What Is Eczema?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a medical condition, however, at present there is no effective treatment.
People with eczema suffer from red, scaling, itchy and bumpy skin.
Often they develop a rash and experience itchy skin in response to irritants, detergents, cold temperatures, prolonged wetness as well as many cosmetic products.
Frequent scratching can lead to local darkening and hardening of the skin.
If you have eczema, the primary concern should be reducing contact with irritants.
Surprisingly, many cosmetic products that are supposed to improve your skin contain artificial dies, perfumes and detergents that can make eczema even worse.
Another aggravating factor is frequent washing, especially with hot water and alkaline soaps. Alkaline soaps shift the acid balance of the skin, delay skin cell turnover and reduce beneficial bacteria that keep bad germs away.
Many so-called "anti-aging" creams contain detergents that cause swelling of the skin’s proteins, creating an immediate illusion of wrinkle reduction. But this swelling can further disrupt skin’s protective barrier making eczema even worse.
Exotic plants and new “miraculous” ingredients that are foreign to your skin’s biology can further exacerbate eczema symptoms.
Will Moisturizers Help?
Moisturizers and emollients provide temporary relief by softening a dry and cracked upper skin layer, thereby preventing further cracking. However, they need to be constantly re-applied and they do not address the fundamental problem.
Many moisturizers wet the skin too much, loosening protective keratinous scales and creating new entrance for irritants. Petrolatum can slow down skin cell turnover and delay barrier restoration.
Many moisturizers contain artificial perfumes that can aggravate the condition.
A Unique Approach
Just as many factors can exacerbate eczema, there are many factors that can help your skin to heal.
Assisting your skin’s natural and protective systems is the best way of dealing with many skin conditions.
Inflamed skin requires gentle cleansing. Not all mild soaps are tender to the skin. Most so called "mild" soaps possess a high alkalinity of pH 9.5-11. These alkaline cleansers deplete the natural acid that protects skin while also extracting protective lipids (fats).
Use mild cleansers with a pH from 5.5 to 7 that restore acid balance of the skin.
There is no better moisturizer for eczema skin than pure natural healing oils such as squalane (a natural component of skin’s sebum) and Emu oil. Squalane softens the skin and protects it from environmental insults.
Emu Oil is an ancient healing remedy used by Australian indigenous people to treat wounds, insect bites and inflamed sores. Natural oils provide coating and moisturizing while being very gentle on the skin. Apply those healing oils as a thin layer after taking a bath or a shower to trap moisture. Use them any time of the day when your skin feels dry. In addition, apply a thin coat of copper-peptides based product.
Copper-peptides supply nutritional copper to the skin which is then used by over a dozen of important skin enzymes. Because of this they improve skin’s barrier, reduce inflammation and speed up cell turnover.
Copper peptides improved the skin barrier in four independent studies by world renowned dermatologists at leading universities. In addition, the copper peptide GHK-Cu discovered by Dr. Pickart in 1973 may help by regulating your skin’s genes.
It was shown to regulate genes involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome system – which is the cell’s waste disposal station, designed to clean the cell from damaged or altered proteins.
In addition to copper peptides, some peptides that bind ionic tin (tin peptides), may help to improve skin keratinization and strengthen the skin barrier, preventing entrance of irritants. Even though they lack wound healing properties of copper peptides, they work well in increasing keratin, thus strengthening protective skin barrier, preventing dry skin and irritants.
Any suggestions mentioned are not for the treatment or prevention of any skin disease or condition.
If you have a special skin concern, please consult a physician or dermatologist first.
Questions or Advice?
Ask Dr. Loren Pickart: firstname.lastname@example.org
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