The month of October brings cooler fall weather, pumpkins, apple cider galore, and a healthy dose of skin changes. In the US, October is observed as National Eczema Awareness Month, as the condition can be triggered by the seasonal change.
Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy and inflamed. The skin can even develop a rash or become flaky and scarred as a result. In the US, over 31 million people have a form of eczema, as there are 7 types of the condition. The most common type is atopic dermatitis, that is strongly associated with a family history of asthma and allergies. (Asthma, allergies, and eczema are a part of the “atopic triad.” Did you know if you have one of these conditions, you are more likely to develop another one of these conditions?) Contact dermatitis is another form of the condition that develops when a person is exposed to something that triggers an allergic reaction, like skin irritants (nickel jewelry, certain soaps and detergents) or environmental allergens (poison ivy, certain grass).
The common symptoms of eczema include an itch; dry, sensitive skin; inflamed skin; discolored skin; skin patches that are rough, leathery, or scaly in texture. Severe symptoms include oozing and crusting and areas of skin that are swollen. People with eczema navigate around an itch-scratch cycle that can be hard to break.
(image from eczemaless.com)
Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema. However, there are treatments to help the curb the response and help gain control over the cycle. Many of the treatments are over the counter anti-itch creams or prescription topical steroids. For severe cases of eczema, some healthcare providers prescribe immunosuppressants and biologic drugs to treat the condition. In holistic health, there are natural and alternative remedies to help treat eczema, including oatmeal, marshmallow root, and calendula.
The Earth-Kissed Beauty team is very familiar with the eczema struggle. Co-founders, Kristin + Earl both have experienced various forms of eczema. Their son developed eczema at 2 months of age and has several food allergies. After several (expensive!) specialty doctor visits, ER visits, prescription medications, and keeping a log of all reactions, the family discovered several of the son’s eczema and allergic triggers and have adjusted their ways of daily living. This includes eliminating dairy and other inflammation-triggering foods from their house, using free + clear laundry detergent, and using gentle soaps and moisturizers. Frequent, soothing hydration is key; bath time includes a blend of oatmeal and marshmallow root to calm eczema flareups and soften scaly skin. Body butter is applied to damp skin.
Their son’s eczema served as the inspiration for the development of EKB-fam favorite, Sweet Baby Body Butter. The nourishing combination of shea and mango butters, and rich avocado, apricot kernel, grapeseed, and jojoba oils provide deep conditioning to the skin and prevent skin dryness. The Sweet Baby Body Butter is a favorite among customers with eczema for this reason.
Exfoliation is also another key to combating scaly, dry skin from eczema. The Green Tea + Agave Body Scrub gently polishes skin and uses a blend of agave and vegetable glycerin to reduce inflammation and draw in moisture. Founder, Kristin uses this scrub on her hands to manage her eczema during the fall and winter seasons.
Gaining control over your eczema takes work, but it is possible. Recognize your triggers and avoid them. Constantly nourish your skin with clean products. Seek guidance from a dermatologist and stick to your treatment plan.