Some skins will get those pesky patches of dry skin from moisture-zapping cold temps, while others…those poor, poor others may end up with a mild case of eczema. And, we’re not talking about tight, itchy flaky skin on face, but also on the body (behind knees, armpits, and even ears), lips, and hands. While you should start with scrubbing away dead skin to restore glow, you'll quickly come to realize a cream just isn’t enough for barren skin. And, that’s why you should amp up to oils.
Not just any oils. Don’t you dare click n’ point on this blog just anywhere after scoring a Cyber Monday deal hoping to drench out the scaly skin. First off, let’s understand what eczema is – aka "dermatitis,” it has been used to describe any number of skin ailments where the skin becomes dry, itchy and inflamed, leading to those unsightly red splotches. And, they've got to be persistent for over a few weeks. The more you scratch, the more you irritate. Eczema may be exacerbated by classic allergans – namely hay fever and asthma. Though, that cheap-o wool sweater from some bargain bin could also be the culprit, as the dense fibers can scratch up sensitive skins. Skins afflicted with eczema cannot protect itself from increased rate of evaporation, and the loss of moisture leads to further dryness. In turn, the dry skin gets more irritated and itchy, leading to increased scratching that worsens the rash and may even lead splintered, bleeding skin.
“People with eczema do not produce as much natural oil in their skin, so it tends to become dry. This means it has to be kept moisturized or it will become overly dry and crack - Dr. Tony BewleyAre lotions better? According to the National Eczema Association, the more water there is in a lotion or cream, the more likely it is to worsen your hand eczema. So-called "cream" moisturizers usually contain more water than oil, and when the water evaporates they have a net drying effect on the skin. (They are called cream moisturizers because they are white in color.)
The very best moisturizer for hand eczema is a greasy one, best used under an inert layer of petroleum jelly. Because the essential fatty acids in popular beauty oils help provide a protective seal to combat dryness and calm the inflammation, here are the best oils to seek out to treat any temporary eczema break out:
- Carrot Seed Oil: With Vitamins B, C, D, E, the essential oil helps revitalize dead skin by reducing any scarring
- Coconut Oil: Largely comprised of Lauric acid, known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, which contributes about 50% of the essential fatty acid content
- Emu Oil: it’s anti-inflammatory with effects comparable to ibuprofen and is extraordinarily high in sapogens, which are proven skin softeners
- Evening Primrose/Borage Oils: Used since the 1930s for eczema, both oils yield enormous amounts of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (Omega 6) to fight off inflammation
- Hemp Oil: One of those rare oils from nature that balances Omegas 3 & 6 and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) to reduce transepidermal water loss, which you can take orally and apply topically.