Severe dry skin is known as atopic dermatitis. “Atopic” is a group of diseases that are related to the immune system. “Dermatitis” is when the skin is inflamed. Many refer to it commonly as eczema. Symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry skin
- Red to brownish-gray patches
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin
On melanated skin, eczema causes darker brown, purple, or gray-colored patches. On white and lighter skin, the areas are raised red patches. The affected areas may be swollen, itchy, dry, or scaly. When inflamed, people rub and scratch the area. This causes the skin to thicken, become more agitated, and in severe cases bleeding. If untreated the areas can become infected or develop bumps. After a flare-up, the skin pigmentation is different than usual.
With proper treatment, a great regimen, and patience, the skin color will normalize. Recognizing the conditions in your skin will be especially helpful when figuring out a skin regimen that works for you. It’s important to try various treatments to manage the skin condition. Once you figure out something that works, stick with it!
Bath Time. When washing decide on which method you want to use. Showers are nice and efficient. Baths are great when you need to infuse your skin with nutrients. In baths, add uncooked oatmeal, colloidal oatmeal, or baking soda to the water. It’s best to soak for at least 10 minutes. Don’t use water that is too hot or cold on your skin. Try using our Oatmeal & Milk Bath Soak when the skin is super itchy or inflamed. If the skin is crusty, this is a great time to lightly exfoliate the air to remove the cracked skin.
When talking about washing, make sure you’re using mild soaps that have little to no perfumes. If used, these sprays should be on fabric, not skin. Ensure that there isn’t any ingredient that is too strong that could cause further irritation. Some of our soaps are specially made to moisturize the skin. Check out one of our oatmeal bars Forever Young, Wild Oats, or Asana Bright. We also have bar soap that utilizes the healing power of neem; Roots & Fruits and Sea Foam Bliss.
Moisturize your skin twice a day. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin or multiple skin issues that you want to work on, discover a moisturizer that works well for you. This could be a combination of oils, creams, body butter, and sprays. You want one that going to keep your skin feeling supple and smooth for a long time. It’s best to moisturize directly after bath/shower time. Oils and body butter help lock in hydration into the skin.
Nearly all of our body butters are safe to use on the skin, but there are several people with eczema should avoid. Try our Original Body Butter, Lazar Souffle, Apple Mango Body Butter, Eczema Care Cream, or Whipped Cocoa Butter. For those looking to add extra moisture to their skin, try our Hyaluronic Acid Serum for an increase in moisture. Use a body butter afterward to ensure the moisture is sealed into your skin. Our Peppermint and Lavender, Cinnamon and Honey, and Golden Sky should be avoided to prevent harsh reactions or unpleasant burning.
Don’t scratch. Having dry skin can be very itchy. It makes people want to scratch in the affected area, making it worse. Many times when the skin is scratched too much, it causes wounds and scars to occur. It may help to cover the area with a bandage or wet wrapping to prevent direct damage to the affected skin. Tea Tree Oil is especially helpful as an anti-bacterial and reducing the itchiness.
Infuse the air. Use a humidifier to infuse the air with moisture and even use your favorite essential oils for added ambiance. Dry air can affect skin to make conditions more troublesome.
Know what makes you tick. Begin to recognize what things make your skin feel worse. Certain activities such as sweating and stress can cause flares. Outside factors like soaps, detergents, pollen, certain foods, and more may cause outbreaks as well. Once you recognize something can be a trigger, move away from it.
It’s helpful to consult with a doctor as well to see what other options are available like medicated ointments, steroids, phototherapy, and more. This could be helpful, but we’ve found that “prescription” medicine is expensive and destructive to our skin in the long term. Our skin is important. It’s the first thing that many people see (and idolize). Don’t let Eczema control your self-esteem.
- Identify and avoid skin irritants
- Stay out of extreme temperatures
- Keep the skin moisturized