Suffering from dry, red, itchy skin? Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, could be the culprit. This chronic, irritating condition affects millions, causing itchy misery during flare-ups. And although it’s not contagious, doctors are unsure what causes it, and there’s currently no cure for sufferers.
Though we can’t cure eczema completely, there are many different ways to help soothe and control itching and irritation. Here’s what you need to know about eczema and how to help get through those painful flares.
What is Eczema?
Eczema—also known as atopic dermatitis—is a skin condition that presents in extra-dry, scaly, inflamed patches. The patches are common on the face, hands, feet, and skin creases, like the backs of knees and the inside of elbows. The itchy rash can become very red and swollen when scratched. It can also affect skin pigmentation, turning the affected area lighter or darker than the rest of your complexion.
The cause of eczema is unknown, but it appears to be linked to an overreaction of the body’s immune response to external, or even internal, irritants. Those who suffer from eczema are often also afflicted by asthma, hay fever, and other allergies.
It also appears to run in families. Those who develop eczema in infancy sometimes grow out of it during childhood. But it can be a lifelong condition, causing dry, itchy, sensitive skin for years to come.
How is Eczema Treated?
When it comes to eczema, the goal for treatment is to control the itch, heal the skin, and, of course, do everything possible to prevent a flare up in the first place.
For some, an eczema flare can be triggered by allergens like pollen, pet dander, and even certain foods. For others, hot water, rough fibers, household cleaners, fragrant laundry detergents, and other skin irritants can start the itch. Knowing your triggers and avoiding them at all costs can help keep eczema at bay.
But what happens when a flare up strikes? Eczema sufferers have a variety of treatment options available, from over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams and antihistamines to powerful prescription corticosteroids, immune-suppressant drugs, and antibiotics. Some sufferers even find relief with controlled Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy.
Though effective, these medicated creams, ointments, shots, pills, and therapies all carry their own risks and side effects, ranging from very minor to quite severe. That’s why good skin care is so important for those afflicted by dermatitis. And good skin care starts with the right products.
How Can Curél Skincare Help?
Lotions, creams, and other skin-care products that are specially formulated to restore moisture and rebuild your skin’s protective barrier can be very effective in helping to ease dry, sensitive skin.
Healthy skin contains lots of ceramides, natural lipids that help hold skin cells together, forming a protective barrier that keeps irritants out. When skin lacks ceramides, this outer barrier doesn’t function properly, leading to dryness and irritation.
Moisturizing daily with a lotion like Curél® Dry Skin Therapy Itch Defense can help restore your skin’s ceramide levels, improving your skin’s moisture retention capabilities and helping to repair your skin’s protective outer layer. And for a calming, itch-free shower, there’s Curél® Itch Defense Body Wash and Hydra Therapy Itch Defense Wet-Skin Moisturizer to lock in moisture and hydrate at the source of dryness.
Curél® Itch Defense Body Wash, and several moisturizers were granted the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™ too!