Lockdown does not seem to be working wonders for people’s skin… and especially not for those prone to eczema!
Here are our top tips for avoiding a flare-up during lockdown:
Moisturise: as always, moisturising with a gentle emollient is your absolute first line of defence against the dreaded flare-up! Stick to the moisturisers you know and love, and if your skin is cracked, avoid water-based creams in favour of ointments, salves and balms.
Manage your stress levels: stress is a major trigger for flare-ups, so take your mental health seriously. Not so easy in these anxious times, but it is worth investigating strategies for keeping stress levels in check, whether that’s mindfulness, meditation, taking up a calm-inducing hobby or downloading a mental health app.
Feed yourself well: you need to provide your body with the good stuff too! It might be tempting to binge on sugar and alcohol to combat the anxiety and boredom of the time, but do load up on vitamins and essential fatty acids as well. Vitamin D and C supplements, fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds and oils are all good.
Get fresh air: open the windows, get out for a daily walk, keep the air circulating and your muscles moving!
Check humidity levels: skin can really suffer in too-dry environments. If you can feel the central heating or air conditioning affecting your skin, or you live somewhere that doesn’t get much natural air circulation, consider getting a humidifier to keep the air you’re stuck in full of moisture, rather than drawing it out of your poor skin.
Wash your hands: follow official advice on thorough cleansing but moisturise well afterwards! Pat hands dry with a clean paper towel and then slather on the balm.
Distraction techniques: knitting, drawing, sewing, cooking - anything that gets your hands busy and your mind focussed can reduce the urge to itch and scratch.
Try not to touch your face: wash your hands thoroughly in case you can’t stop yourself or try wearing a mask, or using a clean tissue instead of bare hands to pat itchy or sore skin.
Reduce the risk of pressure sores: if you’re having to wear a mask, wash face first in gentle soap-free wash, then apply a fine layer of barrier balm before putting on the mask.
Skin Salvation with hemp seed oil, beeswax, calendula, from £7.99 for 30ml
Natural Shampoo & Body Wash with nettle and chamomile, £19 for 200ml
Intensive Facial Oil with rosehip, chamomile & lavender, £22 for 30ml
Intensive Hand Cream with shea butter, chamomile & sea buckthorn, from £10.99 for 50ml
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.