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What's Eczema?

You got eczemmmaaa? This video broke the internet way back when but eczema shouldn't break you! And, that's on what . . . . period!!

Let's get right into WHAT eczema is not. Eczema is NOT a skin type; it is a condition/disorder. It is an inflammatory condition, of the skin, with dry or moist lesions classified as acute or chronic. It is often used interchangeably with the word dermatitis. 

There a different forms of eczema:

  • Atopic Dermatitis A type of dermatitis often referred to and thought of when we think of "eczema." It is a chronic, relapsing form of dermatitis and often triggered by irritants/allergens resulting in dry, cracking skin. 
  • Contact Dermatitis - A type of dermatitis caused by an allergic reaction from coming in contact with a substance or chemical. This reaction can occur when applying makeup, skin products, detergents, dyes, fabric, plants, or other materials/substances that result in red, itchy skin. Want us to get a little nerdy? Contact dermatitis can be broken down into two groups Allergic Contact Dermatitis (exposure to allergen |, i.e., Poison Ivy) v. Irritant Contact Dermatitis (exposure to caustic irritants). Irritant contact dermatitis can become worse and lead to allergic dermatitis. 
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis - A disorder of the sebaceous (oil) glands and a common form of eczema. It is characterized by inflammation, dry or oily scaling or crusting, and itchiness. Red, flaky skin is commonly seen in the eyebrows, on the scalp, along the hairline, and along the side of the nose. 
  • Perioral Dermatitis - A form of dermatitis that is acne-like in appearance forming small papules (bumps) around the mouth (perioral). It can be caused by toothpaste or other products applied to the face. 

Now that you have a surface level understanding of eczema, currently have it, and here for the HOW to fix it/get rid of it, or the WHY does it happen, or any other questions you may have to keep reading . . . we'll do our best.

WHO? As to whom eczema affects . . .it can affect everyone of all ages and ethnicities. 

WHY? As to why eczema happens, they do not know or fully understand in most cases. It's believed that it's genetic and can be passed down (atopic dermatitis | seborrheic dermatitis). In other eczema cases, such as contact or perioral dermatitis, it's a reaction to an irritant or substance.

HOW? As to how to get rid of eczema, in some cases, given it's an inflammatory condition/disorder, there's, to date, no way to get rid of it, but you can find remedies to soothe its effects. Atopic and Seborrheic dermatitis fall within those guidelines and are referred to a physician or dermatologist where they'll prescribe cortisone or something else within the same realm; however, if you have exhausted both of these measures, contacting an herbalist may be your next move.

Simply removing the irritant or substance can bring relief for contact or perioral dermatitis. 

WHAT? As to what you can do to seek immediate relief from eczema - here's some of our favorite go-to options/ ingredients:

  1. Colloidal Oatmeal Baths - An ancient remedy for soothing irritated, inflamed skin. Colloidal Oatmeal is packed with antioxidants and inflammatory properties. It naturally holds water helping to protect, soothe, and soften skin.
  2. Coconut Milk Baths - Introduced as a luxury bath experience by Cleopatra, it is now often used as a remedy to soothe dry, irritated skin and help enhance the appearance of lackluster, dull skin. Coconut Milk is packed with lactic acid. It is a naturally occurring acid that gently exfoliates the skin and adds moisture to the skin.
  3. German Chamomile Essential Oil - One of the key components is its concentration of azulene. Azulene is often known for its blue hue used in products, but it's also infamous for its ability to neutralize skin irritants. It's also known to be anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial. It can be applied to the skin when diluted with a carrier oil or mixed in butters. 
  4. Occlusive Products - Are thick products that lay on top of the skin. They help maintain moisture and protect the skin's barrier to relieve combat dryness. Occlusive products should be applied to slightly damp skin to help further lock in water (i.e., body butters, body oils) 

 

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