A question from Breanna who suffers from eczema, eyelids being her particular problem.
Thanks for getting in touch.
I am afraid there isn’t much that can be done about eczema, and it sounds like you have already tried a lot and probably know a lot.
A few points you might not be aware of, please excuse me if you do.
- very dry skin lends itself to bacterial infection, and bacterial infection can provoke the eczema to flare up. This is one of the reasons a lot of people with eczema have flare ups of the condition. A mild antibacterial can sometimes help. There are some medical products that are designed specifically to do this, Dermol 500 and Oilatum Plus are a couple of brand names. But before going for this far it might be worth trying something simple like Carex. Don’t be put off by the marketing talking about it being suitable for hands – if you take care to keep it out of your eyes it will be fine on your eyelids.
- the best agent for any kind of dry skin is lanolin, which in the UK at least you can buy in pharmacies. It is hard to handle on delicate skin but I am sure you can work out a way. It might help to try mixing it with some olive oil – you can melt them together in a cup placed in a bowl with some warm water.
- most difficult bit last, rubbing and scratching will make things worse. I know that this is almost impossible to do and most people simply cannot stop themselves even if threatened by imminent and painful death. But the basic problem is your skin’s poor barrier function, and anything that impairs it is going to make things worse. This includes physically damaging it.
I know these aren’t much. I know what a miserable condition eczema is and I would love to be able to help more.
When I sent this reply Breanna came back with a further question.
I have read online that people with eczema are not to use “real” soap-and I do not. Typically I do not wash my skin at all in that respect; rather I put tons of baby oil on my skin instead. Do you have any suggestions about these non-traditional “soaps” someone with eczema should be using? I wasn’t quite sure I understood what I was reading online when I came across this information, but perhaps you could shed some light on what this really means.
All soap dries the skin to some extent so it is better to avoid it if you have a problem. Synthetic soap is better than real soap, but your approach of using oil is best of all so I would stick with it.