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"Due to the variety of genes involved, the exact cause of eczema remains unknown. However, it is generally considered that some of the issues are linked to an impairment of the skin structure and immune system, causing an increase in inflammatory cells and a reduction in moisturising cells. The result is skin that is inflamed, irritated, and red. 

It is worth noting that the skin microbiome of an eczema sufferer will also be different, causing it to be more susceptible to infection by a bacteria named Staphylococcus aureus. Unfortunately, this increases the sufferer’s risk of viral skin infection."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)

"Eczema is a condition caused by an atypical skin barrier and dry, inflamed skin. It is the result of an immune system disorder and therefore cannot be caught."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)


"Eczema flare-ups can have many causes and while some may be difficult to deal with, others can be managed with some simple daily steps.

Some of the main causes of a flare-up are:

Heat and textiles: Thick clothing and blankets, excessive indoor heating, and wearing too many layers can all aggravate an eczema sufferer’s skin. Instead opt for light, breathable layers when dressing, and avoid overheating your indoor spaces to keep your skin comfortable. Similarly, you’ll want to keep away from prickly items and fabrics like thick wool, sand, and even clothing seams.

Dry skin or air: Skin that hasn’t been adequately moisturised is more likely to flare, and this also applies to skin that’s been in contact with dry air, as this will cause the skin to lose even more moisture.

Not moisturising, or not applying moisturiser adequately: When moisturising the affected skin make sure to apply topical creams in the target areas, followed by a thick layer of moisturiser, until the eczema has cleared. It’s important to always apply moisturiser all over the body, even if the eczema has disappeared.

Bacterial skin infections: Eczema sufferers are particularly prone to carrying the Staphyloccocus aureus bacteria, which further aggravates the skin. These bacterial infections can be treated with bleach baths, as well as careful storing of moisturiser tubs and keeping the eczema as clear as possible."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)

Finding and maintaining an appropriate eczema management plan can mean sifting through a lot of misinformation. Whether it’s a miracle ‘cure’ or a special diet, there are a large number of myths and rumours currently in circulation surrounding treatment for eczema. When dealing with the skin condition, it’s important to have an appropriate routine and course of action.


How to care for eczema-affected skin

"Caring for eczema-affected skin can include a variety of different treatments. While some may seem intimidating, they can be relatively easy to implement in your daily routine and provide significant relief to the sufferer. 

Most important is to keep the skin moisturised from head to toe, with a perfume and plant-free cream. A daily cool bath with oils also works to calm and relieve the skin, and adding salt can help reduce irritation if the water begins to sting. If the eczema has become severe or infected, a bleach bath will help alleviate the symptoms.

Applying the correct cortisones to the affected areas is important in controlling a flare-up and improving the sufferer’s well-being. Cortisones can be particularly effective during an outburst but should be stopped as soon as the eczema clears, and restarted as needed.

If the eczema sufferer is struggling to sleep or being woken by the skin’s inflammation and irritation, applying wet dressings over the creams overnight can help cool and relieve the skin. Spraying the area with water or using a cold compress - followed by a moisturiser - can also provide quick relief."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)


Treating Eczema In Children

"Adult and children’s eczema are largely the same, though triggers in children may vary from those in adults. This means children can benefit from the same treatments as adults, including bleach baths and wet dressings.

Children and adults can reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms by moisturising twice a day and using a soap-free wash or oil in the shower. Additionally, staying away from known triggers like heat and prickly fibres will help maintain comfort."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)

"When it comes to food and dietary challenges, it is best not to avoid certain foods or food groups unless there is a known allergy. If your child has a particular food allergy, it is important to remember that the food may cause an outburst of eczema in your child but it is not the cause of your child’s eczema. Avoiding whole food groups can lead to malnutrition, and food exclusion diets should only be followed under the supervision of an allergy specialist, clinical immunologist, or specialist dietician.

However, it is best to avoid using food, plant-based or scented skin products on your child to avoid aggravating the skin barrier."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)

"Dealing with eczema in children is very similar to dealing with eczema in adults. Avoiding excessive heat and opting for light, breathable fabrics on the bed will help keep your child’s skin calm. Showering daily with a soap-free wash, and moisturising twice a day with a thick cream are also very important. Make sure to keep away from fragranced products like shower gels and bubble baths and, when moisturising your child’s skin, avoid touching the tube directly. Instead, use a spoon or squeeze the product out before applying. 

Medicated creams can be very effective when used correctly. Start cortisones as soon as you notice a flare-up, and keep applying to the skin until the outburst clears. When using medicated creams, always use as advised by your doctor. For more pronounced and severe flares, daily bleach baths are recommended until the skin clears. Gently remove scabs using a soft towel and apply moisturiser."

- Emma King (NP), Liz Leins (NP)


Quick and easy itch relief

At Bioderma, we understand that dealing with dry, irritated skin on the daily can be difficult, especially if you’re leading a busy and active lifestyle. That’s why we’ve developed the Atoderm range for dry, irritated, and atopic skin.

Specifically formulated to provide nourishing care for the face and body, the Atoderm range has everything you need for your daily routine.

For long-lasting and immediate relief, the Atoderm SOS Spray is your 60-second soothing saviour. Easy to carry, effective and fast-acting, the Atoderm SOS Spray works to reduce the urge to scratch in 60 seconds and lasts up to 6 hours on the skin. Safe to use on the whole family, the active ingredients respect the skin and help to reinforce the skin barrier over time.

Find out more about the Atoderm range, for targeted and effective care for atopic and eczema-prone skin.