Skin Health Magazine Issue #6 / Winter 2018 - Page 23

For the 15 million sufferers in the UK , eczema is a condition that requires constant management . Something as insignificant as forgetting to wear gloves on a cold day can render eczema-prone hands tight and sore for days or even weeks after , so finding the right products is paramount to keeping the dryness and severe urge to itch under control .

WHAT TO LOOK FOR Eczema is a condition that can affect anyone , not just infants as first thought , and initially occurs when the body responds to an irritant that has come into contact with the skin . It can also present in skin where the epidermal barrier has been compromised and water loss is high , which is why the skin becomes red , flaky , itchy and dry during a flare up . It often runs in the family and , unfortunately , there is no cure , only products to keep the symptoms under control and less of a burden for sufferers . When looking for a new topical treatment to help soothe or prevent irritation , focus on a few key ingredients . Ceramides are naturally present in the body and make up the majority of the epidermal layer , but in skin care , they can help to repair a weak or damaged skin barrier . Acting as a kind of glue , ceramides help the skin cells stick together so that any gaps in the top layer of the skin can be closed . By essentially sealing the skin , the epidermal barrier can function properly ; environmental irritants are kept out and vital moisture is kept in . As the skin is healing , it is important to protect it from outside interference , which is where occlusive ingredients can work their magic . Waxes , balms and certain oils form an invisible layer over the surface of the skin , shielding it from bacteria and other irritants that the skin comes into contact with on a daily basis . The most common ingredient used for this in topical eczema products is petrolatum , a greasy jelly that is water-repellent and able to prevent the skin from losing moisture . It doesn ’ t actively do anything to improve the condition of the skin , but it can prove invaluable when used alongside other ingredients as it ensures they can do their job without outside interference . However , some people ’ s eczema doesn ’ t respond well to this ingredient so avoid it if it makes your symptoms worse and , due to its barrier-sealing properties , avoid using it on the face as it can block the pores – this goes for all occlusives . Eczema always makes the skin feel dry , tight and sore , and it ’ s this inflexibility that makes cracking so common ( and so painful ). Keeping the skin hydrated and supple will mean any future flare ups will become less severe , so look for conditioning agents like Shea Butter , Avocado Oil and Glycerin in creams and lotions .
WHAT TO AVOID Everyone will have their own triggers when it comes to eczema . Red , itchy skin can develop due to a wide range of causes , from using a certain type of washing up liquid to walking near a field on a sunny day when pollen levels are high . However , there are some ingredient families that are well-known for their irritating side effects , even in healthy skin , so keep an eye out for these the next time you go skin care shopping . As the skin barrier is already damaged , avoid using any exfoliating acids or scrubbing beads on the skin . You should also give Retinol a wide berth as this can exacerbate dry , inflamed skin . Parabens , artificial fragrances and alcohol also spell bad news for sensitive skin , as do soaps and sulphates ( often listed as SLS in the ingredients lists of foaming cleansers and shampoos ) which can thin the epidermal layer and increase water loss . While some experts recommend essential oils to treat eczema , most will irritate the skin , with lavender , peppermint , tea tree and ylang-ylang being some of the most problematic . In very low concentrations , where the ingredient is surrounded by appropriate extracts , irritation may not occur , but when they feature prominently in the ingredients list , it is best to do a patch test before committing . If you feel like every over-the-counter product you have tried has proved ineffective , visit your GP for more advice on prescription-only treatments that might help .
ISSUE # 06 | 2018 | SkinHealthMagazine . com 23
F or the 15 million sufferers in the UK, eczema is a condition that requires con- stant management. Something as insig- nificant as forgetting to wear gloves on a cold day can render eczema-prone hands tight and sore for days or even weeks after, so finding the right products is paramount to keeping the dryness and severe urge to itch under control. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Eczema is a condition that can affect anyone, not just infants as first thought, and initially occurs when the body responds to an irritant that has come into contact with the skin. It can also present in skin where the epidermal barrier has been compromised and water loss is high, which is why the skin becomes red, flaky, itchy and dry during a flare up. It often runs in the family and, unfortunately, there is no cure, only products to keep the symptoms under control and less of a burden for sufferers. When looking for a new topical treatment to help soothe or prevent irritation, focus on a few key ingredients. Ceramides are naturally present in the body and make up the majority of the epidermal layer, but in skin care, they can help to repair a weak or damaged skin barrier. Acting as a kind of glue, ceramides help the skin cells stick together so that any gaps in the top layer of the skin can be closed. By essentially sea ƖrFR6FRWFW&&'&W 6gV7F&W&ǓVf&VF'&FG0&RWBWBBfF7GW&R2WB2FR62VƖrB2'FBF&FV7@Bg&WG6FRFW&fW&V6Rv62vW&P66W6fRw&VFVG26v&FV"v2vW2&2B6W'F2f&f6&PW"fW"FR7W&f6RbFR66VFr@g&&7FW&BFW"'&FG2FBFR66W2F6F7BvFFǒ&62FP7B6w&VFVBW6VBf"F2F6V7V&GV7G22WG&GVw&V7VǒFB2vFW"&WVVBB&RF&WfV@FR6g&6r7GW&RBFW6( B2ЧFfVǒFFrF&fRFR6FFbFR6'WBB6&fRfV&RvVW6VBw6FRFW"w&VFVG22BV7W&W0FW6FFV""vFWBWG6FRFW&fW"ЦV6RvWfW"6RV^( 2V7VFW6( @&W7BvVFF2w&VFVB6fBBb@W2W"7F2v'6RBGVRFG0&'&W"6VƖr&W'FW2fBW6rBFPf6R2B6&6FR&W2( 2F2vW2f 66W6fW2V7Vv2W2FR6fVVG'Fv@B6&RBN( 2F2fW&ƗGFBW07&6r66B6gV’VWpFR6G&FVBB7WRvV琦gWGW&Rf&RW2v&V6RW726WfW&R6f"6FFrvVG2ƖR6V'WGFW"f6FBvǖ6W&7&V2BF2tBDd@WfW'RvfRFV"vG&vvW'2vVগB6W2FV7V&VBF666FWfVGVRFvFR&vRb6W6W2g&W6r6W'FGRbv6rWƗVBFvƶpV"fVB7VFvVVWfV0&RvvWfW"FW&R&R6Rw&VFV@f֖ƖW2FB&RvVֶvf"FV"'&FFp6FRVffV7G2WfVVF66VWWRWBf"FW6RFRWBFRRv66&R6r2FR6&'&W"2&VGFvVBf@W6rWfƖFr6G2"67'V&&r&VG0FR6R6VB6vfR&WFvFP&W'F2F26W6W&&FRG'fVB6&&V2'Ff6g&w&6W2B667V&BWw2f"6V6FfR62F60B7VFW2gFVƗ7FVB242FRw&RЦFVG2Ɨ7G2bf֖r6V6W'2B62v66FFRWFW&W"B7&V6PvFW"72vR6RWW'G2&V6VBW76VF0FG&VBV7V7Bv'&FFRFR6vFfVFW"WW&֖BFVG&VRBrזp&Vr6RbFR7B&&VF2fW'r66VG&F2vW&RFRw&VFVB07W'&VFVB'&&FRWG&7G2'&FFB67W"'WBvVFWfVGW&R&֒ЦVFǒFRw&VFVG2Ɨ7BB2&W7BFFF6FW7B&Vf&R6֗GFrखbRfVVƖRWfW'fW"FR6VFW"&GV7@RfRG&VB2&fVBVffV7FfRf6BW uf"&RGf6R&W67&FǒG&VBЦVG2FB֖vBVक55TR3b#6VFvR6#