Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, is an inflammatory skin condition that manifests itself in the form of dry, itchy skin covered with reddish bumps. Inflammation can also cause your skin to crack and bleed, which further worsens the condition. According to the National Eczema Association, one in ten people experience eczema at one point in their life. However, the right eczema moisturizer may be able to help these people find relief.
Causes and Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema arises due to the body’s failure to regulate production of certain proteins that are responsible for maintaining skin integrity, which provokes an immune system response that triggers dry, itchy skin. There is no single cause of eczema, but it may be brought on by:
- Genetic factors
- Environmental conditions
Symptoms may become exacerbated by harsh soaps or detergents, stress, cigarette smoke, or prolonged exposure to water. Fortunately, there are ways to soothe your eczema symptoms through moisturizers, which can:
- Help skin heal
- Protect the skin’s barrier
- Reduce itching
- Prevent eczema from getting worse and becoming more difficult to treat
- Relieve dry skin
- Decrease the need for eczema medicine
However, choosing the right type of eczema moisturizer is crucial if you want to see these benefits.
Choosing the Right Eczema Moisturizer
There are three main kinds of moisturizers: ointments, creams, and lotions.
Ointments tend to be oilier than both creams and lotions but are more effective at treating severely dry skin. Ointments are often the first line of treatment for eczema due to their high oil content and ability to seal in moisture.
Creams also seal in moisture and hydration, and may be preferable since they are less greasy to the touch because they contain less oil.
Lotions hold the lowest oil content and are primarily made of water, making them light and easy to apply. However, lotions are the most likely to contain preservatives or fragrances that may further irritate your eczema.
You should select the right eczema moisturizer based on your skin type and condition. Regardless of which type of moisturizer your choose, you should opt for one that is:
Fragrance Free or Perfume Free
Fragrances and perfumes are composed of dozens or even hundreds of synthetic compounds, all of which may contain an irritating allergen. Make sure that your moisturizer specifically states fragrance free, rather than unscented because unscented moisturizers may still contain a fragrance, just without the presence of an aroma or smell.
Similar to fragrances or perfumes, dyes are made of artificial compounds that may further irritate symptoms of eczema.
Within Your Budget
Not every effective moisturizer will be very expensive. There are many dermatologist-recommended brands that are affordable and thoroughly moisturizing.
If you are still uncertain on what kind of moisturizer to select, review the list of moisturizers that have received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.
Remember, it is especially important to use a moisturizer immediately after bathing or showering. If you do not moisturize within five minutes after your shower or bath, the moisture on your skin may evaporate, making your skin even more dry.
At Northeast Allergy, we understand the significant impact that living with a form of eczema can have on your quality of life. To start soothing your skin today, contact a specialist at Northeast Allergy to find a moisturizer that is right for you and your eczema.