The skin is your body’s largest organ. It’s tough, elastic, and depending on where it is on your body, it can be between 0.5 and 4mm thick. It makes up 16% of your bodyweight. The skin is made up of 2 layers; the epidermis, which is the outer layer, and the dermis, which is the deeper layer.
Cells in the epidermis constantly divide to make new cells. The new cells make their way to the surface of the skin where they die and are filled with a protein called keratin, which forms a protective barrier against damage, infection, and dryness. Every 30 days, your body produces a new epidermis.
The dermis is made up of strong collagen and elastic fibres which 24are surrounded by blood vessels. It also contains touch, pressure, and pain sensors as well as hair follicles, sweat glands and oil glands. The oil glands produce sebum which keeps your skin lubricated.
The skin helps your body to control its temperature. When you’re too hot, the blood vessels widen and allow heat to escape out of the skin. The sweat glands are activated and as the sweat dries, heat is carried away from the body through evaporation.
When you’re too cold, the blood vessels narrow, the sweat glands are inactive and the tiny hairs on your body stand on end to trap warm air on the skin.
- 1 How to Keep Your Skin Healthy
- 2 Protect It from the Sun
- 3 Don’t Smoke
- 4 Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
- 5 Use the Right Products
- 6 Common Skin Problems
- 7 Acne
- 8 Eczema
- 9 Skin Cancer
- 10 Psoriasis
- 11 Eczema
- 12 What Causes Eczema?
- 13 What Are the Symptoms of Eczema?
- 14 How Does Eczema Make Your Skin Look?
- 15 What Makes Eczema Flare Up?
- 16 How Atopic Eczema Diagnosed?
- 17 Can Eczema Be Cured?
- 18 Treatments for Eczema
- 19 Other Treatments
- 20 When You Should See a Specialist
- 21 Complementary Therapies
- 22 The Best Body Washes for Eczema
- 23 Eczema and Psoriasis Face and Body Wash by Argan Organics
- 24 Allergenics Face & Body Wash – 200ml
- 25 E45 Wash Cream 250 Ml
- 26 Nisim Clinical Strength Body Wash 240ml
- 27 E-raorganics Cleanse and Restore
How to Keep Your Skin Healthy
Because your skin works hard for you, the least you can do is to look after it. Here’s some handy tips on how to keep your skin healthy.
Protect It from the Sun
The sun’s rays are damaging to the skin and they are one of the leading causes of premature aging and skin cancer. Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by:
- spending time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun’s rays are at their hottest.
- Cover your skin with appropriate clothing, a hat, and sunglasses
- Always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
You need some time in the sun because this is how your body makes vitamin D, just don’t overdo it.
Smoking causes premature aging of the skin because it breaks down the collagen that gives skin its elasticity and strength. Smoking also reduces blood flow to the skin which means that it gets less nutrients and oxygen.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol dehydrates you, which can make the skin look dull and tired. If you must drink alcohol, alternate alcoholic drinks with water or fruit juice to make sure you stay hydrated.
Use the Right Products
Use mild cleansers as using harsh products can strip your skin of its natural oils. Always use a moisturizer which seals moisture in your skin and maintains your skin’s protective barrier.
Common Skin Problems
Acne is a fairly common skin disorder that causes breakouts when the skin’s pores become clogged due to excessive oil production in the skin’s oil glands.
Acne appears most often on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and back, as there are many oil glands in these areas. The condition presents as whiteheads, blackheads, nodules, and cysts on the skin. Nodules and cysts can leave scars.
Most people will experience acne at some point in their lives, and even though it is most common in teenagers, some people continue to get symptoms into adulthood. The condition can be genetic, and hormonal changes also play a huge role. Acne usually occurs during puberty when there are hormone spikes which cause the oil glands to produce excessive oil. It can occur at any time of life that is associated with changing hormone levels, however, such as during menstruation or pregnancy.
There are 3 main types of eczema;
- Atopic Dermatitis
This is the most common form, and it’s most often seen in children. It presents as an itchy rash that can weep and bleed, and it most often appears inside of the elbows and behind the knees.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
This occurs when your skin comes into contact with an allergen in cosmetics, fragrances, or even in jewelry.
- Nummular Dermatitis
This presents as red and flaky patches of skin and the main cause is skin dryness. It is very itchy.
All types of eczema have a common factor which is dry skin. You need to moisturize the skin to build up the protective barrier, and an emollient and oral or topical corticosteroids are often taken to treat the symptoms.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
This condition causes oily and waxy patches of skin to form on the scalp. It is common in very young babies and is known as ‘cradle cap.’
This is an increasingly form of cancer, which will affect 1 in 5 people in their lifetime. The most common forms of the disease are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, but by the far most deadly form is melanoma, which is responsible for 75% of deaths from the disease. Excessive exposure to the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. The survival rates are reasonably good if the disease is treated early.
Psoriasis is a chronic genetic skin disease which is characterized by a build-up of excessive red and thick skin tissue. It usually appears first on the elbows and knees, then spreads to the limbs, the torso, the hands, and the scalp. Psoriasis can make sufferers very self-conscious and this can greatly affect the quality of life.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition which is genetic in nature. The condition presents with symptoms like redness, weeping, itching, and blistering. It affects men and women equally, and it often occurs initially in childhood, then disappears, but it often reappears in adulthood.
What Causes Eczema?
The definite cause of eczema is not known. It often runs in families, and it has been found that people with eczema have skin that does not function as well as it should as a barrier to irritants and allergens.
Eczema often occurs alongside conditions like hay fever or asthma, which also tend to be genetically predetermined.
What Are the Symptoms of Eczema?
The most troublesome symptom of eczema is the itching. Scratching at the skin can cause further irritation and can increase the risk of infection. Itching can disrupt sleep and really affect someone’s quality of life.
How Does Eczema Make Your Skin Look?
Eczema can affect any area of the skin, even the face, but it appears most often inside of the elbows, behind the knees, and around the neck and wrists. You may also notice circular areas of inflamed skin and small bumps in and around the hair follicles.
When you have eczema, your skin will be red and dry, and you may have marks from where you have scratched at it. Small blisters can appear during an acute flare up of the condition, and the skin can thicken in response to you scratching at it.
What Makes Eczema Flare Up?
Various factors can make eczema worse, including contact with heat, dust, soaps, and detergents
Having a cold or other illness which can cause inflammation in the body
Infections with bacteria or viruses can also make eczema worse. Bacterial infection, most often an infection caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus, makes the affected area of skin yellow, crusty and inflamed, and this will probably need treatment with antibiotics. An infection caused by the herpes simplex virus can cause a painful flare up of the condition which will need to be treated with antiviral tablets.
If the skin is especially dry, this can cause a flare up
Stress is also a common cause
How Atopic Eczema Diagnosed?
It’s usually quite easy for your doctor to diagnose eczema by examining your skin and asking you questions about your symptoms. Sometimes the skin might need to be swabbed and the cells examined under a microscope if your doctor suspects that the eczema has become infected.
Can Eczema Be Cured?
Eczema can’t be cured, so treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms. Most people with eczema grow out of it as they get older, but for those people who have it well into adulthood, it may be troublesome, especially if you do a job where your skin comes into contact with irritants.
Treatments for Eczema
The main treatments for eczema are:
Emollients: which are used every day to lock moisture in the skin to maintain its protective barrier. As well as making the skin feel less dry, they can reduce inflammation and control the frequency and severity of flare ups.
Topical corticosteroids: these are creams and ointments which are effective at reducing inflammation and redness when eczema flares up. They are available in different strengths, depending on the severity of eczema and where the affected skin is. They can cause side effects, such mild stinging when they are applied to the skin, thinning of the skin if they are used for prolonged periods of time, pigmentation, acne, and increased hair growth.
Antihistamines: these can help with severe itching. They do this by blocking the actions of a substance called histamine that is released into the blood when you are exposed to an allergen. They can either be sedating or non-sedating, which can have implications if you drive or operate machinery. If itching affects your sleep, your GP might prescribe you a sedating antihistamine.
Bandages: these are often soaked with creams and lotions to help the skin to heal. They can either be used on top of emollients or with topical corticosteroids to reduce itching, promote skin healing and to stop the skin from drying out.
There are also more powerful treatments that you’ll be offered if you see a skin specialist
When You Should See a Specialist
You may be referred to a skin specialist if:
- your doctor is not certain about what type of eczema you have
- the usual treatments aren’t controlling your symptoms
- your eczema is affecting your day to day life
Treatments you may be offered when you see a specialist
- allergy testing
- a review of the treatment you’re currently on
- very strong topical corticosteroids
- bandages or wet wraps
- phototherapy which is the use of ultraviolet light to reduce inflammation
- immunosuppressant tablets which suppress your immune system, so you don’t get unpleasant symptoms like itching and inflammation
Herbal remedies and essential oils might work for some people, though there is little concrete scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Always speak to your GP before trying any alternative therapy.
Other Things You Can Try at Home
- Avoid your triggers
- Once you know what causes your eczema to flare up, you can limit your exposure to it.
- if some fabrics irritate your skin, avoid wearing them and stick to soft, natural materials like cotton
- if heat aggravates your eczema, keep your home cool, especially your bedroom
- avoid using harsh or perfumed soaps or detergents that might irritate your skin
- Change your diet
Never make big changes to your diet before speaking to your doctor, as cutting out food groups might cause nutrient deficiencies. If your doctor suspects that a food allergy is making your eczema flare up, you may be referred to a dietician who can help you to eliminate things you’re allergic to from your diet while making sure you don’t miss out on nutrients
The Best Body Washes for Eczema
This face and body wash is tailored to skin that is prone to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. It soothes the skin and helps to reduce inflammation. The product gently cleanses the body and even removes makeup without affecting the skin’s pH or moisture barrier. The formula contains herbs and botanical extracts with anti-inflammatory properties, and aloe vera, which soothes and hydrates the skin. The wash is not tested on animals, and the manufacturers recommend that you use it with the eczema cream for best results.
This body wash helps to reduce the risk of allergies in people with skin conditions like eczema. It’s a very effective formula which is not perfumed and is free from detergents and preservatives which can further irritate the skin.
E45 was created with the help of over 60 years of medical expertise, and the ingredients are formulated into products for people who have eczema, dermatitis, and other skin conditions. The products are effective enough to reduce inflammation and promote skin healing, but they are gentle enough to be used every day.
This wash has been scientifically proven to effectively cleanse, condition, and tone skin that is prone to roughness and dryness. The wash has an amino acid complex that is combined with gentle cleansing compounds that maintain skin health and balance.
This product was developed following the huge success of the company’s haircare range, which was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms and appearance of conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Most other topical psoriasis treatments contain salicylic acid which is a potential skin irritant, and coal tar, which has an unpleasant, but this body wash contains only mild cleansers that are beneficial to the skin. The manufacturers suggest applying the wash to the body while you’re in the bath or shower with a soft sponge and massaging it over your body for around 30 seconds. Rinse it off thoroughly with warm water and pat your skin dry with a towel. Use the product every day for the best results, though don’t get the product on areas of the skin that have open sores and cuts. After you have used the wash, apply the clinical strength body lotion all over and wait a few moments for it to sink in before you get dressed.
The makers say that this wash soothes, moisturizes, and cleanses the skin every time you use it. It’s effective for oily, sensitive, dry or damaged skin, and it’s pH balanced which maintains skin health. Most face and body washes have a higher pH than the skin, so they can upset the natural balance and strip it of its protective oils.
This means that the health of dull and dry skin is restored, as the natural protection the skin gets from its oils and nutrients is maintained.
Because it’s effective for even damaged and sensitive skin, the wash even helps to soothe skin that is prone to psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and acne, all without causing further inflammation.
The wash even has a naturally anti aging effect because it restores the health of skin cells and protects them from free radicals due to the effects of the antioxidant and organic ingredients like manuka honey and aloe vera.
Excessive skin dryness and damage and the effects of free radicals can damage skin health, so using this wash with these ingredients can keep your skin supple and healthy.
The wash is free from harmful chemicals, alcohol, mineral oil, artificial fragrances, and parabens. The company even offers a 60-day money back guarantee, they are so confident about the quality of their product.