As October is ECZAMA AWARENESS MONTH, this is the perfect time to re-examine this chronic skin issue.
Board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung, Director, Jessie Cheung MD Dermatology & Laser Center offers tips to help cope:
- Don’t be afraid to wear makeup – Many patients with eczema are afraid of using cosmetics. The good news is that as long as eczema is well controlled, it’s ok to use makeup with non-irritating ingredients. Stick to mineral powders for foundation – they tend to be inert and less irritating than liquid formulations. For lips, choose balms rather than matte lipsticks, which can be drying.
- Steer clear of scrubs – Both physical and chemical exfoliants can irritate eczema.Look for gentle cleansers with sodium sulfacetamide, which is soothing as well as a mild peeling agent. I like oil-based cleansers, which are great for removing makeup while also moisturizing the skin.
- Less is more when it comes to ingredients – People with eczema have a comprised skin barrier, which makes them more prone to both chemical allergies and irritant dermatitis. Some common culprits include fragrances, botanicals, propylene glycol, and preservatives such as formaldehyde.
- Add a multivitamin – Many patients who suffer from winter eczema have low vitamin D. Add a Vitamin D supplement plus zinc and healthy fats, which are essential for your skin’s structure and function.
- Repair the skin barrier – Eczema-afflicted skin no longer has a barrier that protects from inflammation. This red, dry, itchy skin is soothed by moisturization. A great product for rebuilding the skin’s protective barrier function is EpiCeram®, which is a prescription cream that replenishes the lost lipids in the skin with ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids.