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What Causes Eczema, and How Can You Tame It?

What Causes Eczema, and How Can You Tame It?

If you’re dealing with eczema know that you are not alone, it’s a very common – and super uncomfortable – condition. 

Eczema is a broad term used to describe a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, dry, itchy, or scaly and in severe cases may weep, bleed or crust over. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and although it effects all ages, it usually appears in early childhood. The good news is that nearly half of the people diagnosed with eczema as a child grow out of it or have significant improvement as they get older.

Eczema is caused by an overactive immune system, your immune system responds too much to the natural bacteria or slight infection in your skin and it overreacts which is why you see the redness and flakiness,” explains cancer and ageing scientist, Professor Derek Richard.

One of the most famous people with eczema, Kerry Washington. REUTERS / MARIO ANZUONI -

The exact cause of eczema is unknown but some of the factors that can exacerbate eczema symptoms include:

  • Asthma or hay fever
  • Family history of eczema
  • Foods – dairy, wheat, citrus fruit, eggs, nuts & seafood
  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals
  • Hot & humid or cold & dry conditions
  • Dust mites
  • Moulds

Winter is the worst season for eczema, but summer can also present challenges as the increased heat and humidity can lead to more sweating. Sweating is the number one enemy for eczema prone skin as it leads to increased aggravation due to the salts and minerals in the sweat irritating the broken skin.

To Reduce Flare Ups, Avoid These Skincare Ingredients:

  • Fragrances
  • Essential Oils
  • Urea
  • Lanolin
  • Retinoids
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Ethanol

What’s Going to Tame It?

Ceramides are going to be your new best friend if you have eczema. As the skin barrier is compromised, moisturise with ceramides to help rebuild and restore the protective barrier of the skin to retain moisture. Ceramides are essential lipids (aka fats) which are found naturally in the skin and make up over 50% of the skins composition, so they play an important role in protecting your skin against environmental threats and help your skin look younger. A moisturiser that contains ceramides can help restore the skin’s protective barrier and hydration.

Colloidal Oat Flour is also another well-known skin calming and soothing ingredient that can help alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with eczema. It boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can benefit your skin. Antioxidants fight free radicals which can damage your body through oxidative stress and this stress is linked to skin diseases such as eczema.

What are the Signs It’s Working?

If you’re moisturiser or serum is working you should see reduced redness, flakiness, and itchiness. Should your symptoms become more intense, cease use of the product, and consult your GP or Dermatologist.

Serum for dry and sensitive skin, EPI-gN Serum

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