eczema treatments

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A few tips :)

Postby x.rose.6832 on Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:08 am

Hey, Im 18 and I've suffered with eczema since I was about 3 or 4 years old. I used to have it extremely badly on the insides of my elbows and knees and it often got infected, then I got it under control and it was pretty much non existent from ages 13 - 16 while I was living abroad, until I moved back to the UK and it suddenly just reappeared but worse than ever where It spread to my hands, face and neck. At one point it got so bad it got to my back as well. Ive since then learnt to keep it under control and thought I could share some tips with some people on what works for me since Im having a flare up right now and trying to find ways to cope:

1. Cold flannels or cold packs - these work a charm especially at night when the itching gets really bad, if there's an itch I apply the cold pack and press until the itch goes away. Also in the morning, my eyes are usually super swollen and puffy on the upper eyelids, so I also apply a really cold flannel (but make sure not to rub as this can cause micro-abrasions and could reopen the skin).

2. Colloidal oatmeal - this is basically just oatmeal that's ground up into tiny tiny grains so it can dissolve into the water and then get absorbed by the skin. Oatmeal has great anti-inflammatory properties so I find it helps a lot with my skin. I also make a paste with the colloidal oatmeal that's thick enough to apply to my face as a face mask and this helps take away the redness and dryness.

3. Vaseline - This has saved me!! On the days im not planning on going out, Ill literally just cover my face and neck in Vaseline, this locks in moisture, and stops me from scratching. Although its not the most flattering look you will definitely feel moisturised and your skin will be soft by the end of the day. I usually wash it off before I go to bed and either reapply or apply my normal moisturiser (I use double base)

4. Apple Cider Vinegar - Make sure its the organic one made with mother (small strands of protein), I usually get mine from Holland & Barrett. I fill up a small bowl with cold water and pour a little bit of ACV and then just wash my face with it. It shouldn't sting (if it does dilute it more with cold water), this helps to take away the redness, balances the acidic pH of the skin, and reduce inflammation. The smell isn't great so its best to do this at night or when you're not about to go out.

5. Clean sheets and towels - This plays a big part in managing eczema symptoms or any dermatological problems really, as having unclean sheets and towels which you are exposing your skin to for long periods of time can aggravate and trigger a flare up, especially if dust mites are a dominant trigger in your case.

6. Allergy tests and water - Its a good idea to go to your doctor and get an allergy test to see if any foods (or ingredients/substances) cause an allergic reaction as this would help you choose what you should and should not eat or use. Water can also play a big part in eczema flare ups, there are two types; hard water and soft water, and it depends entirely on the area you live in. When you shower you either use hard water or soft water, the difference between the two is hard water contains many minerals like calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water, whereas soft water only has sodium ions. Hard water is alkali and can therefore damage the skin barrier (which is slightly acidic) so it would help to get a water filter.

7. Cutting your nails and wearing gloves - Short nails will mean that when you do scratch, you won't cause as much damage to the skin barrier and minimise the ongoing effects. Another option is to wear cotton gloves or even put a sock on your hand, anything to stop you from scratching when you're asleep.

Those are my tips :) For tip number 6 (Hard and soft water) I'd definitely look into more as investing in a water filter can sometimes be quite expensive, personally I didn't install a filtration system as our water here is soft water, although I have had experiences where the shower water caused itchiness and later found out it was hard water.

- Roselynne x
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Re: A few tips :)

Postby talkhealth on Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:46 pm

Hi x.rose.6832

Thank you for your very helpful and informative post. It is good to hear that you have found things to help alleviate your symptoms when they occur. You also offer good useful suggestions for our members.

Kind regards
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Re: A few tips :)

Postby CastorOil4Eczema on Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:14 am

Good list.
Although for Number 3, I recommend castor oil rather than Vaseline. The skin barrier or acid mantle is made up of a layers of dead skin cells bound together by a mixture of fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol lipids that prevents loss of water from the deeper layers of the skin also to stop harmful elements from penetrating into the skin. This can get damaged. It can also be repaired. Although not solid, it is a thick oil. The oil is composed of fatty acids, 90% of which is ricinoleic acid which is unique. The acid has antimicrobial properties, anti-inflammatory properties, helps lubricate the skin and lock in moisture. It provides skin with the missing fatty acids. Castor oil is a pure, all natural plant oil so it doesn't harm the skin. It can be used on open skin. It can be found at most pharmacies (CVS) although you'll get a better deal online. I recommend wetting the area or cold packs for 15 minutes b4 applying the oil. One of my applications would be b4 bed. I would make sure the area is covered and leave it on overnight. Sleep is when the body repairs itself.
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