The skin condition eczema is very uncomfortable and often embarrassing. Eczema is actually a type of atopic dermatitis, a blanket term for several inflammatory skin conditions. Eczema is characterized by localized itchy, red, scaly, inflamed skin that sometimes develops oozing blisters. Eczema can be caused by a number of factors including allergic reaction, many times triggered by soap.
Here are soaps and ingredients within to watch out for if you have eczema:
1. Soaps with botanical oils
There are many botanical oils that actually help to ease the symptoms of eczema and assist in the healing of the skin after an attack. Oils such as peppermint and tea tree can soothe the condition. Of course, not everyone is the same and some people may find themselves allergic to certain botanical oils which can trigger an eczema attack.
2. Soaps containing MCI or MI
methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) and methylisothiazolinone (MI) are two common preserving compounds found in soaps and makeup. This can be a big problem with regards to eczema in teens. These two substances have been shown to be very problematic for eczema sufferers acting as a major trigger. Using soaps that contain these preservatives will irritate the skin on eczema sufferers and cause a flare up. This is even worse in terms of cosmetics as usage on the face can lead to very embarrassing facial eczema.
3. Soaps with propylene glycol
In normal instances propylene glycol is actually considered good for skin health and is often used in soaps touted as skin protecting. It is a synthetic clear gel that helps hydrate the skin and create a protective barrier. However, for eczema sufferers their sensitive skin does not handle this chemical well. It can be an irritant to some people who may be allergic to it and can actually trigger an eczema attack. Any soaps that contain this should be approached with caution by eczema sufferers. Spot tests should be used on the skin to ensure there is no allergic response.
4. Antibacterial soaps
Antibacterial soaps are generally a good thing and you might imagine that cracked skin may benefit from their use to avoid infection. This is not always the case with eczema sufferers though, who can find these soaps harsh on their skin. These soaps tend to strip away the natural oils of the skin causing it to dry out. This is not good for eczema sufferers as the condition itself already dries out the skin so as a result antibacterial soaps can worsen symptoms. Gentle, mild soaps are always the best option especially in cases of pediatric eczema.
5. Soaps with strong fragrance
A strong smelling soap always gives a feeling of actually being clean but of course the smell is just for show and doesn’t serve a purpose. To an eczema sufferer, however, the chemicals used to create these fragrances can actually be an irritant. Many of the scents added to soaps are allergies to certain people especially those with delicate skin so highly fragranced soaps should be avoided.
6. Soaps with cocamidopropyl betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a substance that is refined from coconuts. It is often the element in soaps that causes the lather and therefore the dirt removal from the skin’s surface. But this substance can be an irritant to some people who are allergic to it. Eczema sufferers in particular often find soaps containing cocamidopropyl betaine triggers eczema attacks.
If you suffer from eczema, your doctor may recommend avoiding soaps with the above-mentioned ingredients. Your doctor may also prescribe medications, such as Dupixent (dupilumab) or recommend an over the counter remedy, such as Gold Bond Medicated Anti-Itch Lotion.