Skin Concerns

Eczema…How to Beat & Defeat

Written by Dahvi Shira

There’s a good chance you, or someone you know, suffers from eczema. While it’s certainly not something you’d want to have, you’re definitely not alone in battling the issue. 

Also known as dermatitis, eczema causes the skin to become dry, cracked and itchy. While it is a chronic condition with technically no cure, it doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions, tips and tricks that can help you best manage and diminish its effects.

Types & Triggers

There are many types of eczema, and again, it’s very common.  There are a few different types of eczema, though, which is important to learning which one yours is, so you can best tackle it

Atopic Eczema

The most common type is called atopic eczema, which is a long-lasting condition that causes inflammation, redness and irritation of the skin. It commonly develops in childhood, but can arise at any time. 

Atopic eczema causes dry, cracked and sore skin. It can occur in small patches or large areas of the body, and in any location on the body. 

It can also appear differently on different skin tones.   Individuals with black or brown skin tones tend to experience darker brown, purple or grey patches, while lighter tones tend to experience red patches and discoloration. 

Eczema can change the pigmentation of the skin, so it may also cause lighter patches to appear.  It’s often hereditary and can develop alongside conditions like asthma and hay fever. 

Also, atopic eczema can disappear and reappear at times of your life.   Curious what triggers the flare-ups?  

  • Environmental Factors:  heat, dust, animal dandruff, soaps, detergents, food allergens
  • Bacterial and viral infections:  common cold, staphylococcus, cold sore virus
  • Showers with very hot water
  • Dry skin, especially in winter months
  • Teething in babies
  • General stress

The main treatments for atopic eczema are:

  • Emollients (aka moisturizers):  stop the skin from dryness, like our Extremely Rich Moisturizer
  • Topical corticosteroids (creams and ointments):   reduce swelling and redness

Contact Dermatitis

While atopic eczema can show up anywhere on the body, facial eczema (or contact dermatitis) appears as itchy, blistered, dry and cracked skin, usually on the hands and face. Once again,  this type can also appear differently on different skin tones. 

As the name suggests, contact dermatitis is triggered when particular substances (irritants or allergens) come into contact with the skin. 

Triggers include:

  • Soaps and detergents.
  • Solvents (i.e. nail polish remover)
  • Showering with very hot water

The main treatments for contact dermatitis are: 

  • Regularly moisturizing to reduce dry skin.
  • Avoiding contact to the substances that are causing the reaction

Discoid Eczema

When we think of the skin condition’s more debilitating forms, discoid eczema comes to mind. This type causes one or more circular or oval patches to form on the skin, which often begin as a group of small spots that eventually join together to form larger round patches. 

Affected areas can become very itchy, swollen and blistered with oozing fluid. Triggers of this type of eczema range from dry skin stemming from a weakened skin barrier, and/or injuries to the skin that are causing a negative reaction.

To calm this reaction, turn to deep, nourishing moisturizers and topical corticosteroids (creams and ointments) to moisturize, strengthen the skin barrier, and reduce the swelling + redness overall. Our Xtremely Rich Moisturizer is a plush, creamy and weightless formula made to deliver the ideal amount of nourishment, without the greasy feeling. Designed for dehydrated skin, it rebalances the skin's microbiome, soothes the skin and strengthens its barrier.

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Dyshidrotic Eczema (Pompholyx) 

Dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx) is considered the most complex form of the condition, which causes small blisters across the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  

For this type of eczema, it’s advised to stay out of the sun and avoid getting sweaty, especially when a flare-up is occurring.  Like other forms, these blisters come and go, lasting between two and three weeks at a time.  An early symptom may be a burning or prickling sensation, which then develops into deeper reactions.

The direct causes are currently unclear, but the following factors have been proven to trigger the reaction to occur:

  • Staying in water (ocean and/or pool) for a longer period of time
  • Hot temperatures in environment
  • Sweaty conditions

The main treatments for dyshidrotic eczema can be treated by a dermatologist, which they will prescribe either prescriptions that typically include emollients, or steroid creams and ointments.

Managing Eczema Flare-ups

Eczema treatment can sound like a daunting task, but it is definitely not impossible.  An official eczema diagnosis calls for physical examination by a doctor—who will assess your affected skin and ask questions about your lifestyle and medical history. 

While eczema is known to come in waves, there are ways to keep it more frequently at bay. In addition to topical eczema treatments, you can follow prevention tips or avoid triggering behaviors.

Varicose Eczema

If you’ve seen someone with dry, flaky, scaly, crusty skin along their lower legs, they’re likely suffering from varicose eczema. Also known as venous, gravitational or stasis eczema, this is also known to cause swelling and occasional blood flow issues. 

Varicose eczema can also look different across skin tones – black or brown skin may become dark brown, purple or gray, while lighter tones tend to become red or brown. This chronic form of eczema can also lead to leg ulcers. 

To treat this type of eczema, you’ll need to improve circulation in the legs to reduce the causes of varicose eczema, like doing “legs up the wall” exercises, walking, yoga and implementing more physical activity into your routine.  You can also start wearing compression stockings, and apply moisturizers and topical corticosteroids, as you would with other forms of eczema. 

Seborrheic Eczema 

Ever dealt with dandruff, or know someone that has?  This could actually be correlated to seborrheic eczema, which can start to occur with age.  Seborrheic eczema causes red, scaly patches to develop on the nose, eyebrows, eyelid margins (edges), ears and scalp. On darker skin, it may cause dark brown patches.  It tends to start after puberty, and as the stats say, this form of the condition affects 4% of the population (which is considered a lot!). 

“Seborrheic” means that the condition affects oily (sebaceous) areas of the skin. The underlying cause is believed to be a harmless yeast, or an immune response to the yeast, called Malassezia, which lives on the skin.

Treatment for seborrheic eczema is dependent on where it appears on the body, but it generally goes as follows:

  • For the scalp, anti-dandruff or antifungal shampoos may be used.
  • For the body, anti-yeast creams can be used.
  • For the eyelids, careful cleaning between the eyelashes may help.
  • For the ear canal, medicated ear drops can be used.


Like anything related to skin, smoking Parliaments while sipping chardonnay definitely won’t get you on the path to clarity.  If you want to know how to prevent eczema, it starts with your lifestyle. So, yes, putting down the cigarettes, minimizing stress and getting enough sleep each night contributes to your overall health and immune system improvement.  What we put inside our body always shows on the outside, so a diet rich in whole foods and a healthy intake of daily water will also help lower the symptoms. 

Keep a Food Diary

Write down the meals you have each day, as you may be able to notice which foods are contributing to your flare-ups.  Whatever you do, be sure to consult a dermatologist before cutting anything out from your diet.

Avoid Fragrances

Fragrances can be major aggravators to sensitive skin – start avoiding strongly scented soaps, perfumes, detergents or cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals, or other additives that may cause irritation. 

Wear Comfortable Clothes

This may be a bummer for your next date night, but flare-ups can be caused by tight or irritable clothing. Try opting for looser, skin-friendly pieces (made of cotton, for example), that allow the skin to breathe a bit more.

Keep Skin Moisturized

This probably goes without saying, but it’s important we make it adamantly clear: You’ll need to implement specific creams into your daily routine to treat eczema. We put an emphasis on creams versus lotions, because they deliver more moisture. 

It’s important that you moisturize both morning and evening, as well as throughout the day when skin feels taut. And we’re the first to say it—whether we have chronically dry skin or not, you really can’t over-moisturize. So go to town and keep that skin quenched.  As an added bonus, applying moisturizer after washing helps your skin retain moisture, further reducing the risk of a flare-up. 

Choose Mild, Hypoallergenic Products

If you’re on the hunt for eczema skin care, look for gentle and hypoallergenic formulations that are free of parabens, alcohol, artificial fragrances, coloring, mineral oils, sulfates and preservatives. Yes, that’s a lot to keep in mind, but trust us, your skin will thank you! You’ll also want to avoid scrubs and exfoliants, as they can aggravate eczema-caused conditions.

As we wrap up our breakdown on eczema, these are the key factors you’ll want to remember.  Eczema is never one-size-fits-all, as there are lots of kinds and types that you’ll want to see a dermatologist to accurately treat.  And once you do see one and get diagnosed, know that this does not mean you’ll never find solutions.  Lifestyle changes, routine habits and topical creams can all help you to best manage, treat and defeat this condition – that remember, is also extremely common.