Eczema treatment: The one ingredient expert says you should use in your skincare routine
Eczema can be extremely irritating for those who have it, and if it becomes a concern you should see your GP who can diagnose the condition and offer a number of different treatments. There’s currently no cure, but the NHS recommends treatments to sooth symptoms such as moisturisers, topical corticosteroid creams, antihistamines and bandages. But these don’t always work everyone. Many eczema experts like to focus on external factors which could be making flare-ups worse, such as Dr Gabriel Serrano, founder of Sesderma.
He has five top tips for dealing with the condition, from what acids to avoid on your face to when to moisturise.
Steer clear of certain acids on your face
In response to fine lines and hyperpigmentation many of us may be more tempted to include acids, such as salicylic acid and retinol, into our skincare, says Dr Serrano.
But if you’re prone to eczema flare ups these ingredients could be aggravating your condition.
He said: “I would recommend that you opt for hyaluronic acid instead. Hyaluronic acid can plump the skin, deterring those fine lines from appearing, as well as helping to retain hydration by drawing moisture from the air and ultimately preventing skin dryness, which is a common ailment associated with eczema.
“Try Sesderma’s HIDRADERM HYAL Facial Cream which is a daily facial moisturiser. Apply the product on the face using a gentle massage until completely absorbed morning and night.”
Take short, lukewarm showers
When your skin is dry, it’s not because it doesn’t contain enough oil, according to the expert.
He added: “It’s because your skin isn’t retaining its moisture (water) very well. If you shower effectively it can help keep skin hydrated but do your fingers regularly prune up during your shower?
If so, it is likely that you’re in the shower for too long. By staying under the shower, especially hot water, it can make it harder for your skin to retain moisture, further drying it out and causing irritation.
“Also, avoid repeatedly getting your skin wet at different times of the day, especially without moisturising it immediately afterward. This also causes your skin to lose its moisture content and become dry and irritated.”
Make time to moisturise
Making sure that your whole body is moisturised is key in helping control your eczema.
Dr Serrano explained: “Moisturisers help to protect the outermost layer of skin, known as the skin barrier. Those who have eczema have a damaged skin barrier, which results in their skin being more sensitive to the likes of bacteria, irritants and allergens. A damaged skin barrier also makes it harder for the skin to retain water, which is why eczema prone skin is usually dry and itchy, which can cause eczema to flare up or get worse.
“Try sesderma’s ATOPISES Body Milk which is a daily moisturiser for use on atopic and extremely dry skin. When used regularly it helps to prevent further infection through its emollient action, whilst calming outbreaks and keeping the skin moisturised. I’d recommend that you use this product daily as many times as required after bathing or showering, to help lock in the moisture.”
Soothe your stress levels
When we feel stressed, the body goes into fight-or-flight mode which then causes the body to increase the production of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, said Dr Serrano.
But, when the body produces too much cortisol, it can suppress the immune system, causing an inflammatory response in the skin.
He explained: “This is a common cause of eczema flare-ups. Living with eczema can be challenging on your emotional wellbeing, especially when the condition is heightened, but it’s crucial that you try to keep stress at bay, as this can in turn prevent your symptoms worsening.”
Keep a diary
Triggers of eczema could be in your diet. Common food allergies include cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, soya and wheat and these are often associated with eczema symptoms, according to the NHS.
Dr Serrano added: “Unfortunately however, it’s not a ‘one size’ fits all approach when it comes to which elements of a person’s diet can contribute to causing eczema.
“Try to keep a food and drink diary, as tracking this might make any potential links clearer.”
Dr Ross Perry also revelled seven things you need to know when it comes to eczema.