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If you’re dealing with a chronic skin condition like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, you probably struggle with your skincare routine.
That’s because so many “popular” products out there cause major irritation and exacerbate your symptoms, which makes it hard to find a skincare routine that actually soothes your skin and calms your redness, flaking, and other symptoms.
That said, it’s not impossible, and there are certain practices and ingredients that can calm your skin and ease symptoms.
Let’s dive in.
So what exactly are you dealing with when you have these conditions and symptoms?
Eczema is a condition that causes patches of red, thick, scaly, or itchy skin. It can also appear as intense dryness and itching on the lower legs, in a condition called asteatotic eczema. It often appears in people who have asthma and hay fever, and symptoms can be exacerbated by things like stress, dry heat, allergens, fragrances, and dyes.
More common after age 30, rosacea is a chronic condition that can lead to redness, bumps, and pustules (most commonly on the face). It can also cause some people to experience dryness, stinging, itching, and burning. Overall, rosacea causes a lot of sensitivity of the skin, and it can be triggered by cold or hot weather, indoor heat, stress, sun, wind, alcohol, baths, exercise, and spicy food.
With psoriasis - a chronic condition that affects an estimated 6.7 million Americans - you get flaky, itchy, slightly elevated patches on your skin that are covered with silvery skin cells, or “plaques.” They pop up when the skin cells grow too fast, and they’re usually flared up by some kind of trigger in the immune system - like stress, injury, infection, allergies, and medication - that causes it to be overactive.
One of the biggest triggers for these skin conditions is extremely hot, cold, and dry weather. In the winter, both external and internal conditions can be a huge problem. Central heating, in particular, can zap humidity, dry out skin, and exacerbate irritation symptoms.
Turn your thermostat down a few degrees to keep the air from drying out skin, and remember that cooler air is less likely to irritate skin or cause itching. If you can, invest in a humidifier as well - particularly in your bedroom. Humidity should be 30 to 60 percent (40 to 50 percent if you have allergies or asthma). This should help keep your symptoms from worsening as you sleep, which is usually when problems get worse.
Hot water notoriously dries out the skin and strips it of its natural and protective oils. This is irritating for all skin types.Even if you have healthy skin that’s not prone to irritation, it’ll dry you out and cause a problem.
For those with rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, it’s particularly damaging. Now, we’re not saying to avoid hot water at all costs (everyone should be able to take a nice hot shower when they want to) but you should limit time spent in high temperatures, particularly if you’re already experiencing symptoms.
One of the biggest issues with these skin conditions is proper hydration.
With rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, the skin is stripped of its protective oils - and this lack of protection leaves skin even more vulnerable to flare-ups and irritation.
While proper hydration and maintenance sometimes require prescription products and gels, you should certainly incorporate as many nourishing ingredients as possible in your over-the-counter regimen as well. The goal is to find products that will not only moisturize the skin but also contain ingredients that are less likely to cause a negative reaction or flare-up.
That means incorporating ingredients like:
We’ve already mentioned ingredients to include in your skincare regimen. That said, you should also avoid any products that contain:
Also, stick to fragrance-free soaps and use detergents made for sensitive skin.