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How Can I Clear Up My Eczema?

Dear Sugar
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


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.

Join The Conversation
salleee salleee 10 years
your right t0xxic about Elidel causing skin cousin has really bad eczema and her dermatologist told her that...i'm a bit of an eczema sufferer too and i think eating properly really does have an effect, chrysanthemum and honeysuckle tea also really terms of cleansers and moisturisers i think Ego QV is the best but not sure if they sell it in the US
loveMYbitches loveMYbitches 10 years
Oh and when all else fails turn to the derm favorite, i have been using this stuff for as long as I can rememeber and every doctors always tells me about it when i mention eczema, Eucerin !!!!
loveMYbitches loveMYbitches 10 years
I have had excema all my life, i used to get it very badly on my feet - so bad that I would not be able to walk for days or weeks. That was mostly when i was pretty young, I think it stopped being so severe on my feet around the age of 11. But of course, I started getting it elsewhere, in slightly different forms than the usual. LIke on my face, which. . is just mountains of fun! I get it in a form that tends to cause hypopigmentation after the inflammation of the initially rash is gone, only sometimes the inflammation is so light that i dont even realize it and just end up with a white spot, either way, excema is so frustrating, especially now that it's moved to my face and arms, and i would love to get rid of it! For all you out there who are going through this, i just went to my derm and she gave me the loveliest skin creams that are apparently pretty new and amazing i insist you get them!! CeraVe - She told me it was new and everyone that has been using it loves it! Its really wonderful stuff .. they have a website, but it is apparently avaliable in drug stores... but i've never seen it. Vanicream - This stuff is free from, dyes, lanolin, fragrance, masking fragrance, parabens and formaldehyde. I dont know exactly what all the stuff is but! its amazing, perfect for sensitive skin , makes your skin feel a little funny at first, but keeps very well moisturized, even during excema flare ups! I really love both of those, and recommened them greatly.
Daffodil Daffodil 10 years
I've got Eczema, Psoriasis and sensitive skin, and although neither the Eczema and Psoriasis are particularly aggressive it made buying beauty and bathing products in my teenage and twenties a nightmare. I seem to be growing out of somewhat in my 30's. For my Psoriasis which is on the bottom of my feet and scalp I use salicylic acid in a format very similar to vaseline. I also use a scalp treatment made by Wella which will keep my scalp clear for 2 - 3 months. For my Eczema which is mostly on my face, during it's flair ups I use a combination of hydrocortizone and savlon to get the inflamation under control. Once it's died down I scrub away the dry skin. Exfoliation is key to keeping my skin under control, and I use Clinique or Simple products. For fun stuff I use a number of products made by Lush and I can use a small number of products from the Body Shop.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
My son has eczema. Use hydrocortizone cream with aloe. Elidel is black labled for leading to skin cancer. I thnk thats a bit worse then the problem itself huh? Oatmeal baths and aveeno help to and staying at a good room temp. Ur dr can give you a prescription for a light steroid cream that will help to. GL I know I hate watching my little boy suffer with his. But I guess its jsut something he will have to go thru. -------------------- The baby in my belly made me do it I swear.
siouxsie siouxsie 10 years
it is. it sucks. not only is it unsightly but it hurts and itches like hell.
yayita yayita 10 years
Man and I complain about the zits I get on my chin. this must be a true pain
siouxsie siouxsie 10 years
oh sorry. i too suffer from really sensitive and dry skin and used to get excema allllllllllllll the time in the summer...anywhere i would collect sweat..under my knees seemed to be the worst. straight aloe vera i know feels the best when you have an outbreak and helps it heal faster. banana boat makes it in a pump container. i love it. benadryl cream and hydrocortisone work good too. i've heard oatmeal baths work well too though i've yet to try one.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 10 years
I don't know much about eczema, but I'm allergic to almost all plants and flowers and benedryl cream works for me, that and the trusty pink pill. Y'all should see me when I take Aleve!!! I know that's not a plant...but anyway it's so funny because my whole face swells up!!
Faye16 Faye16 10 years
Hydrocortisone cream is good for eczema. I used it for ezcema on my chest - it went quite quickly and I use it for my super dry arms.
rkdub rkdub 10 years
Also, soy soaps are really good. I have a friend that has it in between her elbows, and the soy based all natural soaps helped her out a LOT, she said it almost cleared completely....
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
I know a few people who have this. I heard it is a pain.
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
Bye AS! Have a great weekend!
audreystar audreystar 10 years
you know it always seems like when i have the most to do is when everthing on pop and team is SO interesting and great conversations are happening. but alas, i have got to get off and make the kids lunch and clean the darn house :( boo-hoo. bye ladies!
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
audreystar audreystar 10 years
yeah, layla it is ex-zu-ma. many people mispronounce it. i don't get outbreaks on my face. mostly mine is on the back of my knees and legs and the inside of my arms (elbows). i guess around the joints. when i was in high school i also got it on my lower abdomen.
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
My friend's daughter has excema and just seeing how irriatant it is to her I understand that it must be the same for you guys. Another thing, I always pronounced it EX-ZEEM-MUH, and everytime she'd say oh she can not used the because of her excema, I'd be like wtf is that? All this time I was saying it wrong.
audreystar audreystar 10 years
hmm..that is interesting jenn. i didn't know that. i do know that if a person with this condition has been exposed they have to decide which is the bigger risk (small pox vaccine reaction or contracting small pox). my guess most would take the vaccine and hope for the best. because i for one would not want to contract small pox! hopefully i will never be faced with that decision.
audreystar audreystar 10 years
oh and i wasn't the person who wrote this to dearsugar but i commend the person for sharing and asking :)
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Aud - that's interesting. I know when they were vaccinating the hub's unit, they wouldn't do small pox for anyone who even *lived* with a person with a skin condition.
audreystar audreystar 10 years
this is too weird. we were just talking about this very subject. i, too, have eczema and it stinks with a capital "S". my mom had it also and it recurs on me at different times. i had my first outbreak in high school and i just recently had a recurrence (and still have it). i will definitely try the products listed above. thanks! i have found for myself the use of hydrocortisone works pretty well. and i have found that sunlight or ultraviolet ray light helps the symptoms as well. of course that isn't recommended because of the cancer risk. also, did you know that people with eczema are advised against receiving a small pox vaccination? the reason being.. Taken from the National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases or NIAID The small pox vaccine can cause several complications, some life-threatening, particularly in people with immune deficiencies and skin disorders (particularly eczema). Based on reactions to smallpox vaccines in the past, CDC estimates that between 14 and 52 people out of every 1 million people vaccinated for the first time will have potentially life-threatening complications that require medical attention.
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