How I Manage and Live With Eczema – Part I

Hello My Lovely Sage Beauties,

As you probably know by now, I am very passionate about skincare and living a skincare-friendly lifestyle. My interest and discipline in taking care of my skin started at the age of ten years old because that was the age I developed Eczema.  Eczema is the second most frequent skin disease in African Americans and is one of the most common skin disorders seen in babies and children.

As a girl I started noticing the skin on my hands and arms becoming more and more itchy and dry, and it was always irritated and cracking.  Over time it developed from head to toe.  At one point my skin was so irritated that I could only use products formulated for babies, and I became a lover of weekly oatmeal baths to help relieve the inflammation. I even started washing all my clothes with Dreft!

Because I had to learn how to understand my condition and take care of my skin I became interested in beauty beyond just makeup like most adolescent girls. I became fascinated by how skin functioned and what specific products gave me relief. This was the catalyst for my enduring obsession and passion for skincare.  Over the years I have learned how to manage the condition, even though I still have flare ups from time to time. Ironically, if someone were to ask me if I have sensitive skin my response is usually, “My skin is not sensitive, but I have Eczema.”

Yeah, I know.

Before I go any further let me share a sweet sparkly disclaimer, very plainly: I am NOT a doctor. If you have a persistent skin condition that is making you uncomfortable and you don’t know what may be causing it, PLEASE GO TO A DERMATOLOGIST, ASK QUESTIONS, AND GET TREATMENT!

If you already know that you have Eczema and it is a concern for you, then I hope you will enjoy this post…and wear sunscreen and drink water.

 

What exactly is Eczema?

Eczema is a skin disorder that is commonly characterized by dry, itchy, red or dark patches of skin. It can also look like a rash that is very itchy and irritated. If you have a medium to deep/dark/brown complexion, Eczema can appear a yucky grayish color or brownish sometimes. In deeper skintones Eczema can also cause skin discoloration. There are many different types of Eczema, and the most common on is “Atopic Dermatitis”, which is also known as Atopic Eczema, and referred to simply as Eczema.

 

What causes Eczema?

The specific cause of Eczema is not known, but it may be a combination of genetics, improper functioning of the immune system, as well as environmental factors such as pollen or other irritants.

 

Why I call Eczema a “Beauty Challenge”

I think of Eczema as a “Beauty Challenge” because you have to battle it constantly like you are a Khalessi!!  Having to deal with this condition for almost my entire life has taught me that the key to healthy happy skin is consistency in your routine and always being aware of what may trigger a flare up. For example, most of the articles I read about Eczema are related to winter skincare, but some of my worst flare ups have been in the summer months.  Any extreme temperature changes can cause irritation, and I wake up itchy and uncomfortable!

How I Pamper and Protect my skin

If you have Eczema, then your goal is to hydrate, soothe, and protect. Here are four tips you need to know:

  1. Be sure to exfoliate regularly! It will help remove that irritated top layer of skin, improve cell turnover which will help minimize discoloration, and your body creams will penetrate better
  2. Shower gently! Try not to take your showers or baths too hot and use gentle soaps and shower gels.
  3. Discoloration from Eczema on darker skintones is a major concern! Try not to scratch the skin which can contribute to discoloration, and SPF is mandatory all year long!!
  4. Hydration is major key!!!!! Look for body creams and body butters that have a rich and creamy texture for maximum moisture benefits.

Top Ten Ingredients To Soothe Eczema!

There are certain ingredients that are especially great for skin that is dealing with Eczema, or any type of irritation and persistent dryness. Here are my top ten skincare ingredients for skin prone to Eczema. In Part II and III of this series I will share my favorite products with these yummy ingredients.

  1. Shea Butter
  2. Honey
  3. Rose
  4. Yogurt
  5. Calendula
  6. Aloe
  7. Coconut Oil
  8. Cocoa Butter
  9. Oatmeal
  10. Cucumber
sephora_korres

PHOTO CREDIT: SEPHORA.COM

 

Because this is such a major skincare concern, Part II of this series will focus on my favorite products for winning the battle against Eczema on the body, and Part III will focus on Eczema flare ups on the face!

Stay tuned and be sure to leave a comment or question below!

With Love and Joy,

Lily Sage.

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