The Importance of Skincare: Dealing with Eczema as an Adult
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A lot of people are fortunate enough to grow out of eczema, which is why it does tend to be thought of as a childhood condition, although it very much can still affect adults. Experiencing any skin condition as an adult can be really stressful; it can affect your mental health just as much as it affects your physical health. Skincare is really important when looking after your skin. However, when you have eczema, it does present some unique challenges. Let’s get into it.
A Brief Background on Eczema
Eczema does indeed affect adults. However, it doesn’t tend to spring up out of nowhere; most of the time, adult sufferers will have a history of eczema dating back to their childhoods. Although, there are rare instances when adults do develop eczema for the first time in adulthood. It is an incredibly common skin condition, and it affects one-fifth of children and one-tenth of adults. Eczema is an umbrella term, and there are actually a few different forms of it. It is thought to be a genetic condition whereby the skin’s barrier just doesn’t function as it should, which is what causes eczema.
The symptoms of eczema are pretty standard. It is characterized by dry, itchy skin. The itch can be intense, so much so that it can keep you up at night. Eczema may also be red and inflamed at times, and it can also be prone to infection because it often has open wounds. Most sufferers get eczema on the knee and elbow folds, although it really can appear anywhere. Eczema has also been linked to other conditions like hay fever and asthma which could all stem from the fact that they have all been thought to relate to autoimmune disorders.
If you have had eczema before as a child, then you likely know what you are looking for. Having a history of eczema also tends to make the diagnostic process easier. If you have no previous history, then your doctor will likely want to carry out a series of tests to ensure there are no other health issues at play. Your GP is likely going to be the one to diagnose you, although you may also be referred to a dermatologist. There isn’t a test for eczema; it is more in the presentation of the condition and your family and personal history. You may be asked to undergo allergy testing to see whether or not your skin condition can be attributed to exposure to an allergen.
The Skincare Regimen
Building a skincare regimen when you have eczema can be quite a conundrum. This is because most eczema sufferers tend to find that common fragrances and chemicals used in cosmetics can worsen their skin and lead to flare-ups. This does mean that not all traditional products are going to work for you. If you want to try a product, if possible, get a sample size to see how your skin reacts before you commit to buying a full-size product. Generally, hypoallergenic products should be okay for you to use, and it is also worth considering whether or not you do have any allergies to any of the ingredients listed.
For eczema sufferers, moisturizing is vital to managing the symptoms of your eczema. Dry skin is much more prone to cracking and open sores; moisturizing also just makes your skin look better too. You can use any moisturizer you want, although it might make sense to ask your doctor for recommendations or even a prescription. There are also a few topical treatments that you might be prescribed. You can also get these products from the Oxford Online Pharmacy – they have a whole subsection for eczema products, including moisturizers, ointments, and steroid creams.
There are a number of products and brands which purport to be eczema or psoriasis friendly, and they very well may be. However, it, again, is worth doing your research. If you want to try any of these products, always read reviews first. You should also look for products that list their ingredients so that you can do your research into them and see why they are allegedly recommended or suited to eczema sufferers. This isn’t to say that they won’t work for you, but it is worth having a healthy amount of skepticism.
For most sufferers, eczema will be a chronic condition that they will have to deal with throughout their lives. There is an outside chance that it will completely clear up and go away, but because it is thought to be linked to a genetic deficiency or abnormality, this is somewhat unlikely. It is hard to treat your skin because a lot of people with eczema also have allergies that can be triggered by certain products. Developing a skincare regimen is all about finding products that work for you and make you feel good.
Olivia White is a freelance writer who loves nothing better than to share her experiences and knowledge with her readers.