How to treat eczema

Derm-approved advice on how to deal with itchy, irritated skin

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Curology Team
Apr 30, 2019 · 4 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Eczema: it’s the worst. If you suffer from this itchy, irritating skin condition, you know exactly what we’re talking about. It’s not uncommon to have both eczema and acne at once, which can complicate things, because the best acne treatments can actually irritate eczema!

Here at Curology, we don’t provide treatment for eczema; our focus is on acne and age-defying (aka anti-aging) skincare. We wish we could help with eczema, but we’re still here for you with expert advice from our trusty team of skincare professionals! We’ll always do our best to help you out with expert advice and more resources here on the Curology blog.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a general term for dermatitis, which simply means inflammation of the skin. There are different types of eczema, but the term usually refers to the most common type of eczema, atopic dermatitis, which affects about 10% of people at some time in their life. A chronic skin condition that begins with intense itching that is aggravated by scratching, eczema can flare up due to certain triggers, which vary among individuals. Symptoms of eczema include red, dry skin, itchy skin, and even raised patches of scaly skin in more severe cases. Sadly there’s no “cure,” but this irritating condition can be managed!

Start out by paying attention to what’s in the skincare products you use, as well as anything else that comes into contact with your skin (such as the detergent you use to wash your clothes, bath towels, and bed sheets). Of course, see your dermatologist if these simple measures aren’t helping.

What causes eczema?

Eczema can be triggered by multiple factors, but it impacts the skin’s ability to retain moisture and protect you from irritating things like bacteria, allergens, or environmental factors. Eczema triggers include dry skin, heat, humidity, sweating, certain soaps and laundry detergents, dust and pollen, allergens in food, and stress. Obesity can also be a contributing factor in some cases.

If you want to learn more about eczema, nationaleczema.org is a good resource, too!

What if I have acne and eczema?

If you have a tendency towards eczema, you’ll want to be careful with anti-acne treatments, because they could potentially make that dryness and redness worse. Ideally, if you have active eczema on your face, you’ll want to clear that up first, before you focus on acne treatment.

Do’s and don’ts of caring for eczema

Don’t: over-exfoliate. It may be tempting to slough off all of that dry, itchy, flaky skin, but that’ll only make matters worse. The best approach is to treat your skin as gently as possible while you let it heal.

Do: moisturize at least twice a day. Just make sure you’re using a moisturizer with ingredients that won’t irritate your skin further or clog your pores! Here’s how to find out if any product contains irritating or pore-clogging ingredients.

Do: take shorter, less-hot showers. Hot water dries out your skin and leaves the skin’s surface layer damaged and vulnerable, which contributes to eczema flare-ups.

Do: try to identify triggers for your skin, so you can be mindful of and avoid them. Switch to gentle cleansers for your body and face, and swap out your laundry detergent for one that’s labeled as fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin.

Best lotion for eczema

The best eczema cream or other treatment you can get over-the-counter kind of depends on your (sk)individual situation. It can be helpful to look for products that have the National Eczema Association seal of acceptance. Check out the National Eczema Association website for their recommendations!

Meanwhile, here are some of our product recommendations to get started.

When you should see a dermatologist in-person

If your eczema gets really bad and doesn’t respond to treatments you can buy in stores, you’ll want to see a dermatologist in-person to get the best care for you. Find a board-certified dermatologist near you at aad.org/find-a-derm.

Curology is here for you ❤

Our dermatology providers may focus on concerns like pimples and wrinkles, but here on the Curology blog, we’re happy to help advise you with your other skin problems whenever we can. Stay tuned to this blog and check out our Guides for more pro tips and product recommendations!

Ready to try a custom skincare solution that fights breakouts, post-acne spots, wrinkles, age spots, and more? Sign up for a free trial at curology.com to get set up with your own personal medical provider for a consultation.

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Curology Team

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