4 Simple Ways To Treat Eczema on Your Face
As someone who has struggled with facial eczema since childhood, I can say that dealing with it, let alone treating it, can be hell. It wasn’t until I started to notice the hallmark symptoms—itchy red, scaly patches— that I realized my generic skincare routine wasn’t enough. While my teenage peers were dealing with acne, I was navigating this newly-diagnosed skin disease via countless numbers of facial cleansers and hundreds in cash spent.
Nearly a decade later, I can say that, while taming the visible symptoms of eczema is possible, it requires a lot of trial and error. While I tested out prescribed creams that worked sufficiently, constant refilling (on a college student budget) proved to be expensive. I needed to find more cost effective alternatives that could perform just as well. As time went on, I was able to find certain products and techniques that worked for me. Whether it was washing my face right after stepping out of the shower, patting dry instead of rubbing, or moisturising daily, the symptoms of my eczema were, for the most part, suppressed.
When I got older and my facial hair started to grow in thicker, however, my eczema came back to haunt me. I started to notice more itchy and flaky patches around my mustache and beard. As you can imagine, it brought my facial hair game down a couple notches. All of a sudden my loyal moisturising routine needed rewiring and a hunt for a more heavy-duty moisturiser was in order. After some searching, I found a go-to over-the-counter moisturiser durable enough to keep the fur-covered parts of my face in check.
One thing I’ve learned is that there are a lot of different methods that can be used to help treat eczema—especially when it’s on your face. I sought out some expert opinions on the topic to find out the steps that any guy can take to tackle their eczema while keeping beard game on lock. According to Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky, professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, an important part of treating eczema is finding a moisturiser that works well for you. “What I extend to my patients is that treating eczema is like a puzzle,” says Guttman-Yassky, “and it’s really important that you do all the pieces in the puzzle to be successful”. Take a cue from Guttman-Yassky and start grooming your facial hair the way you want without worrying about your annoying eczema.
Choosing The Right Moisturiser
When it comes to topical steroids, Guttman-Yassky recommends as minimal application as possible. This is because they often make the already-thin skin on your face even more fragile. One the flip side, over-the-counter moisturisers from local pharmacy’s can be a useful and more affordable alternative.
Keep Showers Short
Help tame your facial eczema while also saving on your utility bill. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital says that taking shorter showers at cooler or lukewarm temperatures can help suppress the symptoms of eczema. “The temperature of your shower should be similar to that of a heated pool, which is around 28 degrees celcius.” says Zeichner, “Very hot water can strip the skin of essential oils and ultimately dry out your skin making eczema worse.” So in other words, keep the steam to a minimum and no more singing in the shower.
Sun, Not Sweat
If you suffer from eczema on the face, it doesn’t mean that you have to put your outdoor workouts under the sun on hold just yet. According to Guttman-Yassky, sun can be beneficial for a number of patients with eczema, with one exception. Guttman-Yassky says that, sweat or excessive water contact can be harmful for certain patients, so it’s important to keep sweat at bay as best as possible.
Shave With Caution
Trying to groom facial hair while also attempting to treat your eczema can be a challenge because shaving affects both the hair and the skin. Both Guttman-Yassky and Zeichner emphasize that people with eczema should exercise caution when it comes to shaving facial hair. “Make sure to shave after a shower, when both the hair and the skin is soft,” says Zeichner, “Apply a shave gel and then shave in gentle strokes along the grain of the hair.” Guttman-Yassky says that not being careful when shaving can not only cause folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle) but it can also exacerbate eczema.
Originally published on menshealth.com