I am a 30 year old woman with eczema. I've had it all of my life and I want nothing more than to get it under control. My face is especially prone to outbreaks. Can you tell me a little bit about it and what I can do to clear it up? Bumpy Bree
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Dear Bumpy Bree
You are not alone. Eczema is a painful and embarrassing problem that can affect anyone. It is believed to be inherited and it is estimated that approximately 15 million people (male and female) in the United States alone are affected by symptoms of eczema.
There are currently many products on the market right now for all of the different types of eczema. Most of them are topical corticosteroid creams or ointments that can quickly bring the eczema under control. This won't cure eczema, but it can be helpful in reducing some of the inflammation. Some of the most popular creams/ointments are: Epitrex,Elidel Cream and Murad's Acne Complex. Choose one for sensitive skin.
The problem with eczema however is that it does not start on the surface of the skin. Eczema is an internal imbalance. The skin is the largest organ of our body. Everything that we take into our body and everything that we eliminate from our body is reflected on the skin.
Try using a creamy, mild cleanser on your face with tepid water (not too hot) when washing your face. Avoid using soaps or anything abrasive or harsh (unfortunately that means exfoliants too). Using a topical Aloe Vera product or products with Chamomile and Calendula can also help to soothe irritated skin, especially such a sensitive area like your face. If you are believer in herbs try: gotu kola, olive leaf and red clover. These have been known to help reduce eczema.
While products may address the surface of the problem, in order to get rid of it, you may want to seek professional advice. Make an appointment with your Dermatologist as well as a Nutritionist. You'd be surprised how large of a part you diet plays into this condition. Lastly, Acupuncture is also helpful for changing your internal imbalance.