Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It often begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood. The exact cause of eczema is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors (the immune system tends to overreact to irritants and allergens, leading to inflammation and itching).
Characterised by red, itchy patches, and inflamed skin, eczema can be both physically uncomfortable and emotionally distressing. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for eczema, a tailored skincare routine is of paramount importance in managing and alleviating its symptoms.
Understand this: Eczema is a highly variable condition
Eczema is not a uniform condition; it varies from person to person. Some individuals may experience mild, occasional flare-ups, while others may have chronic and severe symptoms. The triggers and specific symptoms can differ greatly among eczema sufferers. Oftentimes, eczema flare-ups can be triggered by allergens, irritants, climate, stress, and more.
Bathing with eczema
Bathing is an essential part of daily hygiene, but for individuals with eczema, it can be a tricky balancing act. While maintaining cleanliness is crucial, excessive or improper bathing can exacerbate eczema symptoms by drying out the skin and worsening irritation.
Especially for parents navigating the challenges of eczema with their children, incorporating a soothing bath into the bedtime routine can be a game-changer. Eczema can often be accompanied by itching and discomfort, making it essential to create a calming pre-bedtime ritual.
Eczema bath soak
An eczema bath soak can be a luxurious way to soothe your skin and alleviate discomfort. Here's how to make the most of it:
Oatmeal bath - Add colloidal oatmeal to your bathwater. Oatmeal contains compounds, such as avenanthramides and beta-glucans, which possess anti-inflammatory properties. Since eczema-prone skin often has a weakened or compromised skin barrier, the lipids and proteins in oatmeal can help reinforce the skin barrier, preventing moisture loss and enhancing its protective function.
Epsom salt bath - While Epsom salt may not directly treat the underlying causes of eczema, it can offer several benefits that can help alleviate eczema symptoms. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, magnesium naturally relaxes muscles and soothes the skin, which in turn, helps reduce stress and anxiety, potentially preventing or mitigating eczema flare-ups triggered by emotional stress. Use caution, however, as too much salt can have a drying effect on the skin. A typical guideline is about 1-2 cups (240-480 grams) of Epsom salt for a standard-sized bathtub filled with warm water.
Baking soda bath - Baking soda is alkaline in nature, which can help balance the skin's pH level. Eczema-prone skin often has an acidic pH, making it more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. By introducing a mild alkaline substance like baking soda into the bathwater, it can help neutralise the skin's pH and potentially reduce itching and irritation. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda to the bathwater. You can adjust the amount based on your preference, but it's best to start with a smaller amount to avoid skin irritation. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
While vinegar bath (commonly with apple cider vinger) often pops up as one of the remedy to relieve eczema flares but the safety and efficacy are not well studied. In fact, it was found in a study that that there is no significant improvement to the skin barrier but had caused skin irritation in a majority of the subjects, which prompted for more studies to be done on the concentrations of the apple cider vinegar for the soak.
Other tips for bathing with eczema
Water temperature matters: Opt for lukewarm water instead of hot water. Hot water can strip the skin of natural oils and exacerbate dryness.
Keep it short and sweet: Limit your time in the bath or shower. Prolonged exposure to water can lead to excess moisture loss from the skin. Aim for a 10-15 minute bath or shower.
Gentle cleansers: Choose a mild, fragrance-free, and soap-free cleanser. Harsh soaps and scented products can irritate eczema-prone skin. Look for products labeled as "hypoallergenic" or "for sensitive skin."
Avoid scrubbing: Use a soft washcloth or your hand to gently cleanse your skin. Avoid scrubbing or using abrasive materials.
Pat dry, don't rub: After bathing, gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing, which can aggravate eczema-prone skin. Leave your skin slightly damp before applying moisturiser.
Moisturise immediately: Within three minutes of bathing, apply a rich, hypoallergenic moisturiser to lock in moisture.
Bathing frequency: The optimal frequency of bathing can vary from person to person. Many individuals with eczema benefit from bathing once a day, while others may find every other day or a few times a week more suitable. Pay attention to how your skin responds and adjust accordingly.
Avoid hot tubs and chlorinated pools: Hot tubs and chlorinated pools can be harsh on eczema-prone skin due to the chemicals and high water temperature. If you do swim, rinse off and apply moisturiser immediately after swimming.
Why is moisturising important for eczema skin?
For individuals with eczema, managing the condition involves a combination of careful skincare practices. We’ve mentioned about choosing gentle products for cleansing and avoiding harsh irritants, and this includes moisturising.
The skin's natural barrier is compromised in individuals with eczema, making it more susceptible to moisture loss and external irritants. Proper moisturising is vital for:
Skin barrier protection
Moisturising with Allay Organics Calm Cream
While medicated treatments can be effective, many individuals with eczema prefer non-medicated options for everyday use. Now, topical steroids are one of the effective treatments for eczema but the side effect of it is that it can cause thinning of the skin. This is where Allay Organics Calm Cream stands out as an excellent choice for eczema sufferers.
One of the star ingredients for the Calm Cream is licorice extract. It contains glycyrrhizin, an acid that aids in increasing natural steroid hormones in the skin, potentially restoring normal levels and inhibiting cortisol breakdown. This helps soothe and heal mild skin eruptions and conditions.
Why Allay Organics Calm Cream is suitable for eczema skin
Allay Organics Calm Cream's unique blend of natural ingredients is carefully chosen to cater to the specific needs of eczema-prone skin:
Soothing and healing - Ingredients like licorice extract, aloe vera extract, and nettle extract provide relief from itching, inflammation, and skin irritations.
Moisturising and hydrating - Manuka honey extract, marshmallow extract, and Vitamin D3 help lock in moisture and alleviate dryness.
Anti-inflammatory - White tea extract and willow bark extract offer anti-inflammatory properties, helping reduce redness and irritation.
How to moisturise with Allay Organics Calm Cream
After bathing or showering, pat it dry with a soft towel.
Take a small amount of Allay Organics Calm Cream and apply it to the affected areas of your skin. Start with a conservative amount and increase if needed.
Gently massage the cream into your skin using upward, circular motions. Ensure thorough coverage of eczema-prone areas.
Allow the cream to absorb fully into your skin before getting dressed.
Reapply the Calm Cream as needed throughout the day, especially after washing your hands or bathing, to maintain optimal hydration and relief.
More comfortable and manageable experience with eczema starts now
Bathing and moisturising properly are just one of the few ways to manage eczema but understanding and avoiding eczema triggers can also significantly improve the condition's overall control. Uncontrolled eczema can lead to more severe symptoms, increased discomfort, and potential complications, such as skin infections. Managing eczema is a holistic process, so in addition to our tips, it’s always good to consult with healthcare professionals for personalised guidance and treatment options tailored to your specific needs.