Eczema is an auto-immune skin condition. The skin becomes red, blistered and inflamed, causing itching and bleeding. People with eczema are often sensitive to many skin care, household and laundry products.
Far from being a trivial condition, eczema causes a great deal of discomfort. It can make it difficult to sleep or wear certain clothes. In severe cases, it results in scarring. Doctors have a limited arsenal against eczema–their treatment consisting of emollient and steroid creams.
However, learning and avoiding the triggers of eczema can prevent it from happening. The witches’ cauldron of toxic chemicals that are present in cosmetics is one of the triggers.
Just like heavily scented detergent, cosmetics containing perfumes can irritate the skin. The fragrances can disrupt the immune system and worsen eczema. They can also trigger asthma in susceptible people.
Polyethylene glycol is often added to moisturisers. It is not safe for people with eczema. In animal tests, when scientists applied an antiseptic cream containing polyethylene glycol onto wounds, the compound was absorbed through the broken skin and caused renal failure.
Methylparabens or butylparabens are preservatives that prevent bacteria growth in the product. These are harsh on the skin and can cause an inflammatory reaction. Products that harness nature’s preservatives, such as grape-seed extract, are better alternatives.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS helps remove dirt from pores and hair, so it is added to creams and shampoo. However, it is very irritating to people with eczema, and it takes their skin longer to recover.
Beauty products for sensitive skin must not contain any of these irritants. They should be as gentle as possible. Creams that contain probiotics can prevent eczema by boosting the immune system.