Dealing with eczema can be very frustrating, especially when it is right there on your face. Although there are treatments that can help control and manage the symptoms, there is no cure yet for this skin condition.
Eczema affected around 6 million people in the UK and 18 million people in the US, from babies to elderly people.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition associated with particular symptoms including dry skin, itching and redness. This chronic condition makes skin more vulnerable to infections such as cold sores, warts and pus-filled bumps.
What causes Eczema?
There isn't an exact answer for the causes of eczema. Scientists believe that it is caused by the combination of genes and triggers.
People who suffer from eczema have an over-reactive immune system that responds to the external or internal triggers by producing inflammation. This inflammation causes the skin to become painful, itchy and red. Eczema causes skin barrier to be weakened. Hence, it makes your skin more prone to dryness, irritation and infections.
The Commonly Known Triggers of Eczema
The best way to control the symptoms of eczema is by avoiding the triggers. By doing this, the frequency of the flare up will be less and less in time.
The triggers can be different for everyone. With time, you will know better what triggers a flare up on your skin.
In general, there are 2 types of eczema triggers:
1. External Triggers
External triggers are usually things that can dry out or irritate your skin. Dry skin conditions can lead to eczema flare up. Avoid anything that can make your skin dry, itchy or red such as:
- Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate (in soaps, shampoos, body/hand/face washes and household cleaners).
- Cocamidopropyl betaine (in shampoos, body/hand/face washes).
- Alcohol (in fragrances, skincare/cosmetics and household products).
- Fragrances or Perfumes.
- Phenoxyethanol (in skincare/cosmetics).
- Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (in skincare/cosmetics).
- Octyl methoxycinnamate aka Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate aka Octinoxate (in skincare/cosmetics especially those with a SPF).
Some years ago, out of sudden, I suffered from eczema on the skin below my ears. At that time, I was experimenting with Phenoxyethanol and Octyl Methoxycinnamate for a month or so. Fortunately I haven't had any flare up since I stopped experimenting with these ingredients.
- Cigarette smoke and pollution.
- Extreme temperature including harsh weather conditions.
2. Internal Triggers
Foods, stress and fatigue/exhaustion can also trigger the eczema flare up.
How to Cope with Eczema on Your Face
Suffering from eczema on your face can affect your self confident as I experienced it myself. Back then, I did try to cover the area below my ears as much as I could. Luckily, as I knew the triggers were two chemicals that I used in my experiment, I have been able to avoid them ever since.
The are few things that help you cope with eczema:
1. Keep your skin well hydrated at all times
In winter, when your skin is more prone to dryness and irritation, I highly recommend skincare product layering to help keep your skin supple, soft and well-hydrated. Use skincare products that contain shea butter and blue chamomile to help calm your skin.
To protect skin against dryness, apply nourishing moisturiser like Nano Gold Nourishing Cream. This fragrance-free face cream calms skin and provides a long-lasting comfort while helps reduce the appearance of signs of ageing.
Whenever your skin needs an extra hydration, spritz Flower Essence Hydra-Calming Toner all over your face. Formulated with 9 aromatic flower extracts to refresh, hydrate and calm environmentally-exposed skin.
For those who suffer eczema on their body, apply Ultra Nourishing Repair Balm to the areas few times a day. This multi-purpose restorative balm keeps skin moisturised, protects it from dryness and itchiness.
2. Eat healthily
Having a balanced diet helps strengthen your skin's barrier function. Foods that are rich in healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and fatty fish, help nourish and strengthen your skin internally. Eating foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids will be beneficial for those affected by eczema.
3. Be Gentle With Your Skin
Those who are affected by eczema tend to have sensitive skin. Be gentle, avoiding your skin, even when it is itching. Scratching may further damage your skin and makes it even more vulnerable to infections.
4. Seek a proper medical help
Last but not least, it is very important to seek a medical help when the symptoms are getting worst. Avoid any skin infection at all cost.
Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Read >>>
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