Types of Eczema Lotions and How They work
For those of you living with eczema and dermatitis, you may be aware by now of the triggers which cause your skin to flare up, as well as treatments which bring you relief. For many people, eczema lotions sit at the top of the list, and for very good reason.
The skin barrier of an eczema sufferer is compromised. Due to various reasons (genetics, over washing, using soaps that strip the natural oils, diet, allergies, chemical sensitivities), the deeper layers of the skin do not contain as much of the natural fats than that of someone with healthy skin. This is due to the skin’s inability to retain its own moisture.
The purpose of these natural oils/fats is to help keep the skin hydrated, sealed and protected. This differentiated skin is now open to the bombardment of everyday microbes and chemicals which then triggers the immune response, causing inflammation and irritation, also known as ‘eczema’.
Regardless of the methods you apply for helping relieve the itch, one of the most common professional recommendations is to keep the skin moisturized with lotions, emollients, creams and ointments.
The thicker the product, the better the barrier it will form and the better off the skin will be. The reason for this is to help replace the lost oils needed to keep the skin healthy and ‘sealed’ and also to provide a barrier for the skin to avoid further hydration loss. Obviously nothing is better than natural oils so a diet rich in good fats is very important in helping regenerate the skin.
Many people living with eczema and dermatitis absolutely swear by using lotions and creams for their skin, especially after bathing.
Depending on the severity of the skin or what type of eczema the person has, applying lotions can be hugely beneficial and even eliminate the eczema altogether.
On the contrary, it can sometimes be an incredibly painful and detrimental process which can make the eczema worse, particularity seen in people going through topical steroid withdrawal.
Showing an improved skin barrier function in mice after a dry environment is achieved, many people with eczema will attest to the improved comfort and improved condition when no moisturizers are used.
Comfort is the key to living with this condition, so if applying moisturizers makes your skin itchy or sting, don’t use it! Highlighting a connection between applying humidity to the skin (moisturizer) and how it can slow down the skin’s capacity to heal, we found this article and this blog to be supportive of the adverse symptoms which some people suffer.
Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules for what eczema lotions work best as an eczema treatment or whether they will even help at all. Everyone is different and every product is different, so the best way to weed out the grubs is through reading reviews and experiences, doing your research and of course, trial and error.
Because choosing the right lotion is no easy task, here is a short breakdown of a few types of products we found to be popular among the eczema treatment community. We will add to this list as we discover more products coming into use.
Aloe Vera is a known for its soothing and re-hydrating capacity on sunburn, windburn or any other burn. Perhaps less known is its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and cell regenerating properties which is a hit with people seeking an effective eczema lotion.
Not only does zinc protect you from the sun, but it also contains an array of eczema soothing and improving characteristics. Due to zinc’s antibacterial and antioxidant qualities, it can help relieve and restore the health of the skin which is why it is a common ingredient in products used to treat eczema and dandruff. Hailed as a savior for relieving the itch by many eczema sufferers, we think zinc deserves a place in this hall of fame.
Vaseline basically provides the barrier which the eczema took away. Not as popular for relieving the itch, but certainly known for its sealing and protective capacity. Vaseline is a common household product in the medicine cabinets of people seeking good eczema treatments and a gentle barrier product.
Oils don’t really fall into the eczema lotions, creams ointments or emollients’ category, however still seem to be favored by many as an eczema treatment which hydrates and provides a barrier to the dry skin. As there are many different types of oils, we go into detail about some of the most commonly used by eczema sufferers.
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