter what type of skin care products you’re shopping for, always make sure you choose items that are made for sensitive skin. Not only will they be less likely to irritate your delicate skin but they may also help to reinforce your skin’s protective barrier so you’re less sensitive to other irritants too.

Know What to Avoid

Caring for skin with eczema is just as much about knowing what not to use as knowing what to use. There are certain ingredients that are just too high-risk for irritation and for sparking your eczema symptoms. It’s best to avoid products that contain ingredients like:

  • Retinol
  • Salicylic acid
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
  • Vitamin C

This can vary from person to person, of course, so talk to your dermatologist about whether any of these ingredients are okay to incorporate into your skin care routine.

Don’t Overuse Corticosteroid Creams

Corticosteroid creams are a go-to for many people with eczema because, when you have a flare-up, these creams can calm down irritated skin in a hurry. Some people with eczema also use corticosteroid creams in between flare-ups as a preventative measure.

While these creams can help for symptom prevention, there’s a healthy limit. It’s generally best to use them no more than twice per week when you’re between flare-ups because daily use over time can cause unwanted skin thickening. Like anything else, though, this can vary based on your skin and your eczema, so ask your dermatologist what they recommend.

Choose a Hydrating Cleanser

Cleansing is a vital step in anyone’s morning and evening skin care routine, but most cleansers are too drying for skin with eczema. Remember how we mentioned the importance of moisturizing to lower your skin’s sensitivity and irritability? Anything that dries your skin excessively will make your skin more sensitive.

When you shop for cleansers, choose a hydrating cleanser. These products are designed to remove dirt and impurities without stripping away the natural moisture your skin needs.

Have Soothing Products at Hand

One of the challenges with eczema is that no matter how hard you try to avoid your triggers and manage your skin, you can still have a flare-up out of the blue. That’s why it’s handy to have skin-soothing products available when you need them. A soothing mask, for example, is a great way to ease irritation when it starts to kick in.

Keeping Your Skin with Eczema Happy and Healthy

Eczema is a condition that affects everyone so differently, so there’s no uniform skin care routine that works for everyone with eczema. It’s a matter of trial and error to find the combination of products and treatments that work best for your skin’s one-of-a-kind needs. Along with these eczema skin care tips, be sure to work with a trusted dermatologist to keep your skin as calm and symptom-free as possible.