Eczema sucks. Whatever type you have and the severity of it, I’m betting it sucks. The burning, stinging, itching, cracking and bleeding is what many of us endure during these colder months.
I have struggled with eczema since I was 7 or 8-years-old. It first appeared during the Winter; I dreaded washing my hands and showering because my skin would dry out painfully. Since then, I have tried new eczema skin care products and remedies every Winter to try and ease the pain of this annoying skin condition.
*Disclaimer: These are eczema remedies that have worked for me personally, but everyone’s skin is different. Never use substances that irritate your skin.*
Tip #1: Stop Stressing So Much!
A huge thing that has caused eczema flare-ups for me is stress. If I get intensely stressed, my hands will start to crack and begin to bleed within a matter of hours. It is important to not stress about the hell your eczema is causing you and to instead focus on distracting yourself in a peaceful manner. Meditation, listening to music, watching movies, laughing with friends, exercising, eating a good meal and petting a fluffy animal can be used as a way to relieve your eczema stress and allow your skin to heal more quickly. I noticed that the longer I stay stressed about something, the longer my eczema sticks around.
Tip #2: Don’t wash your skin with hot water.
According to an article by Everyday Health, the hotter the water is, the drier your skin will get. Instead, try to use lukewarm water when washing eczema-affected areas.
Tip #3: Sleep with coconut oil on your skin.
When my eczema flares up and I can barely move my hands without my skin cracking and bleeding, I sleep with my skin coated in coconut oil. A thick layer of coconut oil on your skin can do wonders. If you are worried about spreading coconut oil all over your bedsheets, wear a pair of knit gloves or wrap your affected body part in a scarf to seal in the moisture.
Tip #4: Aquaphor is everything.
If you can’t stand the smell of coconut oil or don’t wanna walk around smelling like a tropical fruit all day, you can opt for an unscented option like Aquaphor. When my skin feels like it’s burning and won’t stop cracking, I coat my skin with Aquaphor and it seals in moisture and decreases inflammation.
Tip #5: Don’t use moisturizer if your skin is bleeding or severely cracking.
I have read many eczema-care articles that advise moisturizing your skin as much as possible, however, I have found that moisturizer just brings me pain. When my eczema is bad, my skin bleeds and little cuts start to form all over my hands. If I apply moisturizer or lotion to my hands while it is very broken, I get a stinging sensation all over my skin and end up in pain. I learned to wait until my skin has healed a few days before applying lotion because it only further agitates my skin if I apply it when my skin is at its worst. Once your skin is no longer bleeding, it should be safe to apply moisturizer more frequently.
Tip #6: Don’t wash your hands too much.
According to Healthline, a 2020 study showed that there has been an increase in hand eczema as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic hygiene protocols which advised frequent hand washing and hand sanitization. Try to wash your hands when necessary, and if possible wear gloves while washing dishes.
Tip #7: Be mindful of what soap you use.
I often find my skin irritated by generic soap, so I try my best to find gentle options to cleanse my skin with. Avoid soaps with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) because it can have a drying effect on the skin. A 2022 Very Well Health article provides an in-depth list of the best hand soap, cleanser, body wash, and bar soap to treat your eczema.
Try any of these tips out? Let us know at @HerCampuSJSU!