Dealing with skin issues is never fun — conditions like eczema can be stressful but learning how to treat it can make a huge difference. With over 31.6 million people dealing with eczema, including celebrities such as Tia Mowry and Kerry Washington and influencers like Sonjdra Deluxe, the condition isn’t rare and taking care of it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Before learning to treat eczema, it’s important to know that eczema on the body is very different than eczema on the face. Eczema is often used to describe atopic dermatitis which is the most common type of eczema. Breana Wheeler, MSN, NP, at Facile Dermatology + Boutique chatted with Byrdie Beauty to discuss eczema and shared, “It's important to know that patients with atopic dermatitis have an impaired skin barrier, meaning their skin doesn't hold water in like it's supposed to, which is what causes the condition's signature flakes and dryness.”
The main difference between eczema on the face as opposed to it being on the body is that eczema on the face tends to be more difficult to manage considering that we apply more products to the face — some that can trigger flare-ups.
When treating eczema on the face, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re intaking — some common allergens that trigger eczema are foods such as dairy and eggs. Other common triggers can include man-made fibers, perfumes, makeup or certain skincare products. When spotting a product or food that causes flare-ups, it’s important to remove that out of your diet and/or routine.
Some triggers, such as the aforementioned allergens, can easily be removed but it turns out that they aren’t the only things that can trigger eczema breakouts. Tanuj Nakra, co-founder of Avya Skincare shared, "Unfortunately, some triggers are hard to treat because they are tied to your genetics or where you live. For instance, northern latitudes are a trigger. Secondly, the itching symptoms of eczema should be treated to avoid worsening the inflammation.”
Managing your skincare routine can help better deal with skin inflammations. Wheeler reveals that it is just as important to find the right products as well as finding a balance when it comes to exfoliating:
“Be careful with over-exfoliation, as that can lead to dryness, which can trigger eczema. Allergens in the environment can even cause an eczema flare as well as stress and hormones. I've also seen eczema worsen with certain eye makeup and makeup-removing products. I would avoid makeup wipes since most of them contain fragrance and alcohol and instead use a gentle makeup remover or micellar water to remove makeup. I also recommend avoiding hot water when washing your face and instead use cool water, as it's less drying and less irritating.”
When searching for products to help calm, soothe and treat eczema, searching for skincare with anti-inflammatory properties is the key. Ensure that your cleansers don’t contain ingredients such as glycolic acids or retinoids which can be over-drying. Another key is moisturizing your skin with products that contain ingredients such as snow mushrooms, neem or turmeric, suggests Nakra. Lastly, slathering on the sunscreen is important. Sun protection has many benefits and helping with eczema is one of them.
Ready. Set. Boss. Our daily email is pouring out inspiration with the latest #BlackGirlBossUp moments, tips on hair, beauty and lifestyle to get you on track to a better you! Sign up today.