November 14, 2014
Eczema is an itchy rash that’s often hard to get rid of. Most people can’t help scratching it, which further irritates the skin. Eczema is often, but not always, related to allergies.
Skin affected by eczema loses water easily, so treatment involves rehydrating the skin by taking warm (not hot) baths or showers and then promptly applying moisturizers. Thick creams that lock in the moisture can help a lot. Use creams or lotions without fragrances or preservatives. You should also limit the use of shampoos and soaps to once or twice a week. These products remove the skin’s natural oils and worsen dryness. Over-the-counter antihistamines can help with the itch, too.
First Steps to Treating Eczema
If you have eczema, it is important to take good care of your skin. Take warm (not hot!) baths on a regular basis and immediately applying moisturizers afterward will help keep your skin moist. You’ll find more information about this in the bathing and moisturizing section. In order for prescription medications to be most effective, a proper bathing and moisturizing regimen is required.
Eczema prevention check list:
- Moisturize every day.
- Wear cotton or soft fabrics. Avoid rough, scratchy fibers and tight clothing.
- Take lukewarm baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleanser
- Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel – do not rub.
- Apply a moisturizer within 3 minutes after bathing to “lock in” moisture.
- When possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat.
- Learn your eczema triggers and avoid them.
- Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather.
- Keep your fingernails short to help keep scratching from breaking the skin.
- Some people with allergies find it helps to remove carpets from their house, and give pets dander treatments.
Please contact your health care provider with additional questions.
Source: National Eczema Association
November 4, 2014
Flaky, scaly, itchy — these are the classic signs of dry skin. And who wants to look like a lizard, much less touch dry skin? Slapping on lotion when dry skin gets flaky isn’t enough to kick this skin health problem — you need to take some serious steps to soothe dry skin.
8 Dry Skin-Soothers
Try these beauty tips to add moisture and bring dry skin back to life:
- Cool down your showers. Very hot water will only dry your skin out more. So when you enjoy a bath or shower, keep the water lukewarm instead of hot. Same goes for when you wash your face.
- Moisturize, moisturize. It seems like a no-brainer — if you’ve got dry skin, you need to moisturize. But how and when you apply moisturizer makes a big difference. If you’ve got dry skin, apply a moisturizer to your face and the skin all over your body at least once a day, or twice a day for extremely dry skin. The best time to put it on is when you get out of the shower. You should always pat, not rub, your skin dry so that a little moisture is left on the skin. Apply moisturizer quickly to lock in the moisture from the shower. A soothing oil added to your bath, is also recommended.
- Exfoliate your skin. Avoiding exfoliation because you think it’s drying your skin? It’s not. Regular exfoliation is actually great for dry skin. That thick, callused, dead skin that’s covering healthy skin beneath is soaking up all the moisture. So slough it off with an exfoliant, then moisturize.
- Be gentle to your skin. If you’ve got dry skin, it’s time to skip those harsh, drying bar soaps and upgrade to something a little more soothing for your skin. Some bar soaps are now made with moisturizers, but even better, are body washes that contain a lot of moisturizers — and always look for products for sensitive skin. If you’re using an anti-aging cream to combat wrinkles, you may want to focus more on moisturizing instead. Anti-aging creams “can perpetuate the dryness,” as they often contain acids and other ingredients that can really dry out the skin. So skip anti-aging in favor of more moisturizing products.
- Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen will not only help protect your skin from drying burns and sun damage but also offer moisturizing qualities. Apply sunscreen every day to all areas that see the sun — face, neck, ears. You can even get a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen to get the benefits of two products in one. Just be sure that the sunscreen is rated SPF 15 or higher.
- Cover skin in the cold. Extreme outdoor weather can suck the moisture right out of your skin, whether it’s the bitter cold of winter or the dry heat of summer. Use physical barriers in the cold, like masks and gloves, to protect the skin from wind burn. A hot, humid climate won’t dry your skin, but dry, desert-like areas will take a toll. Keep skin well moisturized in dry, hot weather, and try to stay out of the heat whenever you can.
- Use a humidifier. When the climate outside is dry, you can escape inside your home, but what if the air in your home is drying, too? Use a humidifier in the room to put moisture back in the air. This is especially helpful in winter if your home has drying central heat.
- Cut back on bathing. One good way to preserve moisture in your skin is to cut back a bit on bathing. Don’t bathe every day if you can get away with it. Instead use a washcloth and gentle soap to wash your face and neck, under your arms, and any other areas where skin touches skin. It’s also a good idea to limit the amount of time you spend in the shower or bath — 10 to 15 minutes max.
Source: Everyday Health