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Happy new year!!! I hope that you all had some amazing time off away from all commitments, and enjoyed celebrating with your loved ones. I can’t believe that this is not only my first blog post of the year, but also my first post of the decade! I felt it was only right for my first post of the year to be about current – thanks to the dry winter air, something very dear to me. Eczema.
You know that ex-boyfriend that you block on every single platform, but he still manages to find a way back into your life? That’s what eczema is like. I’ve dealt with it my whole life, and I can confirm that it is the total bane of my existence.
I’ve had it primarily on the insides of my elbows, but also dealt with it around my mouth, on the back of my neck, and most recently – my hands. Dealing with eczema is excrutiating, both mentally and physically. I thought I had unlocked the key of wisdom and tackled eczema for good, until it showed up again, reminding me that eczema is a long-term chronic condition. What this means is that eczema never really does go away, it’s always there. Just like that damn ex. It flares up depending on weather, diet, or even the things you use on your body. What we need to do is figure out ways to calm it down, and relieve it!
Here is my 3-step-guide on how to help eczema, and what to do about it!
#1: STEP AWAY FROM THE DAIRY (temporarily, that is)
Diary is not your friend. I repeat. Dairy is not your friend.
Generally speaking, we all know that too much dairy is terrible for our skin (breakout central!), our weight (not that it matters), and our poor bowel system. But, did you know, diary can also aggravate eczema?
Think of dairy as the Regina George to your eczema. They don’t get along. The problem at hand here is that most people are sensitive to dairy. Cow’s milk allergy is one of the biggest risk factors that stimulate eczema flare ups. the NHS states, “When treating eczema, cow’s milk allergy should be considered first”. Cut it out!
#2 BEWARE OF IRRITATING PRODUCTS
Can you image a naive sixteen year old girl, going through one of the worst eczema flare up’s of her entire life, slathering oodles of Victoria’s Secret body lotion onto her cracked and damaged skin, screaming at the stinging pain? She then continues to paint the lotion over the cuts, hourly, religiously, and cries at night wondering why her eczema won’t be ‘fixed’.
This dark tale is my very own, I can shamefully admit. Victoria’s Secret is truly just one of the very many heavily fragranced lotions and creams that you need to keep about as far away from your eczema, as heaven is from earth. Soaps, also, can be heavily fragranced, and leave your hands parched and dry. It is best to stick to products with minimal fragrance, and hydrating ingredients, to keep your eczema-prone skin happy and hydrated.
#3 AMP UP THE MOISTURE
During an eczema break out, the skin’s moisture barrier is broken due to the severe dryness that it is experiencing. Particularly during the winter, the air is so dry that your skin seriously just suffers. Tedious as it is, you need to reaaaalllyyyyy layer up the moisture. Recently, I had an eczema break out on my hand, and I found the most effective treatment was to slather a super thick cream onto my hands, and trap in the moisture by wearing gloves. Essentially, gloves give your skin no other choice than to absorb the moisture. I repeated this step all day, and noticed a total difference by the end of it. My eczema had calmed down in appearance, and subsided in itchiness.
It is very important that you use a clean hand cream; creams with heavy fragrance or irritating ingredients will only make the eczema worse. I recommend Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Body Lotion or the Egyption Magic Skin Balm, it works an absolute treat! Additionally, consistency is key! Please do not cream once or twice and expect miracles, because you will be disappointed. Even when you see your eczema calming down, continue!
Finally, stay calm. Eczema comes, and eczema goes. It is tricky, mainly because there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for every eczema sufferer; but I know that these tips will help you to either prevent or improve active eczema, even if just a little bit.
If you have any helpful tips regarding dealing with eczema, feel free to leave them in the comment section to help somebody!
See you soon!