Eczema (or dermatitis) is an awfully painful condition that is often chronic for its sufferers over a long period of time.
While there are all sorts of treatments and theories about how to deal with eczema, for the majority of eczema sufferers they are merely ways to manage the condition rather than actually cure it.
One of the best – and more relief inducing ways – of managing eczema is moisturizing the affected areas.
This is very important to eczema sufferers and brings so much relief to their constantly painful or itchy condition that many of them wonder how they survived before without it.
However, what does moisturizing eczema entail? How should I go about doing it?
In this article, we will look at eczema more closely and talk about moisturizing affected areas to reduce eczema more effectively.
Why Is Moisturizing While Having Eczema Important?
Eczema is basically the inflammation of the skin and is normally defined by the skin becoming incredibly itchy with a rash and redness developing around a certain area.
This may occur over a very short duration, when a person has come into contact with a substance and developed an allergic reaction, but more often it is what is known as atopic eczema, which is long term.
Atopic eczema is when the skin continues to be inflamed and over time the skin becomes more red, itchy and swollen with affected areas of the skin developing painful cracks and welts on their surface.
The cracks often bleed, while the welts leak a clear fluid and become hardened over time.
The condition is very painful, but also very itchy, and most who suffer from it prefer scratching to get rid of the itch and causing more pain for themselves.
Having such sensitive and dry areas of skin exposed can mean that flare ups of eczema can happen constantly in the right conditions.
Moisturizing helps combat the problems that eczema sufferers face in a two-fold method.
The first is by actually moisturizing the affected areas of skin.
Skin that is moisturized is not going to suffer from the same cracking problem – as this is caused by dry skin – and the moisturizer will soothe the affected area, making it less red, swollen, and painful.
The second is that the moisturizer creates a barrier between the skin and the environment around it.
Any substance or environmental factor that may cause your skin to flare up hits the moisturizer first and stops it from making contact with the skin, preventing further flare ups.
What Moisturizers Are Used For Eczema?
Generally, there are three types of moisturizer that are used when you are treating eczema: ointments, lotions, and creams. We will look at each in turn and see their benefits:
When people are first diagnosed with eczema, the first thing they are usually prescribed is a topical ointment.
Of all the different kinds of moisturizer out there, these are probably the ones with the highest oil content to them.
This means that when they are applied to the skin, they do not produce a burning sensation as can be the case with other moisturizers.
They are particularly good at treating eczema when it is irritated by outside sources, because they create an almost impenetrable barrier to the skin.
However, applying too much of this ointment in one go can have a catch.
The high oil content can stop the skin hydrating itself and can make it a little drier if you put too much on, creating more problems in the future.
Creams have the second-highest amount of oil in them, so they are still good for keeping outside substances off the skin, while being less likely to dry out the skin.
They also tend to seal in moisture, thus keeping the skin moister over time.
However, creams need to be picked carefully, as they can have additives added to them.
This wouldn’t be a problem for people with healthy skin, but for sensitive eczema skin this can cause flare ups in the eczema or even an allergic reaction.
Lotions have the least oil in them and, while they can provide temporary relief, they are not the best for treating eczema.
The lotion will evaporate quickly from the heat of the body, which leaves your skin exposed once more, and they can have additives similar to creams that can cause a flare up in the eczema affected area.
Criteria For Causing An Eczema Moisturizer
If your eczema has become unbearable, and you just need some relief, then moisturizers are a great way to go.
However, knowing what moisturizer to pick is always a challenge, and so we have got some criteria to help you out for when you go to buy one:
The moisturizer you pick should be:
- Perfume free
- Dye free
- Fragrance free
Any moisturizer you get from a doctor will have these qualities, because the top three can cause more problems for your eczema, and it needs to be oily to keep your skin moist and safe from outside exposure.
If you are unsure of a product, but it looks good, dab a tiny amount on your wrist or the inside of your elbow.
Wait for 24 to 48 hours and if nothing happens, you should buy it.
However, if that area becomes red, inflamed, a rash develops, or it becomes itchy, then avoid it at all costs. It is better to keep searching than apply it to your body.
If you go to your doctor, tell them how your skin reacts and how it is affecting you. They can probably give you a better product than in stores – like Diprobase.
Moisturizing eczema is one of the best and easiest ways to keep the condition under control.
There are hundreds of moisturizers out there, but before picking one or a couple of them, remember to check it against the criteria above. By doing so, your body and your skin will feel and look better.