Bathing and Moisturising

Washing can present some difficulties for sufferers of eczema. Whilst aware that keeping to good hygiene standards reduces their risk of infection through broken skin, prolonged exposure to water can actually exacerbate the skin condition. Baths should be kept cool and short with long, hot soaks in the tub ill-advised for those with eczema. Scrubbing the skin is also not recommended and, although many sufferers feel the need to exfoliate the skin flakes away, drying the skin and scrubbing too hard can increase irritation and inflammation which makes the eczema worse over time. After bathing or washing it is extremely helpful to ‘lock-in’ moisture to the skin by using natural after-bath lotions, and moisturising creams and ointments while the skin is still a little damp.

Some eczema sufferers will attempt to reduce their risks of infection from broken skin by using natural antiseptics such as tea-tree oil. Unfortunately, such natural skin products can severely dry out the skin and cause intense inflammation and skin irritation which is likely to significantly exacerbate eczema symptoms. Other natural skin solutions such as aloe vera gel may make the skin feel tight which can also cause irritation for sensitive skins. Rich moisturisers are much more helpful, particularly those with essential fats and lubricating oils such as vitamin E, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil. Those who have a wheat allergy or hypersensitivity should be wary however of moisturisers with wheatgerm oil as this could prompt an eczema flare-up.

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