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Category Archives: Eczema
Posted: June 18, 2017 at 2:48 am
Since summer is synonymous with sunscreen, sweat, and splashing around in salt water and chlorine, it can often also mean skin flare-ups especially for those with eczema , the skin condition that causes patches of cracked, scaly skin.
Many people are well aware that eczema tends to flare in the winter, but it can flare even in the summertime, Sejal Shah , M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, tells Allure . The culprits? Everything from sweaty subway rides, to romping around in the sand to sticking to your strict sunscreen routine .
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In light of the fact that were officially in the heat of summer, we asked expert dermatologists how to fight an eczema flare-up without breaking a sweat.
Increased sweating in the summer can definitely make your eczema flare up, particularly if you have it in the creases of your elbows or knees or on your palms, Erin Gilbert , M.D., Ph.D., Vichy consulting dermatologist and celebrity skin expert, tells Allure . Avoid being outdoors when the sun is most steamy. If you cant give up those outdoor runs or park picnics or escape a sweaty commute, wipe away sweat as it accumulates, then wash thoroughly and apply a moisturizer once you cool off, says Shah.
Another good trick is to put cornstarch or talc-free baby powder on areas where you tend to accumulate sweat to keep your skin drier, says Gilbert. I like Burts Bees Talc-Free Dusting Powder. Keep a sweat fighter in your bag to nix the need for extra washing-up on the go.
When your skin is ultra sensitive, you should switch up your sunscreen routine (not skip it). I like fragrance-free sunscreens for eczema prone patients because they tend to be better tolerated, says Shah. She recommends Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer, Blue Lizard SPF 30+ Sensitive Sunscreen and Mustela Broad Spectrum 50+ Mineral Sunscreen Lotion. For a post-sun moisturizer, try First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream , Cerave Cream , or Aveeno Eczema Therapy Cream .
If your skin is sensitive or eczema prone, its really important to rinse chlorine off as soon as possible, says Gilbert. It can irritate and dry out your skin, making a flare more likely. Hit the showers, STAT.
Whether youre swimming, sweating or showering more than usual (because of said swimming and sweating), make sure youre lathering on more lotion than ever. Look for moisturizers that contain skin-protecting and hydrating ingredients such as purified petroleum, Joshua Zeichner , M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Allure . More than others, these formulations will form a protective barrier between your skin and the harsh summer elements. While traditional products were heavy and greasy, the newest formulations are quite light and easy to spread, Zeichner says. He recommends, Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Fragrance-Free Lotion . For something a little lighter, Gilbert recommends Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion .
Even if youre taking the steps above to treat your eczema-prone skin this summer, you might still experience frustrating patches that just wont go away, says Shah. Rather than forgo your collection of shorts and sundresses to cover any outbreaks, bring in the big guns and see your derm for a prescription treatment like a topical steroid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory cream.
For more eczema tips, check out:
Posted: at 2:48 am
Eczema is incredibly common, and about30 million people in the United States are affected by some form this frustrating skin condition. Butit’s not always so easy to understand how to care for your eczema. When so many substancesmay trigger an eczema flare(the long listincludes certain fibers, scented detergents, pollen, pet dander, and much more)how do you deal?
There are multiple types of eczema, but the condition is generally characterized by a red, itchy,inflammatory skinreaction, saysJoshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospitals Department of Dermatology. “Eczema is a condition in which the skin cannot protect itself from the environment and, as a result, becomes inflamed,” he says. “The outer skin layer develops microscopic cracks in it and loses hydration, leading to disruption of the skin barrier.”
While your doctor may have more tailored advice based on the type of eczema you have and your specific symptoms, Dr. Zeichner says one of thebest ways to ease symptoms ofeczema is to improve hydration and reduce inflammationboth of which start with great self-care. Here, dermatologists explain exactly how to care for your sensitive eczema skin at home.
RELATED: 10 Home Remedies for Eczema
A person with normal skin might get by moisturizing their skin every so often, but people with eczema likely need toslather on lotion a lot more often, perhaps as much as multiple times a day. “While some areas of the body may develop rashes, all of the skin may be dry and weak because of genetics if you have eczema,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “While we cannot change your genes, we can compensate for them.” He suggests looking for a body moisturizer that contains ingredients like petrolatum, such asVaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion ($9; walmart.com), which will form a protective seal over the outer skin layer to prevent water loss and help the damaged skin barrier repair itself.
You might enjoy extremely hot showers, but your eczema skin does not. “Hot water can strip the skin of essential oils, and the longer the exposure, the worse off we are,”Dr.Zeichner says. “Stick to short showers of less than 10 minutes, with lukewarm water.” He adds that “lukewarm” means that watershould be around the temperature you might expect from a heated pool.Test it before you step in; if the water feels hot immediately as it touches your skin, lower the temperature.
“Oil-based products are the best way to add moisture back into the skin and create a barrier to retain it,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologic surgeon at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Centers in New York City. She’s an advocatefor the “soak and grease” method:”I use a two-step process, an in-shower oil and lotion, followed by lotion to trap moisture in.” Apply your out-of-shower lotion or oil immediately after stepping out.
Your skin needs extra TLC, so Dr. Zeichner recommends the most sensitive sunscreens to protect yourself from harmful (and drying) rays. “Especially if you have sensitive skin or eczema, your skin may be more at risk from allergies or irritation from the sunscreen ingredients,” he explains. “While baby sunscreens are designed with kids in mind, they are effective in adults, as well, and may be appropriate for people with dry, irritated skin.” Dr. Zeichner says baby sunscreens typically only contain mineral-based ingredients, which are less likely to aggravate your skin.A good pick:Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen SPF 60+ ($12; target.com).
Many soaps and body washeshave harsh ingredients thatcan disrupt the skin’s barrier, or scents that may aggravate eczema symptoms.Instead, Dr. Zeichner recommends choosingcleansers that contain gentle ingredients, such as colloidal oatmeal. Hes a fan of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash ($15 for 2; amazon.com).
Another option: Dr. Engelmanrecommends Cetaphil RestoraDerm($19; target.com). And as a general rule, “[a]void harsh soaps with fragrances, glycolic acid,salicylic acid, and retinols that can further irritate the skin by drying them out,” she says.
People with eczema may want to invest in a good humidifier, especially during the drier winter months. “Arid environments can put stress on already dry skin,” Dr. Zeichner says. “A cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom will add moisture to the air, so your skin does not have to work as hard to maintain hydration.” Why cool mist? Dr.Zeichner says this type of humidifier is safer than a hot-steam model, which can burn your skin if you get too close to it.
If you’re takingultra-gentle care of your skin and your eczema symptoms are still impacting your daily life, see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your eczema, as well as suggest stronger treatment options that may help ease symptoms.”There are a variety of prescription barrier-repair creams and new medications, both topically and systemically, that can treat this condition,” says Dr. Zeichner.
Read more from the original source:
7 Skin Self-Care Strategies Everyone With Eczema Should Be Doing – Health.com
Posted: at 2:48 am
In addition to your body, hands, and face, eczema can also plague the scalp, usually in a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. There is some disagreement among experts about whether or not seborrheic dermatitis should be considered a form of chronic eczema or a separate skin condition, although the National Eczema Association considers it to be a type of eczema. (Eczema is a general term that includes a variety of conditions that causered, inflamed skin.)
“Seborrheic dermatitis is a common form of chronic eczema on the scalp associated with a fungi,” says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and author of Living With Itch ($19; amazon.com).
In addition to the scalp, seborrheic dermatitis may also affect parts of the face (such as the nose), the back, ears, or center of the chest. It strikes parts of the body with many oil-producing (sebaceous) glands, leading to symptoms such as redness, flakes, and patches of greasy, swollen-looking skin.
Unlike atopic dermatitis, a chronic form of eczema that is thought to be caused byan abnormal immune reaction,seborrheic dermatitisdoesn’t usually cause severeitching. However, you can be diagnosed with bothseborrheic dermatitisand atopic dermatitis at the same time.
RELATED: 5 Reasons Why You Have an Itchy Scalp
Experts aren’t sure exactly what causes seborrheic dermatitis. Genetics might make you more susceptible, and hormones, stress, or other triggers may lead to an overactive immune response that causes symptoms like red, painful, flaky skin to appear. A fungus called malassezia also plays a role. (This same fungus has been linked to dandruff, which is considered to be a mild form of scalp seborrheic dermatitis.)
Seborrheic dermatitis can usually be treated with medicated shampoos that contain tar, zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole. Leave the shampoo on for five or 10 minutes before rinsing it off. At first, you may want to use it several times a week, then use it once a week if symptoms improve.
Ross S. Levy, MD, chief of dermatology at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, N.Y. and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, tells us you can also have a separate type of eczema without the presence of seborrheic dermatitis. “It can be difficult to differentiate,” he says. This type is contact dermatitis, and is triggered by a reaction to an irritating substance on the scalp (think: hair dyes or scented hair products).
Short-term use of topical corticosteroids made for the scalp may help. “They come in solution form. You can put a drop into your scalp, or more,” says Dr. Levy. “Its more like a gel, almost like a mousse. Those are good for purely calming down the inflammation.”
But for both contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis, it’s important not to itch your scalp: hair loss can occur with either condition.
“If theres enough irritation you can get hair loss,” Dr. Levy cautions. “You can scratch and irritate your scalp, enough that can kill off the hair so you can lose hair.”
Posted: at 2:48 am
“Dont scratch” is probably one of the bestand worstpieces of advice an eczema patient can receive. The skin condition, which is causedby an abnormal immune reaction that results in dry, red, cracked patches of skin, is only made worse by itching. Your nails damage the skin barrier, which then ramps up inflammatory molecules that exacerbatethe itch, explains Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Whats more, chronic scratching may make you more susceptible to infections, since it’s easier for bacteria to invade the crackedskin.
But heres the rub: itching an eczema rashfeels good. “Scratching induces a short term pain response that suppresses the itch,” says Dr. Silberberg. “Patients feel the short-term gain, but dont realize how it actually harms skin.” Your best way to dampen down the itchis to see your doctor for treatments, prescription or over-the-counter, thataddressthe underlying problem that causes the itch. Although it may not be possible to stop itching once and for all, here are eightstrategies that may help you keep your hands off.
Jeffrey S. Fromowitz, MD, a dermatologist in Boca Raton, Florida recommends holding an ice cube or cool compress on the itchy area. “The cold stimulus interrupts the bodys feeling of itchiness and can help break the itch-scratch cycle,” he says.
One way to control the itch is by using a psychological tool called “habit reversal.” As a 2011 studyof itch management strategies for atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema, which occurs in allergy-prone people)points out, scratching can become a conditioned responseone you might not even be aware youre doing. With habit reversal, you recognize the habit, think about times youre most likely to scratch, then consciously do something different when the itch arises. For example, if you notice that you often scratch while you watch TV, have something to keep your hands busy during that time, such as usinga stress-relief ball, an adult coloring book, orfidget spinner, or simplyclenching your fists.
While an underlying genetic issue isthe likely culprit in causingatopicdermatitis, certain things in the environment can make symptoms worse.Not everyone has the same eczema triggers, but a fewcommon ones include heat or cold, certain fabrics like wool, allergens like dust or pet dander, and scented skincare products or detergents.Dr. Silverberg notes that it’simportant to recognize these factors so you can avoid themor ininstances where you cant, then preemptively treat them.
Stress and anxiety are eczema triggers for many people. “Higher levels of inflammatory chemicals such as the stress hormone cortisol worsen inflammation, which makes eczema more severe,”explainsDr. Fromowitz. Knowing that certainsituationstend to leave you feeling especially fried and frenzied(and brainstorming a keep-calm plan for such times) can help keep the condition under control. A few tried-and-true strategies: meditation, yoga, getting plenty of sleep, and exercise.
Hot water might feel good in the moment, but it can ultimately worseneczema by releasing itch-inducing compounds, says Dr. Fromowitz. Instead, use lukewarm water, which is less likely to exacerbate sensitive skin. And while youre in there, stick to a mild, unscented soap (perfumed products can irritate). After you towel off, apply a liberal amount of moisturizer to hydrateand repair the skin’s barrier.
RELATED: 9 Things You Should Never Do If You Have Eczema
The repetitive act of slathering on a nice lotion before bed can be soothing for your skinand mind, says Dr. Silverberg. Also, realize that you may not be able to stop the itch in its entirety, and therefore try not to be frustrated if the sensation to scratch is distracting when youre trying to doze off. “That frustration can aggravate the itch and make it even harder to fall asleep,” he says.
Although some people with eczema wear gloves to prevent themselves from scratching, Dr. Silverberg points out that they might have the reverse effect, since they can make hands sweatyand sweat can make skin feel itchier.A better option than gloves if youre a mindless scratcher: keep nails as short and smooth as possible. “If you do scratch, you wont create quite as much damage,” Dr. Silverberg says.
Still struggling with persistent itch? You may want to consider light therapy (also calledphototherapy), which uses ultraviolet light topenetratethe outer layers of skin totamp down inflammatory cells, and thus, itching.
“Its incredibly safe, but the downside is that its time-consuming,” says Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, Vice Chair, Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.”Patients have to go two to three times per week for several months, and you start to see results after four weeks.”
For patients who have difficult-to-treat eczema,Dr. Guttman-Yassky recommends phototherapy as part of a combination treatment plan alongside moisturizers and topical steroids in order to clear up the condition and hopefully ease itch.
Originally posted here:
How to Stop Itching Your Skin If You Have Eczema – Health.com
Posted: at 7:51 pm
Eczema is a skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body, leading to itchy, red patches of skin that may become cracked or have blisters. The condition is frustrating wherever it occurs, whether on the arms, back, or hands. But eczema can be especially painful and debilitating when it appears on the face. Take it from social media star and fitness expert Carys Gray, who bravely shared a photo on Instagram last February to convey how serious an eczema flare-up on the face can be. Gray’s photo showed a side-by-side comparison of her skin on a “normal” day versus how it looks in the middle of a bad flare.
“When my eczema isnt under control, its very blotchy, sore, and I cant wear any makeup,” Gray told her followers. She added that she hoped her photo would act as a reminder that things aren’t always what they seem on social media.
In a more recent post, the Instagram star shared another side-by-side photo of her face before and during an eczema flare.
“Eczema (or any insecurity) is such a small part of my life and I shouldn’t allow it to control me,” she wrote.
It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of eczema, but experts believe environment and genetics both play a role. Something triggers the immune system and the result is that the protective barrier of the skin becomes dry, sensitive, and irritated. The problem isn’t curable, but certain things can make the symptoms worse, whether an allergen such as dust, household products like soap or synthetic fibers, cold weather, or stress.
Experts say that soothing and concealing eczema on the face can be a challenge, since the skin on this area of the body is often very delicate.
“The most common areas for eczema on the face are the eyelids and the lips, given how thin and sensitive the skin is in these areas,” explains Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University.
There are a few key ingredients in skincare and makeup products that people with eczema should look for. “Ceramides, which are part of the skin barrier, are a key component to treating eczema,” says Amanda Doyle, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Dry skin lacks hydration, she explains, and ceramides help trap water in the skin, which may ease an eczema flare-up. You dont need to spend a fortune on an eczema-friendly moisturizer; some of Dr. Doyles favorites include drugstore finds like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($12, target.com) and Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion ($6, target.com).
RELATED: The 7 Best Lotions for Eczema, According to Dermatologists
Use caution when applying makeup on an eczema rash on the face, since it can sometimes lead to further irritation. If you do decide to use makeup, choose a liquid foundation instead of oil-absorbing powders, which can exacerbate existing dryness. “The liquid is more moisturizing, so it can help to accelerate the healing process, explains Dr. Khetarpal.
Dr. Doyle often recommends makeup from Clinique or bareMinerals for patients with eczema. “These [brands] tend to be a bit more friendly to eczema patients and those with sensitive skin who are looking for coverage, she says. One product to try: bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum ($30; sephora.com), which contains SPF.
RELATED: 10 Home Remedies for Eczema
If you experience an acute case of facial eczema, an over-the-counter topical steroid like 1% hydrocortisone may help relieve short-term itching and irritation. Just dont use it for longer than two days, and always avoid contact with the eyelids, warns Dr. Doyle.
To protect against future facial flare-ups, skip soaps, moisturizers, and laundry detergents that contain fragrances. Dr. Doyle recommends Vanicream Cleansing Bar for Sensitive Skin ($4, walgreens.com), a mild, fragrance-free cleanser thats ideal for people with sensitive skin.
The bottom line? “Less is more,” says Dr. Doyle. “People often want to apply all kinds of things when they get these types of rashes on their face, but its really best to use minimal, gentle products that rehydrate the skin so it can heal itself.”
Posted: at 7:51 pm
Who doesn’t love beauty tips? From makeup tutorials and skin care solutions to hairstyle inspo, the HOW-TOs are all you need to get from beauty rut to head-to-toe renewal. From finding the perfect red lipstick to nailing your eye makeup, learn how to apply makeup like a true professional (yes, flawless smokey eye makeup or the elusive natural makeup look is finally within reach). When it comes to nails, weve nailed it. Whether you’re a nail art fan, cant go past acrylic nails or adore a classic French manicure with nuder-than-nude nail polish, our step by step HOW-TOs and trend round ups have you covered.
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Finally, since we know beauty begins on the inside we have collated our favourite health and fitness tips including healthy recipes and super healthy snacks with a focus on skin, nutrition and healthy eating. It’s not about the latest diet plan, it’s about healthy food that you actually enjoy eating and leading a healthy life balanced with a focus on womens fitness. We profile the best fitness trends and exercise plans of some of the top models, style and fitness bloggers.
Posted: at 7:51 pm
If you have eczema, I bet youre willing to do just about anything to soothe your itchy, irritated skin. Unfortunately, many of the topical remedies for this condition offer little relief. But an inside-out approach” focused on dietary changes may help considerably.
If you search for eczema diet online youll find a number of different protocols. But the standard approach is to begin with an elimination diet, which entails cutting out foods that may be triggering inflammation for at least four weeks, sometimes longer.
Most elimination diets start by nixing the top eight allergens: wheat; milk and milk products (think cheese and yogurt); eggs; soy; fish; shellfish; tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios); and peanuts. However, an elimination diet for eczema typically adds additional layers, such as all sugary and processed foods and anything artificial; gluten or possibly all grains; alcohol; caffeine; nightshade vegetables; seeds; and foods that are high in histamine.
Histamine causes an inflammatory response in the body, which is why anti-histamine medications are used for allergy relief. Some foods are high in histamine or trigger histamine release, including avocado, tomatoes, spinach, pickled or canned foods, pulses, nuts, cheese, chocolate, and vinegar.
RELATED: 15 Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes
By this point you may be thinking, Yikes, what can I eat on this plan? The good news is that an elimination diet isnt a forever diet. In the first phase, a number of foods are nixed. But after 30 or more days, the excluded foods are added back one at a time.
If the reintroduction doesnt result in the recurrence of symptoms, the food may be rotated back into the diet, although possibly not as a daily staple. Some of my clients find they don’t tolerate dairy and gluten well, but can eat chickpeas, avocado, or nuts a few times a week without suffering a flare-up. What works for one person may be different for others.
It’s also important to note that during the elimination phase, what you consume is just as important as what you dont. Eating anti-inflammatory, whole, fresh foods, and a diet balanced in macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs) is essential. A nutritious diet not only supports immunity and supplies nutrients involved in skin maintenance and healing, it also improves the health of your gut, which is critical for immune function.
RELATED: 14 Inflammation-Fighting Foods
If you’re considering trying an elimination diet, I cant overstate the value of working with a professional throughout the process. Some of my clients whove tried elimination diets on their own wound up with too few calories, or not enough protein or fat. Those imbalances can weaken immunity, prevent improvements, or even worsen eczema.
A dietitian can also help you identify hidden or sneaky sources of things that need to be eliminated. For example, while corn is a plant, its categorized as a grain, not a vegetable. So if youre going grain-free, you need to skip corn too.
Finally, a dietitian can help you meal plan, offer recipes, monitor your symptoms along the way, lend support, and guide you through the reintroduction phase. (You can search for an RD in your area through the the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics online referral service.) An elimination diet is a big commitment. But identifying and managing your dietary eczema triggers has the potential to transform your skin, and your quality of life.
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That said, dietary changes are not a panacea. Eczema is a condition I struggle with myself, and even when my diet is spot on, I still get flare-ups. Mine are primarily triggered by stress, a lack of sleep, or both. In other words, diet alone isnt the only solution.
Bottom line: Because tests for food allergies and sensitivities can be imprecise (Ive personally had results come back as inconclusive while I was still battling flare-ups), an elimination diet is one of the most effective tools for uncovering precisely which foods are at the root of chronic inflammatory problems like eczema. But a healthy overall lifestyle that includes stress management (through techniques like meditation, acupuncture, and yoga), healthy sleep habits, and positive social support are also indispensable pillars of wellness.
Cynthia Sass isHealths contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and consultant for the New York Yankees.
Read the original here:
Got Eczema? Here’s Why You Might Want to Try an Elimination Diet – Health.com