Caring for problem skin

2012-11-19T09:00:00Z Caring for problem skinFeature Focus nwitimes.com
November 19, 2012 9:00 am  • 

According to the National Institutes of Health, skin is the largest organ of your body. Skin can be a very delicate thing, and as the outermost layer, it needs to be cared for in order to look and feel its best. Unfortunately, for those who suffer from highly prevalent skin conditions, such as eczema, caring for and maintaining skin can be a daily challenge.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin and visible skin rash. Over 35 million Americans, both children and adults, suffer from eczema. The prevalence of eczema has increased nearly 400 percent over the past 30 years and is projected to continue to increase due to environmental and other factors such as stress, according to the National Eczema Association.

In a healthy state, the external layer of your skin acts as a protective barrier. For eczema sufferers, the skin has a deficiency in the external layer that allows the moisture to escape and causes chronic dryness. When skin is dry and unprotected, irritants can reach the sensitive layers below and cause uncomfortable itch flare-ups.

Common triggers

There are a number of things that can trigger an eczema flare-up:

* Irritants such as synthetic fibers, detergents, perfumes, rough or poor fitting clothing, dust or sand.

* Environmental factors such as hot or cold temperatures, humidity, or dry air.

* Emotional factors such as anxiety or stress.

Tips for managing eczema

The National Eczema Association says that daily skin care is essential to help manage eczema.

* When bathing, wash in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.

* Use a non-irritating and fragrance-free wash. Do not scrub skin harshly.

* Moisturize within 3 minutes after every shower. It helps lock in your skin's natural moisture to help prevent eczema-related dryness.

* In addition to your daily skincare routine, try applying a cold compress to soothe your skin.

When choosing skincare products, look for gentle, fragrance-free washes and moisturizers, such as Neosporin Essentials products, a line of skincare products which includes a daily body wash, daily moisturizing cream and anti-itch cream specifically designed for people with eczema. Each product has a unique Relipid formula, which contains a lipid, humectant, emollient and botanical blend to help retain the moisture essential for healthy-looking skin. Plus, the daily moisturizing cream contains colloidal oatmeal and was clinically shown to restore visibly healthier skin in three days. Use all products as directed.

Eczema can be stressful and make daily living challenging and uncomfortable. With diligent skin care and good habits, you can help maintain healthy skin and effectively manage symptoms when they do flare up.

To get more information on living with eczema, daily management tips and money-saving coupons, go to www.neosporinessentials.com.

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