Exfoliating can be so beneficial to your skin, even if you have a condition like eczema that causes dry, flaky patches of skin. Eczema can be tricky to deal with, because it’s often cyclical. First, itchy skin shows up. If you scratch it, you can end up damaging your skin even more, which results in the release of more inflammatory chemicals, and the red, itchy skin gets worse. To help alleviate eczema, exfoliation can be key, and here’s why.
1. Exfoliating Removes Dry, Flaky Dead Skin
The dry, red skin characteristic of eczema is itchy because it’s actually dead skin that’s peeling off (The International Dermal Institute). But when you vigorously scratch it, you can damage the new layer underneath and begin the cycle all over again. Instead, exfoliating can help to gently remove that layer of flaky skin without causing further damage. Keep in mind, though, that exfoliating too often can irritate your skin, so if you’re new to exfoliation, introduce it to your skincare routine gradually.
2. Makes Your Skin Care Products More Effective
Not only does exfoliating eczema help to remove all that built-up dry, itchy skin, but it can also prime your skin for other useful products like moisturizer and even your cleanser. If you have eczema, you probably know just how important keeping your skin hydrated can be. But if you’re applying your products to that outer layer of flaky dead skin, much of your moisturizer isn’t able to reach the fresh layer underneath. By exfoliating first, you can ensure that your skin is able to reap all of the great benefits of your skincare products.
3. Leaves You With Smoother, Healthy-Looking Skin
Anyone with eczema knows that the appearance of dry, red skin can be frustrating to deal with. Thankfully, exfoliating your skin really can help to not only soothe and alleviate the symptoms of the condition, but can also leave you with smoother, healthy-looking skin that you can feel confident about.
Tips for Exfoliating Eczema
- Don’t exfoliate every day. Although exfoliating can be an important step for those with eczema, keep in mind that it is possible to overdo it. Over-exfoliating can lead to irritation, so avoid exfoliating every day (American Academy of Dermatology). Most people find that once a week or even every couple days works best to manage their symptoms while also being gentle on sensitive skin.
- Use gentle products. When you do exfoliate, make sure you’re not using very abrasive products (Livestrong). Pair a gentle cleanser or moisturizer with our mild ViaBuff Body Exfoliator for an effective, yet non-abrasive exfoliation. Our buffs have been designed to last up to three months and let you use less of your favorite products, thanks to their innovative open-cell structure.
- Apply pressure, but don’t scrub. When exfoliating, you want to apply some pressure, but avoid scrubbing your skin. The idea is to gently sweep away the dry outer layer of skin while not damaging the new layer underneath. Scrubbing too harshly can end up kickstarting that cycle of newly inflamed skin cells, and won’t do any good to treat the underlying problem.
The Bottom Line
Many people don’t realize just how common eczema is, and an even greater number of people may not be treating it in the most effective way possible. Although vigorous scratching and scrubbing can make the condition worse, the perfect exfoliation routine can work wonders for your eczema. And as an added bonus, exfoliating all of your skin, not just your eczema, can help you get that smooth, glowing look all over!