Wednesday 17 January 2018

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Cork Independent

Glamity Jane

Get the right products to deal with eczema

Thursday, 21st September, 2017 9:19am

If you have eczema diagnosed by a doctor, you will know that medical advice is always the first port of call. Daily management of it though is sometimes left to over the counter or health shop purchases.

What is eczema? The words eczema and dermatitis are often used interchangeably to describe several conditions that cause the skin to become dry, itchy, inflamed or irritated. There are several types of eczema but the term is most often used to refer to atopic eczema (also called atopic dermatitis).

The word atopic refers to hypersensitivity reactions to something in the environment. Atopic eczema is a very common, non-contagious, chronic (long-term) inflammatory skin condition. If you have atopic eczema, your skin barrier function is impaired or weakened. This makes the skin dry out and become more vulnerable to infections by bacteria and viruses.

Symptoms include red, dry, itchy skin, which can sometimes weep, become blistered, crusted and thickened.

This leads to something called the itch scratch cycle which can be distressing particularly in babies and kids. However, the appearance of eczema and the locations of the body affected can vary greatly depending on the age of the person affected.

Emollients used on the area will usually help with the appearance and the inflammation.

Avoiding heavily scented products will also be of massive benefit. Taking a bath using an oil and warm water is quite comforting.

La Roche Posay has launched Lipikar Stick AP+, the first instant sooth and repair stick for eczema prone skin. Suitable for adults and children, it is designed in a handy on the go stick to apply when you feel the need to scratch offering immediate relief.

This range restores balance to the skin microbiome to reduce redness, inflammation and frequency of flare-ups and reinforce and repair the skin barrier.

It is perfect for pockets or handbags and works well on adults and children. It’s available in pharmacies €12.

For an all over solution, try Uriage Xemose, €18.95 for 200ml, which delivers long-lasting comfort. A non-sticky texture that rapidly melts into skin, it helps to relieve itching and irritation.

Its restorative, triple barrier actions helps strengthen the cutaneous barrier whilst Uriage thermal water and shea butter soothe, hydrate and moisturise.

Boasting an ultra-rich texture, it will intensely nourish, protect and instantly soothe itching that causes scratching due to dryness.

Its formula which contains 25 per cent shea butter, intensely nourishes and brings instant, long-lasting comfort. It’s ideal for use on the face, body and for extreme dryness.

Thermal spring water collected at source has been used by doctors in France for decades to treat eczema, burns and other skin conditions. Packaged directly at the source, it is collected pure and naturally rich in mineral salts and trace elements.

Last week was Eczema Awareness Week and with that in mind, I am going to talk through some of the best over the counter products available for this irritating condition. 

Thanks to its high concentration in mineral salts like the skins natural moisturizing factors, it offers great moisturizing benefits.

It soothes sensitive skin thanks to the elevated level of calcium and magnesium salts.

Silicon strengthens the skin hydrolipidic film. It also helps restore the cutaneous barrier, thanks to mineral salts.

Uriage Thermal Water Spray comes in a 50ml, 150ml and 300ml version and this highly effective thermal water range is available in pharmacies €5 – 50ml / RRP €9.50 – 150 ml / RRP €14.50 – 300ml.

Pure Potions (available in Holland and Barrett) is a range designed by Natalie who initially sought to find something to help with her daughter Lulu’s eczema and so in her kitchen the range was born.

The range is cruelty free and is free from SLS, parabens, mineral oils and silicones. Their best-selling products include a Pure Potion Skin Salvation Bath and Body Emollient Oil which is vegan, with no nasties.

It is a dual use product where you can add it to the bath (caution though you’ll be slippery afterwards so if bathing a child just be aware) or you can use is post shower for a sumptuous quick drying hydrating treatment.

Another stand out product for me is the Pure Potions Skin Salvation Intensive moisturising ointment; this will hydrate skin and help to strengthen that all important barrier. It is solid in format so you warm it between your hands and it melts into the skin beautifully. It has a high oil content so use it at bedtime for the best results.

Thickened nails especially on the toes can often go hand in hand with dry atopic skin. SVR have the answer to this with Xerial 40 Ongles which contains 40 per cent urea to help with damaged and thickened nails.

It has a unique brush on formula is highly concentrated for maximum results and is well tolerated by the skin. Available in pharmacies.

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