Eczema is a condition when the skin dries out and becomes scaly. When Eczema flare ups occur on your face, not only is it very itchy, it can also be uncomfortable, and embarrassing.
So, how do I treat an Eczema flare up on my face?
By treatment we are referring to managing your environment and behaviours that have contributed to a Eczema flare up.
Treating Eczema is about putting moisture back into the skin and then retaining that moisture in the skin.
Approach the problem of an Eczema flareup on your face with the following method;
- Stop putting chemicals on your face.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
- Moisturise the skin as often as possible.
- Eliminate potential allergic foods.
- Keep cool, take a cool bath.
- Stay in humid environment.
- Seek help from a skin professional, preferably a Dermatologist near you.
Lets look at these Eczema treatment points in more detail
Stop putting chemicals on your face.
Eczema can sometimes be triggered as an allergic reaction to a substance, or it can also be that the skin is just dried out too much. The obvious chemicals coming into contact with your face are soaps and makeup. The ingredients of these products may have something to do with the flare up.
Soaps are designed to get you clean, but its this very design that may be causing the problem. When soap is applied to your skin it not only removes dirt, but it also removes oil, including your body’s natural oils. These natural oils produced by your body help to retain moisture and protect the skin from infections.
Dry skin is the key description of Eczema. The last thing you want to do when you have an Eczema flare up is to dry the skin out any further. In fact you want to do the opposite and retain moisture in your skin. Removing the body’s natural oils will expose the moisture in your skin and quickly dry the skin out. If the soap you are using removes oil find another soap.
Makeup comes in all types, and many forms of makeup contain chemicals that work against treating an Eczema flare up. If you can, stop wearing makeup. If you must wear makeup, look for products that advertise “for sensitive skin”, “100% natural”, and the like.
Some makeup ingredients that may help with an Eczema flare up are, Shea Butter, Glycerin, Lanolin, and Hyaluronic acid.
- Shea Butter, is a natural oil found in the nut of the African karité tree and has been known for its skin moisturising properties for centuries.
- Glycerin, is used in makeup to improve the moisture content of skin. Glycerin is a humectant, that is it attracts moisture from the air and directs it into the skin.
- Lanolin, is used in makeup to help blend ingredients together. Its benefits for skin are that it acts like a lubricant on the skin surface.
- Hyaluronic acid, increases hydration in the skin by binding water to collagen, it helps trap moisture in the skin.
There are many ingredients in makeup, too many to cover in this article, so its best to do your own research. Read the ingredients label carefully, and do your own research. The above ingredients will help treat Eczema because they work by helping the skin retain moisture.
Drink plenty of Water
Our bodies need a minimum amount of water to keep us alive. To stay healthy we need to maintain well above the minimum amount of water to just keep us alive. When we drink water it hydrates all of the organs in our body, including the skin. Eczema is a drying of the skin, and if the skin is not dry, then you don’t have Eczema. So, it stands to reason that keeping well hydrated is imperative to treating Eczema.
If your not going to the toilet once every hour, then you’re not drinking enough water to treat Eczema.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
The secret to treating Eczema and clearing a flare up quickly is to attack it from multiple angles. Now that we are drinking plenty of water, double down and keep the moisture from escaping the dry skin where the Eczema is breaking out. We do this by applying moisturiser.
A good oil based scent from moisture is the only option here. Oil acts as a barrier to water, therefore applying an oil based moisturiser to the outer layers of skin makes it so much harder for the water to escape.
Moisturiser will eventually need to be replaced, so plan on moisturising multiple times per day.
Always apply moisturiser after bathing, or any other time the moisture could be washed or wiped off, for example sweating, or washing your face.
Check for Food Allergies
Food could be a contributing factor for any Eczema flare up.
Foods known to be associated with Eczema are the usual foods that cause inflammation and allergic reactions to sensitive people.
Foods to avoid during an Eczema flare up include;
- Citrus fruits,
- Gluten or wheat,
- Spices including, vanilla, cloves, or cinnamon), and
Take a cool bath
Contrary to popular belief bathing has no hydrating effect, we do not replenish our skin with moisture when we bathe.
We do however cool down, and this can be important for reducing water evaporation through the skin.
Take a cool bath or shower, and apply moisturiser of the Eczema affect area while the skin is still cool and moist.
Water tends to evaporate when the air is dry, and this effect is reduced when the air is humid. This same principle occurs to the water in our bodies, and therefore is related to the moisture content of our skin.
If we can stay in a humid (but still cool) environment, then the moisture in our skin will stay there longer.
In South Africa, the environment and seasons can change. So if you live in a cool environment, buy yourself a humidifier. If you live in a hot environment, buy yourself an evaporative air-conditioner.
See a Dermatologist
The above points are good practice when fighting an Eczema flare up, however if symptoms persist are escalate you should always seek professional advise from your local skin doctor as soon as possible.