Aside from having a great scalp shampoo for eczema, having the right shower knowledge can help or harm your eczema. Just as the right type of shampoo for eczema can soothe your skin, the wrong ones can also irritate it and contribute to more flare-ups. In addition, even the temperature of the water you use can have an immense effect on your body. You can use these tips below to help soothe your eczema.
Bath Products for Eczema Treatment
It is easy to use soaps or shampoos for eczema that are on sale at the grocery store, but it is always wiser to carefully select your bath products. The type of shampoo and soap you use is very important. “Nondetergent soaps are best,” says Kent Aftergut, MD, clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. It is also best to avoid bubble baths, which can irritate the skin.
Products such as the Wildly Natural Seaweed Argan Shampoo are pricier, but their ingredients are higher quality, natural, and combine nourishing properties of seaweed extract with Moroccan Argan Oil and Vitamin E to gently cleanse and moisturize the hair and scalp.
Watch out for shampoo and eczema products that contain fragrances, preservatives, or harsh cleansers, which can make symptoms worse. Exfoliators such as loofahs, brushes, and scrubbers can also irritate the skin, and should be avoided. Washcloths are another material that can cause friction, so lathering should be done with hands only, with gentle scrubbing.
In the Shower
In addition to using a scalp eczema shampoo, avoid overly hot showers, as tempting as hot showers may be. Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center says that “The temperature of the water should be turned down two notches from where you want it to be. Warm enough to be tolerable, but not hot enough to make it feel good.” It can be tempting – but try to resist.
The length of your bath or shower should also be short. Dr. Krant says that showers should aim to be five minutes long, If this is difficult to do, then you should limit your time while you’re standing directly under the water. Showers should not be more than once a day (and less often is okay), and you can consider using soap on “strategic” areas only, such as armpits, feet, hands, and genitals. I have grown accustomed to this and find that it is less irritating on my skin.
After the Shower
Always use a soft towel to pat the body dry, rather than rub it against your skin, which can cause irritation. Make sure to use a detergent that is fragrance and allergen-free, so that it does not irritate eczema. You can also run them through an extra rinse cycle if necessary. It may also be helpful to avoid using fabric softeners and dryer sheets.
The key to keeping your eczema under control after taking a shower is to moisturize. “Plain emollients [moisturizers] without fragrance should be slathered all over every single time you get out of the shower and even one extra time per day,” says Dr. Krant.
Keep in mind that all moisturizing products are not the same. Dr. Krant says that ointments, which are 80 percent oil and 20 percent water, trap skin’s moisture the best. Creams are 50 percent oil and 50 percent water and the next most effective. Lotions are more water than oil, so they lock in the least amount of moisture. Natural oils such as coconut oil are natural, anti-microbial and help speed up the healing of eczema.
While finding the right shower and shampoo tips for eczema treatment often involves extra care, these proactive steps can greatly improve the quality of your skin and help to reduce chances of flare-ups.