Eczema is most common in areas with a low ‘skin barrier reserve’ (areas with more vulnerable skin) which is why many people suffer from eczema on face and the neck.1 As eczema sufferers know, flare-ups or chronic eczema on face can be very difficult, both physically and emotionally.
There are a number of eczema treatments that your healthcare professional can recommend if your facial eczema is affecting your life. These range from topical creams such as corticosteroid creams or ointments, to oral treatments that help to control inflammation or itchiness. Alternative treatment options such as light therapy can also be considered.2 Whether you choose to incorporate use of any of these eczema treatments is up to you, however there are still things you can do in your everyday life to help manage your facial eczema.
Skin care regime
As you’re certainly aware, dry skin is one of the main symptoms of eczema. When your skin is dry, the skin barrier isn’t as strong which means that you lose moisture more quickly, and are more prone to inflammation and infections.3 Therefore, moisturizing your skin is a key eczema treatment.
Emollients, a family of moisturizing treatments that help reduce water loss and protect the skin, can be used multiple times a day (follow the manufacturer’s or your healthcare professional’s recommendations) to help keep your skin moisturized, ideally right after washing when the skin is moist. There are many different types of emollients, from soap replacements to ointments, and they can contain a range of active ingredients. You may find that you prefer a routine with different emollients at different times in the day, e.g. a heavier ointment in the evening and a lighter cream in the day.
Other skin care tips
Try to avoid touching your face too much as this can spread infection and irritate the skin.
Keep your hair clean, as hair that is resting on your face can aggravate the skin.
As the skin on the face is more exposed to the elements, you may find you have to be flexible in your routine to accommodate changes in temperature or moisture levels.
If using products from a tub rather than a tube, use a clean spoon to remove the product, instead of your fingers or hands.
Always pat your skin instead of rubbing it dry.
When washing, use warm - not hot - water.
If you wear makeup regularly, you’ll likely notice that many different products can aggravate your eczema rather than helping to cover it up. It may take some trial and error to find the products that are best for you as preferences well vary from person-to-person, but here are some things to watch out for. It’s recommended to always test a product for any reaction or skin allergy before you apply it regularly.
Try to stick to makeup that’s hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, nonacnegenic and designed for sensitive skin.
Fragrances often cause irritation, look for products that are fragrance-free rather than unscented as unscented products may still contain fragrances.
Many people react to preservatives in products.
Remember to dispose of your makeup according to the manufacturer’s recommendations – eye makeup in particular should be replaced every three to four months as eyes are particularly sensitive.
Using water based or water soluble makeup makes it easier to remove your makeup at the end of the day and therefore less irritating for your skin.
Make sure you always wash your hands before applying makeup, and wash your makeup brushes regularly.
Eczema on baby skin
Affecting up to 20% of children globally, eczema is one of the most common skin conditions.3 In babies, eczema is most likely to occur on the face or scalp, aggravated by factors such as drooling, heat in the summer or the cold in winter, skin allergies, or contact with irritants like soaps or some fabrics. Many of the same recommendations that apply to adults apply to babies with eczema, including regular bathing in warm water, and application of moisturizers or emollients.5 However, as baby skin is particularly delicate, we recommend visiting a healthcare professional who can recommend the best steps to take for you and your baby.