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If you have eczema and are frustrated because you’re trying everything, including all kinds of steroid creams, and it’s not healing, keep reading! I’ve got some natural tips to help you support your skin’s healing. Eczema is very much an inside issue, but topical care for eczema is just as important!
Topical Care for Eczema
I shared here about how to heal eczema naturally. Eczema is a reflection of what’s going on in your body. It’s like your body’s outward warning signal that something’s not right. And when you try to heal your eczema, it’s important to heal the inside. Many times eczema stems from a gut issue. Read here about what eczema and the gut have to do with each other. BUT, we can’t neglect the surface of our skin.
I suffered with eczema for years, mostly on my hands, and I was able to heal it by doing that inside work. However, I got a nose ring last summer and my eczema came back with a VENGEANCE. It was bad – irritation right on the spot where the ring was, eczema under my eyes, and two types of eczema on my hands – atopic dermatitis and dyshidrotic eczema- the one with lots of little bubbles (check out this post for the different types of eczema!). I made the connection and took the nose ring out and did some detox work to get the heavy metals out of my body.
And it cleared up quite a bit. But never completely. The bubbles went away, but these discolored, dry patches stayed there, until I supported my skin the right way topically.
In order to support the skin topically, we need to make sure that we’re supporting a healthy microbiome, we’re keeping it moisturized, and we’re keeping the pH in the right place.
If you’d rather watch a video on Topical Care for Eczema, watch it here!
Support the Microbiome
I’m sure you’ve heard about your gut microbiome, but your skin has it’s own microbiome, or bacteria that live on it. Supporting a healthy skin microbiome is important because those beneficial bacteria help to crowd out and keep harmful pathogens away.
Our skin is our body’s first line of defense when it comes across harmful things in the outside world. It is our layer of protection. And our microbiome plays a big part in protecting us and in keeping our skin moisturized.
So, how do we keep our skin microbiome healthy?
1. Don’t go crazy with the antibacterial hand sanitizers and soaps.
Those kill all bacteria, including beneficial bacteria that fights off the bad bacteria. So that creates an environment that is much more susceptible for pathogens to enter and wreak havoc, including causing eczema flares.
Instead of using those harsh bacteria killing products, just wash your hands with soap and water. It will work just fine!
2. Put your hands in dirt.
You may take probiotics to support your gut microbiome. You can support your skin microbiome and increase the diversity of that beneficial bacteria by putting your hands in dirt.
That’s right! Going outside in nature and working in a garden is great for skin health.
3. Choose prebiotic and probiotic soap.
What’s awesome is that there are now body washes and hand soaps that are like a probiotic supplement for your skin. They contain beneficial bacteria (probiotics) and “food” for your skin’s natural bacteria (prebiotics) to support your skin’s microbiome. This is my favorite prebiotic body wash!
Moisturize and Protect the Skin Barrier
Not only do we want to support our skin microbiome, we also want to make sure we’re keeping it moisturized.
The top layer of your skin is made of lipids, including cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids. This provides a waterproof barrier and helps to keep your skin elastic, hydrated, and youthful looking. So here’s some tips for keeping those lipids in place:
1. Avoid over-washing.
So, not just antibacterial hand sanitizers, but other soaps can be too harsh on the skin.
Surfactants in soap remove those natural lipids and contribute to dry skin and eczema.
I try to avoid washing my hands unless I have to. My husband, thankfully helps out a lot with washing the dishes. I only wash dishes once a day. I’m not gonna wash every single dish as soon as I use it. Because I don’t want to expose my skin to any extra soap and water.
2. Avoid over-exfoliating.
Soaking your skin in dead sea salt every once in a while is great. But doing that too often or scrubbing to get the dead skin off your body is not good for your eczema. That can be too harsh and leave your skin more irritated.
3. Avoid products with harsh ingredients.
One ingredient you’ll want to stay away form is sodium laureth sulfate. It can damage your skin’s natural lipids and cause skin irritation. It’s found in many bath and beauty products – so be on the look out for it!
Check out this post for more toxic ingredients to look out for.
4. Avoid extreme weather.
Extreme weather, like humid, very hot, or very cold air or water, can also damage your skin’s lipids.
So, when you’re taking a shower or washing your hands, try to keep the water lukewarm. Just like you need hot water when you’re washing dishes to remove oil, hot water removes the natural oils in your skin and weakens it.
When you go outside when it’s super cold, make sure you bundle up to keep your skin from drying out. And try to avoid going outside for long periods of time when it’s super hot out.
Keep Your Skin’s pH Balanced
Our skin is made of several layers, the top layer being the acid mantle. The acid mantle is acidic and helps to protect the skin from outside pathogens and to keep the moisture in. It also provides the right kind of environment for the microbiome. Those little bacteria guys want a slightly acid environment to live in.
The skin’s ideal pH is 4-5. If you’re not familiar with the pH scale, it’s a scale from acidic to alkaline. Acid numbers are the low numbers 0-6, neutral is 7, and the alkaline numbers are 8-14. The higher the number the more alkaline or basic it is. So 4-5 is slightly acidic.
But people with eczema have a pH that is higher. And when it’s not at it’s ideal pH, the other things we talked about don’t work as well as they should. The environment’s not right for your microbiome; so it’s not working as well at keeping pathogens out and moisture locked in your skin. The acid mantle is important for keeping those lipids in our skin.
So when you’re pH is off, it’s more susceptible to dry skin and eczema flares.
Water has a pH of around 6-9. So when you wash your hands or take a shower, it elevates your skin pH even more than it is already with eczema. And with eczema, it takes a while for our skin to adjust back down to a healthier pH. Unfortunately, most products we put on our skin aren’t helping to balance our skin’s pH. Most of them are on the alkaline side.
The Best Cream for the Topical Care for Eczema
Thankfully, there’s a product I found recently that DOES take into account the pH of your skin.
Balancing Act by Soteri Skin helps aid all three of those areas and helps bring healing to eczema and sensitive skin.
It’s made of things that actually SUPPORT your skin. It contains ingredients like:
- coconut oil, shea butter, and colloidal oatmeal which are anti-inflammatory,
- ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids that mimic your skins natural lipids,
- amino acids that provide hydration, and
- citric acid that lowers the skin pH back down to healthy levels.
All the ingredients in Balancing Act work together to make their pH lock. They’ve put a lot of work into creating a formula that works together to bring balance to the skin’s pH and lock it in place throughout the day.
I’ve been loving my results since using it. My dry, discolored patches of skin on my hands and neck cleared up after a week of using Balancing Act. And that’s not even religiously using it every time after washing my hands. That was just twice a day. And what I’m noticing is that my skin stays healthy and moisturized for a long time after using it and it helps clear up eczema flare ups faster when I do get them.
Like I said, I’ve done a lot of inside work to heal my eczema. But there are some foods I still can’t totally tolerate without getting a small eczema flare occasionally. If I eat something with tomatoes, for example, I may get a few bubbles on my hands, but I apply my Balancing Act and it helps clear them out really quickly – a few days, as opposed to a few weeks like it used to take.
It’s made with clean ingredients – no fragrance, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, or phthalates. Soteri Skin was really intentional about the ingredients they chose to include in their formula, and they’re all things that actual help to restore your skin and bring it back to a healthy place.
That’s something you don’t get with steroid creams. Balancing Act does not start to dry out your skin and lose effectiveness overtime like those other creams do. It works! I can’t speak highly enough of it!
If you want to try it out for yourself, here it is. You can use the discount code britt15 to get 15% of your first order.
So, try these topical care for eczema tips out, try out the Balancing Act, and continue to support your eczema healing by nourishing your body on the inside too.
I hope these things help you too and that you find some relief soon! Let me know in the comments if you tried any of these tips and what you noticed!