Eczema can be insanely itchy and sometimes – extremely painful, especially when you’re trying to wash it or exfoliate. Surprisingly, exfoliation is extremely beneficial for eczema skin. Not only does it remove dry and dead skin, but it can also allow natural eczema treatments to penetrate the affected area more effectively. This week, we take a look at how to exfoliate eczema skin, as well as what not to do!
Please keep in mind that although these treatments can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
Does Exfoliation Help Eczema?
Due to sensitive and broken skin, exfoliating eczema can be tricky. Most people tend to think that exfoliation can cause eczema-ridden skin to become even more damaged or inflamed, but is actually beneficial to exfoliate eczema. Eczema exfoliation is extremely important because it cleans accumulated dried and dead skin cells that can actually exacerbate eczema.
How Should You Exfoliate Eczema?
Use A Gentle Soap
If you’re going to exfoliate eczema, you need to first make sure that you are using a natural product that is gentle enough for your skin as well as moisturizing. Many eczema sufferers are aware that typical soaps end up stripping away moisture from the skin barrier. This Emily Skin Soothers Natural Body Wash for Eczema is a great alternative to typical cleansers on the market. This soap is full of natural Chinese Herbs and Olive oil, which keeps skin well moisturized and soft.
Alternatively, if you prefer a hard soap, check out both this Emily Skin Soothers Eczema Soap with Herbs which like its sister liquid soap, is full of healthy moisturizing ingredients like olive oil, avocado oil and shea butter. This Grass Fed Tallow Soap is also a wonderful alternative to harsher soaps with its minimal ingredients and fatty lather.
Finally, this Coconut and Sunflower Oil Soap Bar is an excellent choice. It’s made with just 3 ingredients: coconut oil, sunflower oil, and shea butter. Soft and gentle, it’s safe to use anywhere on the body from head to toe. After using it, your skin is sure to feel soothed, soft, and supple.
Use A Gentle Scrubbing Tool
Along with your natural eczema soap, you’ll want to opt for a gentle scrubbing tool. Because eczema prone skin is so sensitive, you’ll want to make sure to opt for a scrubbing tool that’s not too abrasive to exfoliate eczema. A gentle brush, such as this one will help lift dead skin cells, while keeping skin safe. Alternatively, a silicone brush with small gentle bristles like this one, can be even better for skin that is inflamed and extremely sensitive.
Try a DIY Scrub
Instead of using a natural eczema soap and scrubbing tool, you can actually opt for a DIY natural scrub instead. There are many different scrubs you can find online that can be made with household products and ingredients that are best to exfoliate eczema.
One of our favorites has to be the Flawless Program’s DIY Sugar Scrub! This scrub combines coconut oil, sugar and baking soda – the perfect combo for flaky, crusty eczema. Not only does this scrub include an exfoliation (no brush needed), but also an antiseptic, a skin rejuvenator, and a moisturizer!
What Should You Not Do?
Although eczema exfoliation is a good idea, there are many things you should avoid when exfoliating. Make sure to check these out below before getting started!
Do NOT Exfoliate Every Day
It’s very important that exfoliation is kept to a minimum, especially when you suffer from eczema. Over exfoliation can actually lead to irritation and can strip moisture of the skin barrier.
Our recommendation: Keep eczema exfoliation down to every one or two weeks. This will allow skin to heal properly while eliminating dead skin cells that can cause further cracking and irritation.
Because eczema skin is so sensitive, it’s important to not scrub the area. Instead, try to make exfoliating your eczema as gentle as possible by pressing down on the area with gentle circles or sweeping dead skin, NOT scrubbing. Scrubbing will only cause further irritation and extend healing time.
Skip the Chemical Peels
It shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re adding this to our “what you should NOT do list.” Besides the fact that these peels use unhealthy chemicals or preservatives to exfoliate skin, they can also leave skin feeling worse than before. Not only can these peels eliminate needed moisture from the skin, but they can cause further irritation, inflammation and even infection. Do not use them to exfoliate eczema.
Do NOT Exfoliate on Weeping, Oozing Eczema
If you’re experiencing weeping or oozing eczema, please DO NOT exfoliate. Eczema exfoliation is meant to help dry, thick eczema.
If you are suffering from weeping or oozing eczema, there are many other natural treatments that can provide relief. Make sure to check out these tips for Healing Weeping Eczema Naturally.
Eczema exfoliation is only one step to healing your eczema. Post-exfoliation is just as important!
Because eczema prone skin lacks moisture, you’ll want to make sure to apply a rich, natural moisturizer to your skin after you exfoliate eczema. Not only will this keep skin healthy, but it will risk chances of inflammation and infection.
A great, thick moisturizer to use post-exfoliation is this Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. Not only is it rich in emollients, but many of its ingredients are anti-bacterial as well.
Lastly, if eczema exfoliation does not seem to help your eczema heal, you might want to take a look at what you’re eating. Many eczema sufferers have found short term relief through natural eczema treatments and therapies, but for long term relief the best results are found by simply changing the diet.
This can be done through an elimination diet. An elimination diet is essentially removing certain foods from your diet for a specific time period and then reintroducing them slowly to determine which foods are causing a reaction. To read more about it, make sure to check out our post: Our Eczema Elimination Diet Success (How You Can Do it Too!).
Looking for more help with eczema? Check out our collection of essential reading in Start Here for Eczema Relief.
Do you exfoliate your eczema?
Let us know how in the comments below!
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.