Do eczema creams work?
Steroid creams reduce redness of the skin. Paraffin-based creams reduce water loss from the skin.
So they do work on these two elements, and this is why you have most likely been prescribed these in the past. And who can blame you for using something that you've been prescribed, and appears to work on the 'eczema'? But, why does eczema persist even when using these creams? Redness and dryness aside, unfortunately they do not work for eczema itself.
If you are managing eczema, chances are you have tried every eczema cream under the sun. Maybe some have temporarily eased symptoms, but left your skin feeling red and irritated? It's time to gain control. Why don't eczema creams work for eczema, and what can you do differently that will work?
Start Your Journey Out Of Eczema
Why aren't eczema creams working for you?For something to be a 'cream' it usually requires an ingredient called paraffin, also known as mineral oil. Paraffin is what makes it the creamy texture required to apply it smoothly over the skin, and can have benefits such as softening the skin - when applied by a person who has healthy skin. This is the issue - if someone with sensitive skin applies a paraffin based product to their skin, it will have the reverse outcome. But why?...
It's all in the science:...and it's pretty simple when you know where to look! This is what happens when you apply mainstream eczema creams to your skin - we'll break it down for you in steps:
- You notice a red or dry patch of skin, and apply your usual paraffin-based eczema cream
- Because your skin is already dry or irritated, the skin has invisible cracks through which the paraffin penetrates
- This is where the problem starts - it should not penetrate this layer of skin
- Toxins become trapped in your skin and can't get out due to the cream application
- The paraffin then irritates your skin, causing inflammation and discomfort
- The dry or red patch of skin you began with has now turned into full eczema
Then the next time you get a patch of dry or red skin, you reapply the paraffin-based skin product - and so the cycle of eczema continues. The eczema creams were supposed to be helping manage the eczema, yet they maintain the eczema. But why should you have to just 'manage' eczema, when you can in fact take control over it?
Now you know why eczema cream doesn't work for your skin - it's time to find out what will work...
What's the alternative to common eczema creams?This is where it gets exciting! This is the reality of eczema - it's your skin's natural response to an irritant. If you are wondering what could constitute an irritant, consider this... How many things could irritate your mind? A huge list and you know they irritate because you become irritated. It's just as simple with skin. If the skin becomes irritated, something was an irritant. It's much more than just skincare products. A reaction to food can result in red, irritated areas of skin. Stress will lead to dry skin, which is then more likely to be irritated by a skincare product. It could be chemicals in skin wash, shampoo, moisturisers - the list could go on. Every person is different, so you need to work out what triggers you personally. The dry patch of skin is just your body pushing out toxins. Once you figure out what the cause is, you need to retrain the way you react when you notice a patch of dry skin appear. This is what you can do instead of reaching for the paraffin-based eczema cream:
- You notice a patch of dry skin appear
- Then you identify what has caused this, i.e. stress, allergies, a new cosmetic product
- You take a mental note to avoid this cause in future or at least reduce its impact
- Avoid applying your usual eczema cream - because you know now the dry patch is just your skin's natural reaction, and it is clearing your body of toxins
- You may apply a natural product that does not contain paraffin to relieve the dryness
- Only wash with natural products that don't contain any unhelpful chemicals