Eczema is a conditions whose symptoms include itchy, red, and dry skin caused by inflammation. It’s most commonly found in children, although adults can get it. Bad eczema needs to be treated with oral medications, steroid creams and light therapy. But light eczema can be helped with the right soap. The best soap for eczema sufferers is one that will clean and won’t rob the body of its own oils. But be warned, not one soap works for everyone.
Causes of Eczema
The big pharmaceutical companies have all sorts of drugs and cures for psoriasis which is another type of skin disorder but have little medications for eczema. Emma Guttman is an eczema expert and researcher at Mt. Sinai Hospital. She believes the reason there isn’t much research or treatment for eczema is because it is thought to be a child’s disease. We know that not to be the case because there are still thousands of adults that suffer from Eczema.
And simply we put we don’t know the causes of eczema. It is most likely a genetic skin disorder with many kids outgrowing the irritated skin. Although for some it can last years and even into adulthood. There have been cases where eczema doesn’t manifest itself until after puberty. If you have a family member that suffers from allergies or other autoimmune diseases you have a highly likehood of inheriting a tendency for eczema.
Triggers of Eczema:
There are many irritants that can make your symptoms appear or make them worse. Of course this is a case by case basis. What irritates you may give someone else no problem. According to the National Eczema Association these are the leading irritants:
- Soaps and detergents,
- Shampoos, dish-washing liquids
- Bubble Bath
- Disinfectants like chlorine
- Contact with juices from fresh fruits, meats, vegetables
3 of the top 5 are soap related! That may be a reason that big pharma hasn’t got involved in the eczema. For many people it is just about finding the right soap.
The Best Soap for Eczema
The advice given here is similar to the advice in our article for The Best Soap for Sensitive Skin. First off, avoid a soap with Parabens, Sulfates, Triclosan and other artificial ingredients. Not only have these soaps been suspected of increasing your risk of cancer they will do your eczema no favors. Also avoid any soap that lumps ingredients under the umbrella of “fragrance”. The word sounds harmless enough but it can mean 300 hundred different things and many of them harmful. Many of them are outright to blame for skin irritants.
So if we have natural ingredients in our soap what type of properties should it have? Even with natural soaps there is a wide variety of choice. The best soap for eczema is one that has low cleansing properties and is highly moisturizing. Low cleansing doesn’t mean that the soap won’t cleanse you, it just takes less of the skins oils. Natural moisturizers can help the skin as well. Shea butter and honey in soap has been shown to moisturize the skin while leaving the skin’s natural oils intact.
Best Bathing Practice for Eczema Sufferers
If you have eczema, it is important to take good care of your skin. You don’t want to strip your skin of its natural oils but you still need to bath. Try the following steps to take care of eczema.
1) Take warm (not hot!) baths on an every other day basis. Baths are generally better for your skin than showers. Some think baths as less sanitary. Our skin is our largest organ and is the body’s first line of defense. The skin has many ways to deal with bacteria and germs if we will only get out of its way. The best soap for Eczema can only help the body help itself. If you want to keep some of your natural skin oils baths are the way to go.
Evening Primrose Oil – Beneficial for many different skin conditions and has some success with eczema and psoriasis
Olive oil – The “low cleansing” properties of olive oil make it very mild and nourishing. This is the ideal soap for those that want to keep their own skin’s oils intact.
Avocado oil – Another “low cleansing” oil. It is also high in vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals.
3) Immediately after bathing apply a heavy lotion (think Shea Butter) afterward to help keep your skin moist and to keep the moisture from the bath in your skin. The skin should be a little oily for an hour or so after the bath.
The above should only be used for light to moderate eczema. If you have severe eczema or other skin problems please seek medical advice.