One of the chief characteristics of eczema is dry skin, which leads to itchiness. In turn, inflamed rashes form on the skin that end up itching more. To stop this itch-scratch cycle, it is imperative for eczema sufferers to have a good dry skin care regimen in place. But with so many dizzying options for moisturizers, how do you know which one to choose?
In the recent years, there has been more compelling research stating that eczema is related to the faulty skin barrier. Unlike normal skin, people with eczema have the skin that doesn’t hold moisture very well. There is also a defect in the skin barrier that allows irritants, germs, and bacteria to enter the skin more easily, causing aggravation. This defect is related to the deficiency of ceramide, which is a type of lipids present on the uppermost layer of the epidermis, stratum corneum. People with eczema have shown to severely lack ceramides on their skin.
To combat this disadvantage, eczema sufferers need more specialized moisturizers than what is normally being sold at a drugstore. Fortunately, a new class of moisturizers that address the specific problem of ceramide deficiency has been developed. Some can be found over-the-counter while others can be obtained with a prescription.
One of the most affordable options that contains ceramides is CeraVe, which can be found in any drugstore. It is less than $15 for a 16 oz. jar for the cream and has a great moisturizing capability without being too greasy. There are also other moisturizers such as EpiCeram, which is available only by prescription. EpiCeram mimics the “ideal” ratio of lipids naturally found on the normal, healthy skin.
Since managing dry skin is one of the most important defenses against eczema, it is beneficial to look for products that are tailored to addressing eczema-related dry skin. Looking for lotions and creams containing ceramides is the right place to start.