Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a dry skin condition plagued with incessant itching and inflammation. Unfortunately there is no cure for eczema, however, you can get it under control. There are many different treatments for relieving symptoms and clearing eczema flares. Let’s take a further look below:
The most crucial part of drawing a vinegar bath is making sure you add enough vinegar to optimize the water’s desired pH. Tap water varies across the states. The best way to truly gain an accurate reading, is by investing in a pH meter (usually around $20). Optimal pH is between 4.2 and 4.4. Usually you can obtain this by adding 3-4 cups of vinegar to a half full bathtub of lukewarm water.
Soak in the tub for 12-15 minutes. When you step out of the tub blot your skin dry. Do not rinse the vinegar off of your skin.
Soaps and Cleansers
When bathing or showering with eczema it is important to be mindful of the soaps you are washing the affected areas with. In fact, I recommend that you avoid using soaps on active flares altogether. If you can, use soap only on your armpits, feet and genitalia. Select soaps that are free of fragrances and allergens. Common allergens, include: sulfates, dyes, parabens, lanolin, beeswax, PEGs, formaldehyde releasing preservatives and oatmeal/gluten. Become a label reader! Remember to check for products that are hypoallergenic. There are no FDA regulations on what the term hypoallergenic can mean, so it is very important you keep a list of allergens and skin irritants. Typically, the shorter the ingredient list, the safer you are at trusting what you are putting on your skin.
It is imperative that you stick to a daily moisturizing routine in order to gain control of your eczema. While most products advocate a twice daily application, I encourage those who experience moderate to severe flares to apply a moisturizer four times per day. The time you achieve the best moisture lock is 3-5 minutes after showering or bathing.
Use heavy creams and ointments for maximum results. Lotion is not sufficient for treating eczema alone. The best skin care products will be formulated with ceramides, ceramide 3, cholesteryl ethers and other long chain fatty acids. These products focus on skin barrier optimization (SBO) and help your skin’s barrier to heal, or repair, itself.
If you discover that these precautions and treatment options are not working for you, it is time to see a licensed dermatologist. They can help to find a proper treatment plan for your specific case. They may need to prescribe you topical steroids, antibiotics or treatments including photo light therapy. Keep a journal of the skin care products that you are using and discuss which products you have noted as being troublesome to your condition.
Everyone’s case is different. What might trigger one person’s eczema to flare up will not produce the same reaction in another. Likewise, what might work for treating one person’s eczema might not benefit you.