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How to treat eczema? - Dermclass by La Roche-Posay




If you have skincare questions, we have answers. From acne, to eczema and sensitive skin, we are looking at some of the most common questions and associated myths, as well as providing dermatologist advice on what works and what doesn’t.

How do we treat eczema?

How do we treat eczema?

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Unless your eczema is caused by contact with irritants and allergens, it is likely not curable. However, by maintaining a healthy skin barrier and microbiome, you can effectively treat the symptoms of eczema and soothe your itchy skin. In this article, we answer your questions about eczema: can it be cured? How to treat it? For more information on eczema watch our DERMCLASS videos: what is eczema and what causes eczema to flare up.

Can eczema be cured?

There are many types of eczema, each with a variety of treatments. A common question from eczema sufferers is whether it is a curable condition. This question depends on what type of eczema you suffer from. For example, contact dermatitis is a type of eczema caused by things that come in contact with your skin. Allergies or irritating ingredients are likely culprits for those suffering from this form of eczema. If you simply remove those things from your environment or from contacting your skin, you can "cure" this form of eczema. It will come back if contact is reestablished. However, if you suffer from the genetic form of eczema, which is classically atopic dermatitis, then this tends to be more chronic and can't be cured.

How do we treat eczema?

Let's look at some ways we can treat atopic eczema. Dermatologists strongly believe that skin hydration is one of the foundation treatments for eczema. Eczema is a roller coaster. There are very big ups and downs. Moisturizing your skin with a gentle product that’s designed for eczema-prone skin, can turn that roller coaster into more of a kiddy ride. In order to understand why we treat eczema the way we do, it’s important to understand two concepts: the skin barrier and the skin microbiome. To use another analogy, the skin barrier is like a brick wall held together with mortar. This brick wall protects the skin from irritants, allergens and microorganisms. When this mortar is disrupted, eczema symptoms flare up. In addition to the skin barrier, there’s also something called the skin microbiome. Skin microbiome is the microscopic environment of bacteria that live on the surface of the skin. A balanced ecosystem of bacteria prevents certain strains from proliferating and causing problems. The skin barrier and the microbiome interact with each other and the environment around them to protect your skin. Therefore, it’s important to give the skin microbiome and the skin barrier support so that you keep them strong and healthy.

Eczema treatment

Step 1: Gently cleanse your skin


Use a gentle cleanser that doesn't disrupt your skin pH or strip the skin barrier. This means soap-free, fragrance-free and alcohol-free. Don't overcleanse and don't use scalding hot water, as this will dry out your skin and make your symptoms worse. Try La Roche Posay's Lipikar Syndet AP+M: a gentle, fragrance-free, alcohol-free and soap-free cleanser.

Step 2: Hydrate and soothe your skin


Use a very hydrating, protecting body lotion to lock in moisture and protect your skin from irritants and allergens. Shea butter is great at hydrating your skin and locking in the moisture. Some ingredients will help soothe your skin and improve your symptoms, such as niacinamide which fights inflammation. Finally, find a product that nurtures your skin microbiome, which is the community of microorganisms living on the surface of your skin, such as La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+M. New science has found a link between caring for this invisible layer of protection and the severity of a variety of pathologies including eczema.

Step 3: On-the-go eczema treatment


Find an eczema treatment that you can use outside of your home, when you get those sudden urges to itch your flare-up. Remember, itching must be avoided as it will disrupt your skin barrier, making symtpoms worsen. Try La Roche-Posay's Lipikar Stick AP+M, a portable anti-itch stick.

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