Woman, 25, banishes eczema by ‘icing’ skin – ‘Great combination’ wi…
Eczema: Dermatology Nurse explains how to use emollients
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Katie has always had eczema, it is a condition which like many eczema sufferers, has come and gone since she was a child: “I’ve always had super sensitive skin but overall, I don’t remember my eczema majorly affecting me until I started going through puberty.
“I would try to hide my eczema with foundation as I would get embarrassed in PE – a terrible idea, it burns so badly.
“The overthinking and fear of other people’s comments and stares means it’s safe to say that eczema has affected me more than just the pain it causes me physically. Many people aren’t very understanding, which made me very self-conscious when I was younger.”
However, as she entered adulthood the condition worsened and she experienced repeated flare-ups on her hands, feet, and body; this was when she hit upon a dual-treatment system.
The first of these was using a special skin cream known as Epaderm, a cream which has helped greatly, says Katie.
She wrote: “I use Epaderm ointment to cleanse make-up off my skin when it’s dry. I swear by it for helping repair my skin barrier and helping my eczema…by helping rehydrate and calm flare-ups, particularly my hand flare-ups that can be debilitating.”
The second part of her treatment strategy is rather more unusual: “Icing my skin is a great combination to reduce inflammation whilst rehydrating my skin.”
Whilst this may sound unusual, cold therapy is thought to help people with eczema.
Discussing the impact of cryotherapy (an extreme version of Katie’s icing), National Eczema says: “The short answer is yes, but proceed with caution.”
Dr Gil Yosipovitch chairs the Department of Dermatology at Miami University and said that “there are some patients with atopic dermatitis who report that their eczema improves with extreme cold”.
“Since eczema is not a ‘one size fits all’ condition, it’s difficult to predict how an individual might respond to a novel form of treatment like cryotherapy: for one person, a scorching hot shower may sound soothing for their skin, whereas another person with eczema may find the very opposite appealing — an ice cold bath.”
Dr Yosipovitch alluded to as much: “There are patients with eczema who report that their skin improves significantly with cold showers,” she said. “And these would be the perfect candidates to try cold therapy treatment.”
Why eczema gets worse in winter
As well as talking to Katie about how she treats her eczema, Express.co.uk also spoke to Nuffield Health’s Doctor Unnati Desai, a GP, about why winter makes the condition more uncomfortable.
Doctor Desai said: “When we talk about the environment, I’m not just talking the great outdoors here, we need to consider all environments, both internal and external, and the impact of these on our skin.
“Externally, the air is drier and colder, which can instantly dry out the epidermis. We’re also often travelling from the outdoors to indoors, and the shift in temperature from cold to warm can play a part, but not how you might think.
“Heating, central air conditioning, heat from fireplaces can all impact our skin and dry it out. The best advice I can give is to ensure your skin is hydrated, both internally and externally.”
How to manage eczema during the winter
Doctor Desai said: “If you do suffer from either of these conditions, it’s incredibly important to increase the use of skin emollients and soap substitutes to help keep the skin hydrated.
“Well hydrated skin is less likely to flare up, and if a flare up does occur, it may be less severe if the skin is well hydrated.
“The greasier the better for the skin, but for many this doesn’t always feel great on a daily basis, so it’s best to use a cream in the day and a greasier emollient at night.
“Additionally, you can use a soap substitute to cleanse the skin, these products will clean the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.”
Source: Read Full Article