Until about two months ago, I never thought of eczema for 30 years. I've had mild rosacea and redness throughout my adult life, but I've never had eczema before, so it wasn't even really on my radar. Then one day when Los Angeles started to feel like winter, I noticed a serious irritation around my nose that didn't go away (although I had tried every trick in my sleeve). Eventually it spread and got so bad that I looked like I had a red rash. So I panicked to my beautician and skin angel Vanessa Hernandez because I thought it was just dry winter skin just to find out that I was – surprise! – have eczema.
Much to my shock, this dry, blotchy, rash-like skin that I had around my nose and mouth was actually facial eczema. Hernandez told me that eczema is actually extremely common (some 31.6 million people in the US have some form of it, according to the National Eczema Organization) and can present itself at various points in their lives, with many people like me starting in their 30s to see.
My mind was obviously overwhelmed when I didn't even really know what eczema was. So of course I asked Hernandez a thousand questions and found some extremely helpful information and tips to calm my skin. So let me dissolve them. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is characterized by dry, discolored, itchy and inflamed skin. The most confusing part of this is that the cause can be a variety of different things and there is no real way to identify the cause. It could be a combination of everything from diet to extremely cold or dry weather to stress or genetics.
Since the cause is unknown, treating an eczema outbreak can be somewhat difficult and confusing. Fortunately, Hernandez gave me a lot of helpful advice to calm my skin. After about a month of hard work, my eczema has practically disappeared. Given that eczema is so common and yet so difficult to treat, I decided to share some of the tips that helped me get my skin under control. Below are the best eczema products as well as some other remedies like humidifiers and probiotics that can help with a flare-up.
Hernandez recommended that I do some product-related things to calm my skin and get me back on the right track. She said at first that she should eliminate everything with vitamin C because it is too hard and irritates the eczema even more (which I can vouch for as I made this mistake before speaking to her and a burning sensation on my skin felt). Then she said the most important thing was to moisturize my skin, which means hyaluronic acid and thick winter moisturizers. She also suggested some soothing products to neutralize my skin's irritation, such as SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask. Since the cause of the eczema is unknown, skin care is only one step. The environment itself could be to blame. Since the winters in Los Angeles are known to be dry and this year had particularly cold weeks, my sleeping conditions were extremely cold and dry. For this reason, Hernandez also recommended that I sleep with a humidifier in my room (which I'll discuss in more detail below), and combining this skincare with the humidifier completely changed my skin.
Next: People usually think I'm younger than me, so I reveal my skin care routine.
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