Itchy, dry, thickened skin, usually on the hands, neck, face, and legs are some of the symptoms individuals with eczema are living with on a daily basis. As you can imagine, these symptoms are accompanied by a rollercoaster of emotions as they try to cope and seek relief with this condition. Unfortunately their misery doesn’t end there. Eczema can also result in scarring of the skin that can be visible anywhere from days, weeks and even years, this is especially noticeable in African Americans.
This is truly disheartening because for those who don’t suffer from it, you wouldn’t have a clue how a person mentally and physically goes through. I know firsthand how it feels as I also have eczema and when a flare up occurs, I can admit that at times I felt just miserable and in tears.
In this blog, I will give an overview on eczema because although you may not have eczema, you may know someone who does or have a similar skin condition that these techniques may be beneficial for. For those who do have eczema, I truly hope this information can give you some comfort/tips that can make your days as symptom free as possible. Without further ado, let’s begin to learn more about what eczema is and what can potentially cause a flare up.
What is Eczema?
Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked and rough. Blisters may occur and become affected.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema as it refers to a collection of diseases involving the immune system. This includes asthma, and hay fever. Dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin.
What causes eczema?
A specific cause of eczema remains unknown, but it is believed to develop due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
I would like to point out that eczema is not contagious. Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has the condition or another atopic disease. The risk is even greater if both parents have an atopic disease.
Environmental factors are also known to bring out the symptoms of eczema, such as:
• Irritants: These include soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, juices from fresh fruits, meats, or vegetables.
• Allergens: Dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff can lead to eczema.
• Microbes: These include bacteria, viruses, and certain fungi.
• Hot and cold temperatures: Very hot or cold weather, high and low humidity, and perspiration from exercise can bring out eczema.
• Foods: Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat can cause eczema flare-ups. There may be other foods that causes an eczema flare up, but this will take some time know. You will need to pay close attention to what you have eaten within 3 -5 days before flare up. This will allow you to narrow down which foods are not good for you.
• Stress: This is not a direct cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse.
• Hormones: Women can experience increased eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, for example during pregnancy and at certain points in their menstrual cycle.
How does eczema affect people?
People suffering from eczema may feel isolated from other as they never want to be around people that may see their scars from eczema let alone see their skin during a flare-up. There are many people who have severe symptoms that are visible on their face.
This can affect their relationships and lead to anxiety, stress and depression. I know that I would always hide my body because of the dark scars that flare ups left behind. I still have some of them but over the years I have learned different ways to treat my eczema that helped keeps the scars to a minimum. They are nowhere near what they were before.
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There is no cure for eczema. For some, eczema goes away over time. For others, it remains a lifelong condition. Until then, you should develop a home treatment plan that will heal the affected skin and minimize flare-ups. Each person’s plan of treatment will differ as it is based on an individual's age, symptoms, and current state of health.
There are several things a person with eczema can do to support their skin health and alleviate symptoms, such as the following:
• Take lukewarm baths (add oatmeal to relieve itching) as hot baths will dry out your skin.
• Exfoliate to remove dead skin prior to bathing. It will also allow your moisturizer to better penetrate.
• Applying moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing to "lock in" moisture.
• Moisturize every day (throughout the day if needed). You never want to give your skin the opportunity to be dry.
• Wearing cotton and soft fabrics, and avoiding rough, scratchy fibers and tight-fitting clothing.
• Using a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing.
• Air drying or gently patting skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing.
• Where possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat.
• Learning and avoiding individual eczema triggers.
• Using a humidifier in dry or cold weather.
• Keeping fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin.
How can Luxurious Bath Boutique help?
I’m glad you asked. Like you, I suffer from eczema and I have been creating products that have made my daily life during and after a flare up bearable. My skin condition inspired me to create products to soothe the skin and alleviate symptoms of eczema.
The Ash soap collection was create with atopic dermatitis symptoms in mind. These soaps boast with skin loving oils and butters and additives to help you feel your best every day! You will be able to soothe your skin from beginning of your skin care routine to the end. It all starts with bathing. Let’s take a look at some of the main ingredients in these soaps to see how your skin will benefit.
The main ingredient in the Ash soap collection is Neem Oil. Neem oil relieves dry skin. Anti-inflammatory as it soothes itchiness, redness and irritation. It also improves general skin health and immunity, combating bacterial infections, as in acne, boils and ulcers.
Can you see why this rich oil is the main ingredient in the Ash soaps?
Aloe Vera Juice is another great ingredient in our Ash soaps as it’s great for hydrating dry, flaky skin without leaving a greasy feel. It has soothing properties that help restore smooth, supple skin, giving you protection from dullness. It’s also great for people with oily skin because of its ability not to leave a greasy feel.
Aloe Vera is great for insect bites, burns, bruises, cuts or other injuries as it reduces the time they take to heal and also minimizes the possibility of scarring. It can also increase skin cell regeneration because it contains polysaccharides which stimulate the growth of new cells.
Now that we better the two main ingredients that makes this soap great for moisturizing and hydrating, let’s take a look at the properties of the essential oils that rounds out this great bar of soap.
Ash Original with Carrot Seed - Carrot Seed essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that treats skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema. Antiseptic properties to treat insect bites, minor wounds and scratches while preventing bacteria from growing on such wounds too! Carrot seed essential oils also known to have lightening and brightening affects to the skin.
Ash with Tea Tree - Tea Tree essential oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used as a natural remedy for acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. Also known to have antifungal and antiviral properties making it great oil for fighting various skin infections.
Ash with Lemon - Lemon essential oil benefits your skin by reducing acne, nourishing damaged skin and hydrating the skin. It has the ability to reduce cell and tissue damage in the skin that’s caused by free radicals. This is due to lemon oil’s strong antioxidant activity and anti-aging effects. It is also known to have lightening and brightening affects to the skin.
Ok, ok so now you know there are three great soaps LBB offers that will help turn your eczema blues into sunny days. Now let’s explore the second most important step when living with eczema, moisturizing.
LBB offers several moisturizers for all levels of skin care needs. They are:
Decadent Body Fluff – a water-based moisturizer that penetrates deep into the layers of the skin. With the addition of Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E, this lotion provides the best nutrients for all skin types.
Whipped Shea Butter – A butter/oil infusion of love. Loaded with Shea Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil, allows this rich velvety blend to add emolliency while also protecting the skin from dry out.
Whipped Body Butter (Triple Butter) – A wonderful blend of three butters (Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Cupuacu Butter). 10x moisturizing with a buttery feel. Cupuacu butter is the star of this show as it is highly moisturizing and improves elasticity. It is great for those who suffer with dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions
Please note, it is important when dealing with atopic dermatitis that you moisturize your skin every day and as many times throughout the day as your skin calls for. Don’t get caught up with how many times the next person moisturizes throughout the day, but pay attention to your skincare needs. Keep in mind, that the type of moisturizer you use may have an impact on how many times a day you need to apply it.
I hope you all found this blog informative and can use some of the info/tips to alleviate your symptoms of eczema (or any type of dermatitis). Feel free to pass along this blog to anyone you feel can benefit from this information so they can take back control of their lives minimizing the effects of eczema.
If you would like to see my daily/weekly routine to keep flare-up at bay or during a flare-up, enter your info below and it will be delivered to you shortly via email.