People with eczema are meticulous about the products they use on their bodies, and they’re driven not by vanity but by necessity. Many skin care products in circulation today have traces of alcohol, scents, and antimicrobial agents. Ordinarily, these ingredients are beneficial to users; but for people with eczema, these could mean hours of discomfort, itchiness, and the disruption of their daily routines.
Eczema is a condition where the epidermis is unable to protect the underlying skin layers from irritants. It also allows water loss, resulting in dry, flaky skin. Patients can avoid the inconveniences brought about by eczema by being cautious with the skin care and bath products they use.
Understanding Eczema: What Does the Skin Need?
Eczema doesn’t have a cut-and-dry definition or description. There’s a broad spectrum of severity classified into phenotypes, so it’s possible for patients to have different preferences for skin care and bath products. What works for one may not necessarily work for everyone else.
Regardless of where they are in the spectrum, however, most people with eczema will require skin and hair care products that are:
- Moisturizing (e.g., glycerin and lanolin)
As one of their main concerns is to keep their skin hydrated, they also need to avoid skin and bath products with:
- Alcohols and acids that dry the skin (e.g., salicylic acid and retinol)
- Artificial coloring or preservatives (e.g., parabens)
Extra Hydration from Shower Gels and Oils
Besides the criteria above, dermatologists recommend that people with eczema choose soaps that don’t produce a lot of bubbles. Sudsy soaps tend to strip off more of the skin’s natural oil, and this could aggravate their eczema. Instead of bubbly commercial soaps, shower gels and bath oils with emollients (moisturizers) are a better alternative.
There is, however, opposition against the use of shower gels and oils. Others say that because these products don’t bubble as much as ordinary soap, people who use them are likely to lather more product each time they take a bath. Also, people might stay longer in the tub or shower, rinsing their skin until they get rid of the slippery sensation. Both scenarios cause the skin to dry out.
As long as people with eczema know how to use bath oil products properly, they’ll reap their expected benefits.
Magnesium: An Underrated Ingredient in Shower Gels
Magnesium is fast becoming a popular ingredient in shower gels and liquid soaps, especially among brands that target people with sensitive skin. Thanks to its nourishing, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory properties, dermatologists also consider it beneficial to people with eczema.
Oral magnesium supplements are available over the counter, but since magnesium has a laxative effect, consumers might prefer topical products instead. Also, the body can absorb magnesium transdermally. Quick baths and showers with magnesium-rich products will be comforting and increasingly beneficial with regular practice.
Besides soothing the symptoms of eczema, magnesium has numerous health and therapeutic benefits:
- Relieves headaches, sore muscles, and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
- Reduces anxiety
- Regulate blood pressure
- Ensure the proper function of over 300 enzymes
- Ensure the absorption of calcium and maintain bone health
- Significantly reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
Eczema is not the easiest condition to deal with, but understanding the condition and knowing its restrictions will help patients to cope with its symptoms. For starters, a smart choice in bath products will save them from immense discomfort.