This blog post was written by Eczema Honey Community member: Larissa Olsen, blogger of @the_eczema_diaries
There is no worse feeling than when you sense a flare-up coming on. If you have eczema, then you’re probably very familiar with this sensation. It’s difficult not to let the panic set in as you try to stop it in its tracks. This is why I always try to keep my “flare care” at the ready. Here is my 5 step routine for treating my eczema flare-ups.
Step 1: Cleanse
Trying to find the source of a flare can feel like trying to solve a riddle with no real answer. From seasonal changes to allergens in food, clothing, cosmetics, the air, etc. it can be tricky to pinpoint the exact cause.
As the first step when dealing with a flare, I like to start off by cleansing - just in case there are irritants on the surface of my skin. Since it’s already in a reactive state, I forgo using soap, cleanser or anything that may aggravate the flare further. Instead, I opt for a gentle washcloth that’s dampened with cold water. Warm or hot water will only add to the dryness, itch and intensify the flare. Heat essentially causes further inflammation and strips your skin of its natural oils - so cold water is a must!
Using very gentlecircular motions, I wipe down the surface of my skin. It’s incredibly important to note that you do not want to rub the skin as this will contribute to the itch scratch cycle. Avoid the temptation to be too rough or scrub dry areas. It will pay off in the long run!
Step 2: Tone it up
Next, I go in with the Eczema Honey Itch Cooling Face and Body Rounds. Just as the name implies, these feel super soothing and cooling on angry skin. The concoction of aloe vera, witch hazel and vitamin E are ultra-hydrating, so your skin is left feeling nourished and relieved rather than tight and dry.
I love these because they are suitable for your entire body and really put a stop to that bone-deep itch. One round is soaked in generous solution and easily lasts for all my eczema-prone areas: face, neck, arms and hands.
Step 3: Ice, ice baby!
Now that my skin is super clean, I head to my freezer and fetch my ice roller. This is one of my favorite secret weapons for dealing with a flare. Ice rolling provides instant relief from inflammation and the itch, and visually reduces redness and swelling. It’s also a great remedy for those who get sweat and/or temperature induced flares. I will use it until it melts completely, which is usually about 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse it off and pop it back in the freezer when you are done so it’s ready the next time you reach for it.
Step 4: Hydrate!
Moisturizing is arguably the most important step when tending to a flare. The Eczema Honey Skin-Soothing Cream has become my trusty go-to. No matter how many new things I try, I find myself reaching for this over everything else.
It was recently reformulated and became an Over-The-Counter. The new formula has even more colloidal oatmeal, which is a powerhouse for fighting irritation and maintaining moisture. I’ve found the updated cream also absorbs quicker which is great when you’re on the go. They also added more aloe in place of water to help combat some of the stickiness from the honey and beeswax. I’m so happy with these updates! The slightly tacky consistency of the original formula didn’t really bother me, but I’m loving how the new cream leaves a dewy finish. Another great thing I’ve noticed is the new formulation doesn’t clog my pores. As someone who is prone to milia, this is a huge bonus!
To apply, I use a small silicone brush to scoop out a quarter sized amount. I then use the brush to spread a thin layer over my irritated skin. Using your fingers is always an option, but the brush helps keep the pot fresh and free of bacteria. One of my favorite things to do is to pop it in the freezer a few minutes before applying for an extra cooling effect.
Step 5: Lock it in!
The final step in the process is to lock all the hydration in with the Eczema Honey Oatmeal Body Lotion. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been on the hunt for a product like this! It is a very clean, light lotion with simple, all natural and healthy ingredients. The pump dispenser makes applying quick and easy.
You can apply as much or as little as you desire. Personally, when my skin is upset, I find using a slightly heavier hand combats dryness and is overall more calming. Reapplying is always an option though, too!