My daughter and I suffer from Eczema.
Many people with eczema, like us, get prescribed an EMOLIENNT (which is like a medical moisturiser used for all over very dry skin) and a TOPICAL STEROID CREAM (used to treat skin when it gets CRAZY itchy and sore.)
All our doctors we have ever seen, have only really liked to prescribe us a few things. AQUEOUS CREAM (emollient), HYDROCORTISONE( steroid cream) and antihistamines for the itching. More recently I have got them to prescribe us Aveeno cream and bath oil.
I have recently discovered, after years of using every day all over my skin, that The National Eczema Society says of Aqueous cream,
‘The MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) have issued an official warning that Aqueous cream may cause skin irritation, particularly in children with eczema, possibly due to SODIUM LAUREL SULFATE (SLS), which is a known skin irritant.’
THIS IS ALSO IN MOST SHAMPOO’S AND BODY WASH. It is a cheap cleaning product. In a 2010 a study by Professor Richard Guy and his team at the University of Bath ,which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that areas of skin that were treated with aqueous cream every day for 4 weeks where 12% thinner and an ‘average of 20% increase in water loss through the ‘thinner’ treated areas. This was one very small survey so we can’t all take it as gospel but it does make me think!
You can check it out here
and what the eczema society think here
An alternative emollient is
For me Aveeno products feel like they do a much better job at SINKING into my skin, unlike other emollients that just seem to sit on top of your skin (and thin it a bit, LOVELY!). The active ingredient in all Aveeno products are colloidal (finely milled) oats, which skin soothing powers have been known since prehistoric times. If you suffer from dry skin or eczema try this stuff! You can buy it in the shops but you can get it on prescription in the UK although you have to force them so I’m guessing it’s much, much more expensive than aqueous cream the others.
The other lovely thing that the docs LOVE to dish out. TOPICAL STEROIDS. In my case HYDROCORTISONE
When eczema flares up it can be uncontrollably itchy and then in turn sore. The steroid creams like hydrocortisone DO help with the SYMPTOMS but they are really not great for your skin, as it is a fact and a well-published side effect that, prolonged use can, again thin the skin. So the best thing one who suffers from eczema can do is try to prevent flare-ups, use of aqueous cream and steroid creams as much as possible.
For my own eczema, I know that I am extremely sensitive to chemicals in some everyday products and that since switching a few everyday things it has really got it under control. I still suffer occasionally of course as I don’t even know what exact thing it is that sets it off!
These are some of the things I have changed and that have made a massive difference
CHANGE YOUR WASHING POWDER
I have found in the supermarkets the best one for me is Surecare. When I first decided to start changing all this stuff I thought I would try FAIRY as it says its so kind to skin, bla bla bla.. not MINE! Me and my daughter were sooo allergic. I had to immediately change all sheets, duvets, anything that had been touched by the wicked FAIRY GODMOTHER.
CHANGE YOUR SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER, SOAP OR SHOWER GEL
I use hemp soap from the health shop. Which is another natural good one for dry skin. Hair-wise, I personally like Dr Organics range. (you can buy it in Holland and Barrett for £2.99) But I haven’t really experimented with that many. And I know that it doesn’t make me feel itchy.
I now, having made the switch have realised that it is something in shampoo’s that I am really allergic to as if I ever have to use anything else I immediately feel the itch!
CHANGE YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS
FAIRY= EVIL FOR OUR ECZEMA. Fairy washing up liquid. Yes, I will admit it is the best cleaning wise but it makes my skin SO SO itchy. I use ECOVER now which is better. (doesn’t clean so well though) but it def does the job and is worth it!
GET YOUR DOCTOR TO PRESCRIBE AVEENO CREAM
Like I said before its really good and worth a try.
I would love to know any other things people have tried or products to recommend as I know there must be some more!