Eczema can occur in children or adults. Whether you outgrow the condition depends on several factors.
If you developed eczema, or atopic dermatitis, as a child, then you have around a 66% chance of outgrowing the condition. Diligent self-care can either help a remission along or make eczema tolerable if you're one of the other 34%.
What Does It Mean to Outgrow Eczema?
Outgrowing eczema isn't the same as being cured. Eczema is a genetic condition that makes skin less able to maintain a healthy barrier. As scientists don't yet understand which genes are responsible for this skin 'malfunction', there isn't yet a cure.
Most people who suffer from atopic dermatitis develop signs and symptoms during childhood. As mentioned, studies show that two-thirds of children with eczema outgrow the condition.
This means that in adolescence or adulthood, atopic dermatitis will greatly lessen in severity and sometimes even become dormant. Even when the condition isn't active, if you had eczema as a child, your skin will always be vulnerable to dryness and irritation.
How Can You Ensure Eczema Stays Dormant?
If you had eczema in the past, you're probably extremely relieved if you seem to have outgrown the condition. You can take several precautions to ensure it doesn't become active again:
1. Use a moisturiser rich in occlusives and emollients on a regular basis. Occlusive ingredients form a seal that locks hydration in, which is especially beneficial to dry skin. Examples of occlusive ingredients include mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), beeswax (cera alba), dimethicone, and cocoa butter (theobroma cacao). Emollients then improve the condition of skin by delivering healing fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Recommended skincare products rich in occlusives and emollients:
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Body Cream
- Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
2. Avoid leaving skin damp. Many people believe that leaving skin moist after cleansing helps hydrate it. The opposite is actually true. The top layers of skin are oil-based, and any water that remains on the surface for too long begins to break down this protective barrier. To avoid irritating eczema-prone skin, never let skin air dry, and always try to minimise the time that skin is left damp.
3. Avoid highly fragranced beauty products. Skincare, hair care, and cosmetics that have a strong and recognisable scent are likely to contain a good dose of irritating and even allergenic ingredients.
Recommended skincare ranges for sensitive skin types: