Do you suffer from eczema? If so, you're probably wondering if there's a cure—or at least something that looks like one.
Many types of eczema exist. The ability to cure your own condition depends on which type of eczema you have. But before we discuss eczema itself, we should quickly talk about expectations for the word 'cure'.
A cure implies permanent freedom from future outbreaks. It also implies that you can rely on the treatment alone to become eczema-free.
No treatment will rid you from eczema forever without your willingness to make lifestyle changes and practise diligent skincare. This means that technically, there's no cure for eczema. But don't panic! You can manage eczema in a way that brings relief and, in some cases, gives the appearance of a cure.
The two most common types of eczema are:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is caused by genetics, meaning you inherited a vulnerability to developing the condition. That vulnerability causes your skin barrier to be more fragile than the average person's, which is why patches of eczema develop.
Contact dermatitis is triggered by exposure to an allergen or irritant. That means your skin is reacting to something it perceives as being an intruder.
How Do You Know Which Type of Eczema You Have?
If you suffer from atopic dermatitis, then you probably had the condition as an infant. It may seem that your skin has always been reactive. On the other hand, if you suffer from contact dermatitis, then this condition likely developed as you got older.
This is the general rule, but there are always exceptions. It's not unheard of for a baby to have contact dermatitis or an adult to experience atopic dermatitis. Bear this in mind when treating your eczema.
Can You Cure Eczema?
If you have contact dermatitis, you can change your lifestyle to achieve the appearance of a cure. What that means is that you can prevent flare-ups as long as you avoid the known allergens or irritants.
Common culprits include skincare ingredients, laundry products, the dyes in your clothing, and environmental factors such as plants, pollen, and pollution. Contact dermatitis usually occurs within a few hours of skin exposure to the trigger.
If you use a household chemical or beauty product and experience an eczema flare-up soon after, then that product likely contains something your skin is sensitive to. Read the lists of ingredients on any new products and cross-check them against the products that your skin is okay with.
Even if nothing stands out, it's best to switch that triggering product for an alternative that is:
- Free of fragrances and essential oils, which are common allergens.
- Free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate, a detergent that's also a potential irritant.