Skin is the largest organ of the body. It reflects our overall health. An unhealthy skin can ruin your physical appearance and often give rise to self-esteem issues. Today, there are several skin diseases plaguing the society. Statistically, over 30 million Americans suffer from eczema. There are several types of eczema that are caused due to varied reasons that range from cow's milk allergy to a hyperactive immune system. Often, cases of eczema are misdiagnosed by dermatologists. Corticosteroids and antibiotics can help control eczema immediately. But, a relapse is often cited after discontinuation of medication. Excessive application of chemicals leaves the skin fragile.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an incurable skin condition medically referred to as "atopic dermatitis" wherein the skin becomes itchy and scaly. It develops redness and rashes. If scratching persists, the affected skin area may even develop lesions. It can affect anyone from babies to old people. It may be caused due to hereditary factors or an allergic reaction to food or medication. Eczema is most likely to develop on body parts like thighs, arms, buttocks, elbows, knees and scalp.
How to Treat Eczema
Eczema cannot be completely cured, however, using moisturizers to treat eczema provides some relief. Regularly moisturizing, skin that is eczema-prone, develops a protective barrier on the skin that protects it from irritants in the environment and replenishes the natural skin oils lost, keeping it soft. It fills up cracks in the layers of the skin that make skin prone to a bacterial attack and allows the skin to heal. It is important that you always keep the affected skin area clean while constantly keeping it hydrated.
Which Moisturizer Should I Use to Treat Eczema
Use a petroleum jelly based lotion that stays longer and has a greasy and shiny look to it. It helps seal the moisture in the skin. Ensure that your moisturizer does not contain artificial fragrance. You can apply calamine lotion to soothe eczema. Also, moisturizers containing colloidal oatmeal are popularly used for moisturizing skin that is eczema-prone. Colloidal oatmeal does not clog pores or blockage of hair follicles. It can also be used as a bath soak. Ceramides are now being added to topical ointments to boost their content in the skin because people suffering from eczema have fewer than normal ceramides in their skin. Many people have reported success after using diaper rash cream too.
A few natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar, cocoa butter, jojoba, avocado, aloe vera, castor oil, emu oil, virgin coconut oil and almonds contain emollients that heal the skin. Using natural products is safe for the skin. They nourish the skin without any side-effects.
How to Moisturize Eczema-Prone Skin
It is not sufficient to choose the right moisturizer to treat eczema. You must also know how to apply it properly so your skin can absorb maximum moisture out of the skin ointment. Moisturize your skin at least twice a day. Make it a regular habit to moisturize within three minutes of finishing bathing. The skin pores are open at this time making it most suitable to apply your moisturizer in a downward direction. It will seep into deep layers of the skin twice more effectively than any other time you apply the moisturizer. While applying the moisturizer, squeeze out a sufficient quantity on your palm. Now, rub your palms together and apply on the skin affected with eczema. This helps blend the ointment into the skin so it works more effectively. However, never rub your skin too hard. You should also use mild glycerin-based bath soap or body wash. It will help keep your skin soft and supple. Herbal and hand-made soaps are also a good option. Avoid using too many chemicals on your skin because the harsh chemicals may further damage the skin instead of treating eczema.
Useful Tips for Moisturizing Eczema-Prone Skin
- Boil a thick bunch of neem leaves in 2 gallons of water until only half of the water is remaining. Refrigerate it and use it as a last rinse after your bath. Neem has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that cures many skin diseases.
- Grind oatmeal in a fine powder and add it to your bath water. Oatmeal is one of the best natural remedies to treat eczema.
- Include papaya, carrot, coconut milk, oatmeal, grapes and avocado in your diet as well as your beauty routine.
- Apply a sandalwood or a clay pack as it soothes redness.
- Increase the intake of vitamin A and E rich foods in your diet. They are excellent to have a healthy skin.
- Consume salmon and flax seeds as they are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You may also supplement your diet with a capsule daily.
- Acidity is also one of the causes of skin disorders, so try to avoid it.
- Goat's milk is known as a useful remedy. You can mix it with water and spray on affected areas 4-5 times a day or use a product containing the natural ingredient.
- Regularly massage your body with olive oil/ castor oil/ Calendula oil/ evening primrose oil/ shea butter and seal with a plastic wrap for a couple of hours.
- Frequently moisturize your skin with the remedy you choose. A one time application throughout the day is not enough to combat eczema.
- At night, after applying a moisturizer to treat eczema prone skin, wrap the affected areas with damp bandages or cotton cloth for maximum benefits and to seal in the moisture.
- Include chamomile and green tea in your diet.
- Do not have a hot water bath as it makes the skin more prone to dryness.
- Gently pat your skin dry. Do not rub it with a towel. Else, it will get more irritated.
- Avoid wearing synthetic or rough fabrics like wool.
- Care should be taken while washing clothes. Do not use a harsh detergent.
- Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties. Ensure you take a proper zinc-rich diet.
- Replace your toiletries with those that are anti-bacterial.
- Use an anti-bacterial hand wash or sanitizer and always keep your hands clean.
- Do consult a good dermatologist.
- Always use clean bath towels and bed linen that have been washed in a good liquid disinfectant.
- As much as it may make you cringe, do not have a bath too often or for long periods. But make sure you keep yourself clean. Try not to indulge in activities that make your body sweat or get in contact with germs.
- Invest in a humidifier if you don't have one. The moisture in the air will prevent the skin from drying.
- Stress is a known culprit of many health problems. Unsurprisingly, it can also cause physical reactions in your body that triggers eczema.
- It is sensible to keep your nails short and extremely clean. If you get too scratchy, long or sharp fingernails can cause major problems for you skin's health.
- Switch to the elimination diet to ascertain if the eczema has been triggered by food allergies. Also, consider taking an allergy test. Some people are allergic to plants, animals and certain fabrics.
- Stay away from alcohol-based products like perfumes, deodorants, astringents and facial cleansers.
- Cetaphil is a recommended mild cleanser for skin conditions.
- Foods like spices, cashew nuts, ginger, onions, oranges are known irritants that may aggravate your problem. Note changes in your skin with respect to your diet.
It has been discovered that mercury present in vaccines is linked to the onset of various diseases such as diabetes, skin disorders and neurological disorders such as autism, Alzheimer's diseases and other forms of brain damage in later years. These vaccines also contain chemicals such as aluminum hydroxide and aluminum phosphate. Nevertheless, the trend noticeable in the increase in the number of diseases attacking people and the population suffering from diseases despite the rising number of vaccines given to babies in the past few years is co-related. It is advisable to switch to natural remedies for all purposes to reduce the harmful effect of chemicals on our body.