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Exfoliating Eczema

What is Exfoliating Eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition affecting 1.36 million people in the United States.(1) It may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Redness on the skin
  • Dry skin
  • Itching
  • Skin inflammation
  • Bumpy skin
  • Scaly patched on the skin
  • Oozing sore spots
  • Skin rash

There is no cure for eczema but the condition can be managed with the help of various treatments and home remedies.

Exfoliating eczema is a part of skin care for people with eczema. But one needs to proceed cautiously. Exfoliating eczema involves removing dead cells on the skin and promoting cell turnover, thereby improving and smoothening the skin’s appearance.(2)

There is anecdotal evidence of exfoliating eczema stopping the excess build-up of the dead skin that is known to worsen the eczema flare-up.

What is Exfoliating Eczema?

Types of Exfoliations

  • Exfoliation can be done chemically or mechanically.
  • Chemical exfoliation is done using glycolic acid or salicylic acid. These dissolve skin tissue cells.
  • Mechanical exfoliation is done using scrubbing particles, brushes, sponges, and gloves.

Benefits of Exfoliating Eczema

Exfoliating eczema has the following potential benefits to the skin:

  • Smoothening
  • Brightening
  • Unclogging pores

To maximize benefits products that may be useful for a particular skin type should be used. Most people with eczema have dry and sensitive skin. Therefore, it is recommended by the experts to not use any harsh ingredients or strong fragrances.

Exfoliating products can be made at home and these are known to be much safer. Also, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association exfoliation can be easily performed at home in the following way:(4)

  • Scrub the skin gently for no more than 30 seconds
  • Use only lukewarm water to rinse the face
  • Do not exfoliate every day
  • Wait for a day or two to see how the skin reacts to exfoliating

Risks Associated with Exfoliating Eczema

Exfoliation is done to break down dead skin cells. The products it is done with may contain scrubbing or chemical agents that may irritate the skin. Therefore, exfoliating eczema may do more harm than good, especially if not done correctly.

It is important to speak to the doctor about the type of skin, skin condition, and potential benefits and risks of exfoliating production or methods before going ahead with it. It is recommended by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease that people using gentle cleansers should avoid scrubbing their skin too vigorously.(3)

Tips Post Exfoliating Eczema

Eczema can cause damage to the skin barrier leaving the skin more vulnerable to infection, inflammation, drying, and other damage. This may make the need for moisturizer more important as it helps in protecting the skin barrier.

Moisturizing is also important, post exfoliation as it leads to dryness. A good moisturizer for eczema should have the following characteristics:

  • Should not have allergens and triggers
  • The ingredient list should not have irritating preservatives
  • Should be a hypoallergenic product
  • The products should include helpful ingredients such as shea butter, aloe, hyaluronic acid, and humectant
  • The product should not have fragrances and dyes

Always, a patch test should be done before using a product for the first time. A small amount of cream should be applied to a small area on the skin and the area should be monitored for 24-48 hours before going ahead with the larger amount.

Exfoliating eczema is taking care of the skin with eczema by exfoliating the dead cell build-up. It improves the skin but can also irritate it and worsen the condition. It is therefore important to consider the above-mentioned tips before planning to start with exfoliation. Before choosing the products and going ahead using them a doctor should be consulted and the condition of the disease and the ingredients and their pros and cons should be discussed.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 15, 2022

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