Products To Avoid If You Have Eczema

If you have eczema, you know how difficult it can be to find products that won’t irritate your skin. Sometimes, knowing what to avoid can be as helpful as product recommendations.

Beware of scent

Any product that contains fragrance is liable to trigger your eczema. Synthetic fragrances are particularly problematic, but natural or organic products that contain scent may also aggravate your skin.

Look for products that are labeled “fragrance-free” and be wary of those that are “unscented.” Unscented products may have fragrance ingredients to neutralize the smell of other ingredients.  

Be cautious of preservatives

It’s good to know that the products you buy aren’t likely to have bacteria growing in them, but if the ingredients that prevent the bacteria cause inflammation on your sensitive skin, that isn’t good.

Ingredients like methylparaben and butylparaben are common preservatives in cosmetics and other products -- and they are not good for eczema. If possible, seek out products with more natural preservatives, like neem oil or grapefruit seed extract, which tend to be less irritating.

Note products that contain certain acids

Some products that are marketed as anti-aging creams, gels, masks, or serums contain what you might think of as “sloughing agents.” They cause some of your skin to dry out and peel away. The idea is that once your skin has healed, it will be fresh and new.

But, for people with eczema, who already have dry skin, these products make things worse. Even those that are advertised as ones that will not make your skin dry out and flake away can be bad for eczema prone skin.

Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are both likely to irritate your skin. You may also want to avoid anything containing alpha hydroxy acids and retinols.

Watch for foods that seem to be associated with eczema

Many people with eczema have food allergies. As many as one third of children with eczema also have food allergies, so experts know there is a possible association. The relationship between the two conditions is complex, and not fully understood.

The foods that are most often linked include:

Eggs are the most strongly associated, so if you are experiencing more outbreaks than usual or you can’t figure out what is triggering your rashes, you may want avoid eggs and see if that helps.

Washing—anything—can be problematic

Whether you are washing your hair, laundry, hands, or dishes, avoid soaps and detergents that contain fragrances or dyes. As with products designed for cosmetic use, choose soaps and detergents that are labeled fragrance-free rather than unscented.

Rinsing is especially important to help keep your skin from drying out. You may find running the rinse cycle on your washer twice is helpful.

Choose clothing carefully

Any scratchy material, such as wool, is going to be uncomfortable. Synthetic materials like nylon can also irritate your skin. Most of the time, cotton is going to be your best bet.

If you are struggling to find products that you can use comfortably and safely, you may want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bushmore. He is happy to offer advice or suggestions that can help you avoid uncomfortable eczema flare-ups.


You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Psoriasis a Permanent Condition?

If you have psoriasis, which is a chronic skin condition, you may need to deal with flare-ups for the rest of your life. However, you can treat the symptoms and even prevent them from occurring. Read on to learn more.

5 Signs Your Rash is Actually Psoriasis

Worldwide, 125 million people live with flare-ups of itchy, scaly skin due to psoriasis. Learn more about the symptoms of psoriasis and why a long-term treatment plan is important.

Are Skin Tags Dangerous?

If the sudden appearance of skin tags on your eyelids, face, or groin has you worried, you’re not alone. Find out what causes skin tags and whether or not you need to have them removed.

Using a Chemical Peel to Treat Your Melasma

If the darkened skin patches of melasma affect how comfortable you feel in your skin, a chemical peel may be the solution you need. Learn more about risk factors for melasma and how a chemical peel can rejuvenate your skin.