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Eczema on the face often appears as dry, itchy, red, and flaky skin. It can also be very annoying and painful because the skin on your face is much more delicate than other areas of the body. All of that itching and scratching can even lead to blisters, sores, and scars.
The good news if you’re dealing with eczema on your face is that you don’t have to walk this path alone. Below, we break down what you need to know about this skin condition, including the common symptoms, different types, causes, triggers, and effective treatments.
Table Of Contents
- Different Types Of Eczema On The Face
- Causes Of Facial Eczema
- 5 Effective Ways To Treat Eczema On Your Face
- When To Contact The Doctor
The National Eczema Association’s statistics show that over 31 million Americans suffer from eczema. That’s at least 10% of the population. While it might be pretty common, eczema affects every individual differently.
Minor flare-ups that cause mild skin itchiness are possible for some, while others experience extreme itching, dryness, or bleeding.
However, all forms of eczema share similar symptoms, which include:
- Dryness and flaking
- Burning sensation
- Rough or bumpy skin
- Small blisters that may bleed
Different Types Of Eczema On The Face
The term "eczema" refers to various skin conditions that result in rashes on the skin that are red, inflamed, and itchy. The eczema varieties that are most likely to affect the face include:
Contact dermatitis typically develops in places that come into contact with perfumes and jewelry, such as the neck and earlobes, as well as around the eyes and hairline. It can be described as a response to a particular stimulus.
It’s important to note that, while we’re focusing on the face, this type of eczema can appear anywhere on the body.
The itching, redness, and dryness might be brought on by the cosmetics you use, such as lotions, exfoliants, face washes, sunscreen, and other personal care items.
All ages, including infants, are susceptible to contact dermatitis. If your baby reacts badly to lotion or baby wipes, they may have this kind of eczema. In addition, due to excessive moisture from drooling, some babies can develop irritating contact dermatitis around their mouths.
The most prevalent kind of eczema, atopic dermatitis, affects people of all ages, too. In fact, children as young as six months old are susceptible.
Even though symptoms occasionally get better after a few weeks or months, they frequently come back over the course of a person's lifetime.
Dry spots and itching around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead are signs of atopic dermatitis. And the back of the knees and the inside of the elbows are two more body parts that frequently see this type of inflammation.
Seborrheic dermatitis is another common type of eczema on the face. While the condition often appears on the ears, eyebrows, and hairline, you can also have symptoms on the scalp and chest.
As with the previous types, both babies and adults can develop seborrheic dermatitis. However, babies only commonly experience the infant version — cradle cap — until they are about six months old.
Causes Of Facial Eczema
There are different reasons why you may develop eczema on your face. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common:
- Family history — If someone in your family has the condition, you may also be susceptible to it.
- Age — Eczema is more frequently seen in infants or young children, especially on the face. Many kids gradually outgrow the condition. It can, however, persist into adulthood and impact people of all ages.
- Asthma or other allergies — Your risk of developing eczema increases if you have asthma or allergies.
- Your location — People who live in the Northern Hemisphere, in cities or polluted areas, are more likely to develop eczema.
- Autoimmune disorders — Eczema may occur more in people who have autoimmune conditions.
As mentioned earlier, eczema symptoms have periods when they flare up and times when they subside. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of the following triggers that could be causing your flare-ups:
- Food allergens — After consuming specific foods, you may get an eczema rash. Seafood, eggs, nuts, and milk are common trigger foods.
- Temperature — For many people, eczema can be triggered by weather extremes, such as hot temperatures or frigid winter air.
- Environmental allergens and irritants — These include substances in cosmetics and cleaning products, coming into contact with metal, tobacco smoke, mold, dust, pollen, and pet dander.
- Hormone swings — Elevated or low levels of estrogen or progesterone, in particular, may be a factor in eczema flare-ups.
- Stress — Why stress might cause eczema is still a mystery. However, minimizing stress may assist in lessening flare-ups and alleviating autoimmune responses.
5 Effective Ways To Treat Eczema On Your Face
1) Consider Phototherapy
Light treatment might be an excellent option for you if your eczema is moderate to severe and topical treatments haven't helped.
Phototherapy involves the use of ultraviolet (UV) light. But it’s not like using a tanning bed or going outside in direct sunlight. Your healthcare professional uses a limited number of wavelengths for brief periods to treat your skin.
After a few sessions, this therapy may alleviate common eczema symptoms, such as:
Note: Not everyone is a good candidate for this treatment option, so speak to your doctor to see if this could be a good fit for you.
2) Use A Gentle Cleanser
Soaps can be abrasive and dry out your skin, which aggravates eczema. Instead, use a gentle, non-soap cleanser. A medical emollient or a mild cleanser can get the job done right without irritating your sensitive skin and making matters worse.
Additionally, some eczema can worsen in hot showers. Always use lukewarm water to wash your face to lessen the chance of heat-related flare-ups and pat dry with a soft towel.
Choosing a moisturizer that specifically targets eczema symptoms can help. Your moisturizer should promote healthy skin barrier function and reduce irritation and inflammation.
Thick creams and ointments work better than thinner lotions to prevent skin from drying out. After washing your face, apply your moisturizer gently over the affected areas.
4) Mind The Sun
Sunscreen is always important, but if you suffer from eczema, you’ll need to be even more careful in the sun. There are many different types of sunscreen, so choosing the right one is essential.
For example, products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are typically easier for sensitive skin to tolerate. Be sure to look closely at the ingredients list of your sunblock.
After exposing your skin to the sun, we recommend gently cleansing your face and applying your moisturizer to keep symptoms at bay.
5) Choose The Right Cosmetics
Having eczema on your face doesn't mean you can never wear makeup; it just means you have to find the right ingredients. Look for products with moisturizing components, like hyaluronic acid and shea butter.
Try to avoid harsh ingredients that might worsen your eczema irritation.
When To Contact The Doctor
A dermatologist, general practitioner, or allergist are great resources for identifying the underlying cause of your eczema.
They can also evaluate whether you actually have eczema or a condition that closely resembles it and requires different treatment options.
Treatment plans may include both over-the-counter ointments and medications, and a health professional can help you pinpoint the root cause of eczema flare-ups and create a strategy to reduce or eliminate your triggers.
Reach out to your doctor again if you notice that:
- Your itching isn’t subsiding
- Your skin is bleeding
- You have sore and puffy affected areas
- You have large and inflamed patches of skin
- Yellow crusts have developed on the skin’s surface
Be Patient With Your Skin
Facial eczema can be a chronic disorder that flares up frequently. While you may outgrow your eczema over time, it may also be a lifelong balancing act.
Here at Bodewell, we've dedicated our lives to creating effective skincare solutions because you deserve better skin days. Our Eczema Daily Calming Cream has the perfect combination of our proprietary BW22 botanical blend and colloidal oatmeal to help relieve itching and irritation.
Having eczema on your face isn't the end of clear skin for you. By using the tips we outlined above and finding a doctor to guide you through topical and internal medications as necessary, we are confident you can find something that works for you.
Even if your eczema doesn't go away entirely, the proper treatment can lessen symptoms and decrease how often flare-ups happen. With the right tools, you can have clearer-looking skin again in no time!