When I was a little kid, I had such severe eczema behind my knees, that it was difficult to wear tights or pants. The fabric rubbed up against my skin and hurt terribly. But I lived in Massachusetts, so there was no way I was wearing shorts in the middle of winter. What a lot of people don’t understand about eczema is that it’s more than just inconvenient or embarrassing—it can be painful.
The National Eczema Association defines eczema as “an inflammatory skin condition that causes itchiness, dry skin, rashes, scaly patches, blisters and skin infections.” It’s extremely common, and more than 31 million Americans have some form of it. I had very severe eczema as a child, and as I got older it became much more mild—which is also common. I essentially aged out of it, but I still get flare-ups occasionally.
Luckily, I have the skin-care arsenal to help keep flare-ups to a minimum. One over-the-counter product that has, time and time again prevented inflammation and pain from eczema is Codex Beauty Bia Hydrating Skin Superfood ($35).
What’s especially great about this is that it comes in a four-pack—I can easily throw one in my purse and keep one on my nightstand and bathroom counter. Basically, whenever my skin is feeling dry, I have my tube ready for me.
I end up using this almost every day in the fall and winter—I’ll apply throughout the day to “problem” areas, aka areas that get flaky and dry during the colder months, like elbows, arms, and knuckles. The all-over-body formula absorbs really quickly, so while it deeply hydrates skin, it doesn’t leave it oily or greasy (and it doesn’t clog pores). While there’s a scent, it’s super mild. If you do apply to your face, just make sure to avoid your eyes (if you’re having an eyelid eczema flare-up, call your derm!).
“This has turned my skin around in less than a week,” one reviewer says. “I’ve been using this on problem areas [like] elbows and heels, and in a matter of days my skin has become soft and smooth. Can’t recommend this highly enough,” another writes.
It’s no surprise that the moisturizer recognized by both the National Eczema Association and the National Psoriasis Foundation.
What a derm says
We reached out to Dr. Anat Lebow, MD, board-certified dermatologist, to explain the best ways to combat this very common skin condition. “If you have eczema, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize,” advises Dr. Lebow. “Eczema is both a genetic and environmental condition. Prevention is the key to therapy, putting in the effort to apply products that benefit sensitive skin is hugely helpful”, she explains.
So, why is this particular product from Codex worth investing in if you have eczema? Dr. Lebow explains that it’s all about the ingredients “Bias Hydrating Skin Superfood quenches parched skin, and decreases flakiness.” But bottom line: The natural ingredient are the game-changers: bog myrtle (an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce redness), aloe vera (soothes redness, calms irritation), calendula oil infusion (moisturizes and soothes, helps protect skin), and the list goes on.
When I had the chance to speak with Dr. Lebow, I revealed that as a child that I suffered from eczema the most in crevices (behind my knees, on my knuckles, even on my eyelid). Dr. Lebow explained, “Absolutely, this is very common. As children we scratch where we can reach–and that’s often our face.”
But even as an adult, if you’re suffering from flare-ups in areas like your knuckles or eyelids, seek out a medical professional that can speak to your specific needs. Codex’s cream has been a game-changer for me as far as a preventative product. But if you’re having a severe flare-up, you’ll want to contact your physician who can recommend something specific. In my experiences, when I had a flare-up on my eyes (one of the most sensitive areas you can have eczema), I needed a prescription-level ointment.
But I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have an over-the-counter cream on hand, as someone who has suffered from eczema her whole life. I’ll leave you with these few pro tips from Dr. Lebow. “Absolutely avoid fragrances and irritating activities like retinol or lactic acids. Bottom line? Avoid triggers that led to your flares in the past.”
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