Why is My Eczema Getting Worse During Lock-down?

Evaluative Thinking: The Heart of (Meaningful, Useful) Evaluation - The  IllumiLab

It has been a rough 2020 for us, with our Eczema flaring up more often during the lockdown caused by the pandemic Coronavirus. Many of us have flocked onto social media to voice our discomfort, trying to find answers to our problems.

What is the Cause?

The answer to the question everybody wants to know, what is the cause of my flare ups again? We need to take in consideration how much has changed in our daily routine. Before we start considering what may of been the trigger for our lock-down flare ups, we should write a before and after list.

Before and After List

The first thing we should we do is write down what we used to do in our daily routine before the lockdown. This should be detailed, as the more information you have to work with, the more chance of finding a solution. We should consider every aspect of our lives. Here are a few things that we can note down:

  • Our diet
  • Physical exercise/activity
  • What products we use on our body
  • Products used around the house

For our after list, we should note the changes of what we wrote in the before page/column. We should also note down the following:

  • New products introduced because of lockdown
  • Any changes in our usage/dosage of products

Compare the two lists. You should notice that a lot of things have changed, meaning that the cause of your flare ups can be a number of reasons. We must recognise that at this current time, our skin just cannot cope with all these sudden changes over a prolonged time. It was used to a set routine that we need to get back to.

Hand Sanitizers

Since the spike of cases around the world, the demand for cleaning products are at an all time high. Hand sanitizers and soaps were the first two cleaning products to be sold out in shops because of the transmission of diseases through hands. We use our hands all the time and we simply don’t know what we are truly touching.

All Eczema sufferers know that we need to be very careful when trying out new products. We all stocked up on any hand sanitizer we can get our hands on and didn’t take note of what is actually in the bottle.

Harmful Hand Sanitizers
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dial-614x1024.jpg

An example of why we should be checking hand sanitizer ingredients before applying them onto our skin is Dial Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer.

It has a number of alarming ingredients. Diazolidinylurea can function as an antimicrobial preservative that actively kills and inhibits the growth of unwanted microorganisms which may be harmful. It has the safety hazard of causing allergic skin reactions and has potential health concerns for dermatitis and eczema users.

Another harmful ingredient in the product is another antimicrobial preservative called methylparaben. It is is an interesting ingredient as it is now banned in Palau due to the damages it can cause to coral reefs. If it can cause long lasting damages to the aquatic wildlife, the question is, what kind of damage can do to our skin? It has the safety hazards of skin irritation and potential health concerns for dermatitis.

Home Environment

With the deep concern of how easily the virus can spread, it has caused an uproar in excessive cleaning. Eczema is not compatible with cleaning products. Coming in contact with these products will cause irritation. Use gloves and ensure you don’t overdo it.

Although on the other end of the spectrum, we might not be cleaning enough! Since we are staying in one environment, we need to make sure that our surroundings are clean. We need to consider what is being contained in your living quarters. For myself, cleaning the house top to bottom gives me great satisfaction and puts my mind at ease. A healthy mind will lead to healthy skin!

Over Hand Washing
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hands-1024x576.jpg

We have all been recommended to wash our hands more (I hope you have been doing so). In our household we probably wash our hands more than ever before. Eczema users know that we need non fragrant soap with the most natural ingredients possible. Though there is a deeper trigger.

Continually washing our hands constantly can reactivate dormant eczema. Our skin has natural barriers and oils which over washing with soaps strips off. Breaking down the barriers can result in more water loss through the outer layers of the skin. Dryness and cracking with the possible risk of infection are caused through excessive washing.

Humidity

Skin thrives off humidity. If you haven’t got a good flow of air, then you must consider getting a humidifier. Eczema can suffer in dry environments so you must consider if you need a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air, especially if you are not getting enough natural air circulation.

Over Applying Creams

One of the BIGGEST problems we have when at home and fighting flare ups. We can’t do the things we want to do, so we apply more cream. DO NOT go over the recommended dosages for any kind of creams. Keep a consistent skincare routine.

What can we do?

We need to try and get back to the routine before the pandemic as quickly as possible. Recognise the changes and sudden urge to splash products on yourself. Take time to analyse the products you are using by checking their ingredients.

If you need to analyse products, I highly suggest using 1Source.com as they decode and analyse products for you by simply searching their database on their website or scanning the bar code through their app!

6 Eczema Myths

Eczema is a skin condition that has many sufferers in the world. Over 10% of the population in United States have it. Patches of skin can be itchy, inflamed, cracked and rough. There is a lot to be learned on the condition, but what are the myths of Eczema?

1. Eczema can be cured

The solution that every Eczema sufferer is looking for, is Eczema curable? As a longtime sufferer, I have been searching, researching, looking, you name it for this solution. Unfortunately, the answer is… there is no cure for eczema.

BUT it can be managed! Luckily for myself I got to that stage through trial and error. In rare cases you can grow out of it, but every Eczema case is different. One of the best ways to manage Eczema is finding an ointment that is compatible and is able to get rid of the irritants that you have.

Don’t know if the product you are using is good or not? Check our product reviews or use 1Source to decode the ingredients for you!

2. Eczema is contagious

Bizarrely, this myth is one of the most common! As a kid I remember getting ask this a lot. If you touch Eczema, can you catch it? If you live with somebody with Eczema, will you get it eventually?

Despite the exact cause of Eczema is still largely unknown, it is believed to do with genes, allergens, and environmental factors. It is NOT contagious, it is a genetic condition. Although, Eczema can spread infection through severe cases.

3. If you have Eczema, your child will get it

A family member having Eczema can increase the possibility of getting Eczema. There is an 80% chance of a child having Eczema if both of the parents have it. There are many types of Eczemas which do not entirely relate to genes.

I fall into the category of inheriting from my mother. Guess I didn’t beat the odds!

4. Eczema will disappear on its own

I wish. Oh how I wish! Treating Eczema with ointments is an effective way of preventing it from becoming more severe. With no treatment, Eczema can get more inflamed, leading to scratching and bacterial infections.

Eczema cannot clear up on its own. It is only possible if you are using skin oils, creams or medication that is used to help the symptoms.

5. Eczema is a disease for children

As mentioned before, you do not grow out of Eczema. It is a big misconception that it is only a skin condition for children. Babies can get atopic dermatitis, a type of Eczema. As we grow grow older, we can develop other types of Eczema.

If you don’t believe adults can get Eczema, then check out the Eczema Stories! There are many online communities connecting adult Eczema sufferers, sharing their experiences. I highly recommend you go to Reddit to find the Eczema community, as many tell their own story with no judgement.

6. Eczema is nothing

This one is the hardest to deal with. Many people believe that Eczema is not a big deal. I am sure most Eczema sufferers have heard the terms:

  • don’t scratch!
  • why don’t you try…
  • stop doing…

We have heard it all! Eczema not only affects our physical skin, but it also has a HUGE impact on our mental health. The most common symptom is an intense itch which can become uncontrollable. Excessive scratching can lead to bleeding, then to infection.

The problem Eczema sufferers face is that it cannot be cured. There is no quick fix and every case is different.

For more information on Eczema, I highly recommend going to the prime source, the National Eczema Association.

Press: Interview with Headline Daily HK

English translation of Cantonese interview with Headline Daily.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus serves as a catalyst for everyone to start paying more attention to their personal health. 1Source, a “locally born” ingredient analyzer platform was created to allow consumers to understand the chemical ingredients in various products and inform them of potential health risks.  The platform harbours an impressive list of 150,000 product ingredients in both English and Chinese, two primary languages favored in Hong Kong. 

頭條日報 – 訪問產品成分解碼平台《1Source》創辦人游斌。 黃頌偉攝(Pix By : Wong Chung Wai) 2020/08/18 港聞

Russell Yau discovered the need for an ingredient analyzer platform while working at Sunkids, a kindergarten his wife founded. Many of his students suffered from eczema. It was one fateful skincare lecture to the students’ parents that made Russell acknowledge the big gap in the market and inspired him to invest millions to establish a health information platform. In the early days of 1Source’s conception, his team spent a year simply collecting medical information and processing massive amounts of chemical data. He also partnered with various doctors, chemists, information technologists, and other professionals and finally launched a mobile app and website in 2018 and 2019, respectively. 

1Source is both a website and a free mobile app. Users can analyze their products by scanning the barcode on the product packaging or photographing the ingredient label and uploading it on the platform to get a detailed analysis in real time. The platform evaluates the health impacts of each chemical compound in 4 major categories: inhalation, swallowing, skin exposure and environment. The associated Potential Risk IndexⓇ is being calculated with the relevant scientific and medical data and churns out a number from 1 to 10, the higher the score the more dangerous. Products and ingredients rated 4 or below are generally safe while ingredients in products rated 10 are banned by a government entity, or being classified as carcinogens by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC).

The application system also features personalized functions. When looking for products, users can use the product screening engine to filter products according to one’s personal health conditions. The user only needs to enter his personal health status in the “Settings” field, and when searching in the future, the system will remind the user which ingredients may not be suitable for them. 

If users are unable to find the products they are looking for, users are invited to upload their products to the database. The founder hopes that more companies will use its product screening engine in the future so that consumers can be empowered to make smarter and more meaningful purchasing decisions.

Hydrocortisone, A Step Back for Eczema Sufferers


Hydrocortisone is a common facial steroid cream used to treat Eczema, but should you use it? Before you read this article, I highly suggest you read 1Source’s article on steroid creams and how harmful they can be.

What is Hydrocortisone?

Hydrocortisone creams area a type of medicine known as a ‘steroid’. They are used on the skin to treat various conditions like swelling, itching and irritation. It is a common steroid cream for Eczema and are considered to be quite mild. The majority of hydrocortisone creams are mild at 1% strength, but can go up to 2.5% (25mg hydrocortisone in each gram of cream).

Pharmacy’s can only hydrocortisone creams up a maximum strength of 1%. To get a stronger cream, you must contact your doctor and get a prescription.

Hydrocortisone is not recommended for children under 10 years. It can be prescribed by a doctor. All instructions from a doctor should be followed when applying hydrocortisone as it can be damaging. The recommended time period to use the cream is no longer than a week. The cream cannot be used by anyone trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I use hydrocortisone?

The amount of cream that should be used is measured by fingertip units. One fingertip should be enough for an area that is the size of your hand. You should definitely not go over the recommended amount.

Hydrocortisone is better for skin which is moist and weepy, with clear or yellow fluid. As it is a thicker and greasier ointment, it is better for dry or flaky areas of skin.

It is recommended to not use hydrocortisone with other creams at the same time. A good time period is at least 10 minutes between products. In an ideal situation, you should use the different products at different times of the day.

What is in Hydrocortisone creams?

The main ingredient in Hydrocortisone cream is, hydrocortisone! A generally safe ingredient, but it should be noted that it is suspected of damaging fertility and can cause damage to organs through prolonged/repeated exposure. It has many potential health concerns and benefits, which emphasises the importance of following the instructions of the product.

Hydrocortisone creams can have other ingredients. Consumers should always check the ingredients label, as they can contain harmful ingredients.

Walgreens Hydrocortisone Cream 1% Maximum Strength Aloe

Walgreen’s Hydrocortisone Cream 1% Maximum Strength Aloe has two harmful ingredients that come with the steroid cream. It has Benzyl Alcohol and Methylparaben, both which can cause skin irritation. To view all the ingredients in the product, you use 1Source.com to decode the product and analyse the ingredients for you! Click here.

Should I Use Hydrocortisone?

Unless you have severe Eczema, you should avoid steroid creams, especially on the face. There has been links with excessive use of steroid creams can cause thinning of the skin, making it more prone to outbreaks.

I went off hydrocortisone creams and saw great improvements when adopting a simple skincare routine for my face. It should be noted that in the short term, steroid creams can have an effect. In the long term, there is more damage. To read my story, click here.

What is TSW?

Red Skin Syndrome, or Tropical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) are a result of long term users of tropical steroids stopping their usage. TSW can include the following symptoms:

  • Red skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Itchiness

Tropical steroids have been used for over 50 years in treating eczema and atopic dermatitis. To this day, it still remains one of the most effective drugs in dermatology as it works directly with the natural system in the body.

It must be noted that the condition does not occur with normal use. It generally requires the application of a tropical steroid like hydrocortisone at least daily for more than a year.

For more information on TSW visit here.

References

Are Steroid Creams Harmful to Eczema?

How useful are steroid creams? Are they essential for severe skin cases? Do they make a difference or are they detrimental to eczema?

As a long term sufferer of eczema, I know the difficulties of sourcing new and effective products when the condition of my skin is severe. As a citizen of the United Kingdom, I got prescribed creams by the NHS but found very little success with the products they provided. When my skin got severe, the answer to my problem was steroid creams, but they didn’t actually do much for the long term.

Steroid creams can gain quick results, showing improvements in skin conditionining and colouring, but what are the long term effects? For myself, steroid creams was a quick fix, but I was dependent on them. You can read my eczema struggles here.

Anita Wong’s Story

Anita Wong, a full time mother from Auckland, New Zealand, opened up on her struggles with steroid creams which left her with permanent damage to her eyes. After heavy usage for years, she developed cataracts on both of her eyes. Thereafter, she made the decision to ditch it and try and treat her skin without it.

Her decision was not an easy one. She went through a painful process called Tropical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW), which her skin reacted badly to, leaving her with cracked, flaky and painful skin. “The most difficult part was the vicious cycle of depression and insomnia brought on by the physical pain and itchiness. Some days just lying in bed breathing was physically painful” she stated.

In 2018 her skin started to look normal again, after the years of detoxing she put herself through. She went through a painful struggle, but is thoroughly enjoying her new found confidence after not having to worry about flare-ups or creams.

To view her full story with images, please click here. Warning, images show sensitive content.

What is TSW?

Red Skin Syndrome, or Tropical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) are a result of long term users of tropical steroids stopping their usage. TSW can include the following symptoms:

  • Red skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Itchiness

Tropical steroids have been used for over 50 years in treating eczema and atopic dermatitis. To this day, it still remains one of the most effective drugs in dermatology as it works directly with the natural system in the body.

It must be noted that the condition does not occur with normal use. It generally requires the application of a tropical steroid at least daily for more than a year.

Should We Use Steroid Creams?

For atopic dermatitis and severe cases of eczema, steroid creams should be used with regular use of moisturizers to achieve these goals:

  • Maintaining control of the conditioning of the skin
  • Inducing remission
  • Preventing flares

Steroid creams should NOT be used continuously for more than two to four weeks. The frequency should be tapered to twice weekly use. Any side effects from steroid creams you should consult a doctor or dermatologist immediately.

My Experience with Steroid Creams

I have used many different types of steroid creams and have had mixed results from them. The main problem I had was that my skin suffered extreme withdrawal when I stopped my usage, as I used steroid creams on a daily basis. My usage was excessive and I used more than the recommended dosage.

My skin itself came out red raw and it took a while for skin to revert back to normal. A consistent routine without steroid creams worked for me. I researched everything in regards to my diet, the ingredients in my products and my fitness to try and improve the conditioning of my skin. Lets take a look at two steroid creams that are prescribed by the NHS.

Betnovate Cream
Hydrocortisone Ointment

Using the 1Source system, we can identify the ingredient that makes the steroid cream potentially harmful. In the Betnovate Cream, it has a Potential Index Rating of 10 because of one particular ingredient, called Chlorocresol.

Chlorocresol is a fungicide/herbicide that kills or inhibits unwanted vegetation. It has a number of a safety and hazards that are concerning for eczema users.

  • Harmful if swalled (H302)
  • Harmful in contact with skin (H312)
  • May cause an allergic reaction (H317)
  • Causes serious eye damage (H318)
  • May cause repiratory irritation (H355)
  • Causes damages to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (H373)

1Source View

It is worth noting the safety and hazard H318, serious eye damage, as it was the case for Anita Wong. We advise before applying anything, make sure you know what is in the product. The more knowledgeable you are, the better decisions you can make.

Aveeno vs CeraVe vs Cetaphil

There are three giants in the eczema industry that dominate the moisturizing lotion industry; Aveeno, Cerave and Cetaphil. All are highly regarded in the eczema communities and each has shown considerable results of recovery/containment of users’ sensitive skin. Though which one stands out? Which one has the edge over the others?

All basic skin care routines need a reliable moisturizer to enhance skin condition. How do we choose the right product for us? Most of the time, it comes from word of mouth or recommendations from previous users of the product. Do consumers actually know what is in these products? What are the ingredients to have and avoid?

There are many questions to ask of. Those in need of moisturizing lotions, like me, tend to research online looking for recommendations, but we do not actually pay attention to the ingredients and research behind a product. In most cases I have read online, they have had a negative reaction to a particular ingredient that they weren’t aware of. How can we become more knowledgeable in choosing the right product?

Comparison

Let us have a look at how Aveeno, Cerave and Cetaphil stack against each other in terms of ingredient safety. I have chosen products that are similar in description, usage and their targeted audience. I have personally used these products before with mixed results.

AveenoCeraVeCetaphil


Chlorhexidine
Digluconate

Phenoxyethanol

Benzyl Alchol

They all have a similar Potential Risk Index scores and similar ingredients. However from the findings, each product has a different ingredient that is defined as ‘used sparingly’which has been highlighted in the table. For those with sensitive skin, this could be crucial in deciding what product is best for them. 1Source records recent findings and outlines the potential health concerns of the ingredient. It can be noted if that the product doesn’t work for a user, it may be related to the potential harmful ingredient that has been highlighted.

IngredientSafety & HazardsPotential Health Concerns
Chlorhexidine Digluconate (Aveeno)1113
Phenoxyethanol (CeraVe)4 1
Benzy Alcohol (Cetaphil)55

From our research we can see that Phenoxyethanol has the least amount of concerns when it comes to possible hazards and health concerns. The other two ingredients have considerable amount of concerns that need to be regarded. For example, Chlorhexidine Digluconate may cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled (H334). Benzy Alcohol can be harmful in contact with skin (H312).

Personal Reaction

I have used each of these products at some point in my life and had different results with each of them. To summarize, Cetaphil made my skin worse while Aveeno and Cerave did well in the beginning.

Others may not get the same reaction and result as I did; it is all trial and error. To fully understand the effects of the product, one should simply just test the product out for a certain period of time and record the results. Consulting a dermatologist is highly advisable to get a better insight. I wrote an article regarding other products I used throughout my life that I highly recommend visiting.

Are these the best products on the market? Everyone has a different success story with eczema. There is no specific cure and there is no product on the market that can guarantee exceptional results for all. You can use 1Source to view similar products but with safer ingredients. Simply type in your desired product and skin condition into our search engine. Here is an alternative product with a better Potential Risk Index rating.

We highly recommend trying out our platform to get a better understanding of the ingredients in a product. The more knowledgeable you become the better choices you make.

Conquering Eczema

My Battle with Eczema

Throughout my life I have suffered from quite severe eczema that has affected my body self-confidence. Eczema is a condition that makes your skin itchy and red, with a dry and rough consistency. The severity of my eczema has varied over the course of my life, ranging from mild to severe. I will go through my battle with eczema and how I managed to contain it. All the information regarding products is based on memory alone. Some creams may have been reformulated and may not have the same effects that I mention in this article.

Childhood Years

I was born in Singapore and moved to Scotland just before the age of three. I came into this world with some skin complications, with the main one being eczema. I was diagnosed with an allergy to G6PD, a common symptom when having eczema. My two brothers also suffer from eczema, with each of us having unique cases. I have a fuzzy memory and I can’t remember much about the condition of my skin as a child. I can recall it being quite mild based on the photos that I have seen of myself at that age.

Primary school was when my skin deteriorated. Not much changed in my daily routine, although I did get a dog at this point! His name was Jambo and was dear to my heart. Looking back, his molting hairs were probably a trigger for my eczema. At the time I was scratching excessively and wasn’t in control. I’d scratch without thinking about it as it was a form of relief and comforting for me. I remember how rough and dry my skin was, to the point I looked like a burn victim. It wasn’t a pleasant sight and it was very concerning for my parents. I’d go to school in bandages to maintain the cream that was put on but the temptation to scratch was too much to bear.

My skin wasn’t the best during my childhood. It was mainly on my joints and I’d say it was on between 20% of my body. My legs were my worst location along with my neck and face. For the creams I used, it came from the NHS at the time. I used a mixture of creams, bath oils and steroid creams to try and control my eczema.

Product1Source

E45 Moisturising Lotion

E45 Dermatological Moisturising Lotion

potential risk index 7
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Paraffinum Liquidum
Phenoxyethanol

Oilatum Bath Oil

Oilatum Emollient Bath Additive 500ml | Medical Dressings
 
potential risk index 6
Paraffinum

Aqueous Cream

Amazon.com : AQUEOUS CREAM 500 G : Beauty

potential risk index 6
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Hydrocortisone Ointment

Hydrocortisone Ointment 1%

potential risk index 6
White Soft Paraffin

Johnson’s Body Wash

Johnson'S Baby Regular Bath 強生嬰兒特溫和沐浴露

potential risk index 6
CI 42090
Sodium Laureth Sulfate Parfum

PH 5.5 Body Wash

Johnson'S PH 5.5 2 In 1 Body Wash With Moisturizers

potential risk index 10
Methylisothiazolinone
Ethylparaben
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Phenoxyethaol

Teenage Years

As a teenager I was more active and my skin got better as I aged. My joints were still a victim, especially my legs. I loved scratching my legs as a form of relief and it still continued into my teenage years. My skin was more controllable at this age as I was more educated about how to maintain it. I still used a variety of creams because it was always my goal to try and get rid of it.

The creams I used during my teenage years were prescribed by the NHS (National Health Service in the UK). I did not source my own creams however my mum would give alternatives to try out, but my core treatment were my prescribed selections. At the time, the cream settled my skin and was able to maintain my eczema to a more controllable state. I can’t remember what soap I used, but it was usually an unscented brand of soap. I remember experimenting with coconut oil as it had healthy nutrients that were proven to be great for skin. I did see some improvements, but all it really left me was a dirty bath tub and me smelling like coconut! 

Product1Source

Diprobase

Diprobase® ECZEMA CREAM

potential risk index 10
Chlorocesol
Paraffin
Paraffinum Liquidum

Oilatum Bath Oil

Oilatum Emollient Bath Additive 500ml | Medical Dressings

potential risk index 6
Paraffinum

Aveeno Moisture Daily Lotion

Aveeno Essential Moisture Daily Lotion | 艾惟娜水润保湿乳

potential risk index 4
Chlorxedine Digluconate

Neutrogena Norwegian Body Lotion

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Body Lotion Sensitive

potential risk index 5
Phenoxyethanol
Mineral Oil
 

Hydrocortisone Ointment

Hydrocortisone Ointment 1%

potential risk index 6
White Soft Paraffin
Betnovate Cream

Betnovate Cream

potential risk index 10
Chlorocresol
Liquid Paraffin
White Soft Paraffin

Coconut Oil

potential risk index 2

Adulthood

Throughout my adulthood my skin has been at its best and worst. Currently I can gladly say it is at is best; however this wasn’t always the case.

During university I had many complications with my knee. I had a total of five surgeries in the time period of 4 years which is quite excessive. I had to take a lot of antibiotics and painkillers when I was undergoing my physio therapy. My social life was different, as I indulged myself in what adults can do, like drinking alcohol. I was working in kitchens at the time, exposing myself to many different kinds of cleaning products that contain chemicals that were potentially harmful to my sensitive skin.

My skin condition varied. When I was working in kitchens during my time at university, my face was my main area of concern as it was my most exposed area. I was too reliant on steroid cream to try and get a ‘quick fix’ to the conditioning of my skin. I wanted to go out, so I wanted to have clearer looking skin every time. This was a bad practice; it made my skin on my face very fragile and thin. My joints on my legs especially were still the same as, like I mentioned before, was my comforting location to scratch. When I lost weight, my skin got better as I was healthier than before.

Hong Kong

I moved to Hong Kong in 2016 and the humidity did wonders to my skin. Although I did have a complication as my eczema took another turn for the worst in 2018. It became very raw and to the point that it started oozing out what can be described as skin discharge. I never saw a dermatologist or went to a doctor as I was confident with my knowledge of my body and past experiences with products that I could solve the situation myself. Cost was another big factor; there wasn’t a guarantee that a specialist can cure me.

My eczema was towards the severe scale. It covered 30-40% of my body and parts of my skin were oozing out discharge, mainly in my legs. My whole torso excluding my chest was covered to what can be described as a rash. I didn’t get any allergy test as I thought it was only a temporary thing. My lifestyle didn’t really change and it came at a shock. I was living in a new place and it had some mold problems. My skin started deteriorating when the temperatures and humidity were rising, around spring time. My skin was at its worst during summer and I had to take serious measures when it became unbearable to look at and affected my joint movements.

During this stage of my life I took great care in my daily routine. I became aware of what I was eating, the products I was using, how active and fit I was and the cleanliness of my surroundings. This is what I changed in my lifestyle that helped me get to my skin to the best condition it has been;

  • When showering, a full scrub down with sensitive soap that worked for myself
  • Cool down then apply my moisturizing cream
  • Increased my activity to at least 5 workouts per week
  • Limited the amount of junk food I had, increased my fruit and vegetable intake
  • Santized and cleaned my living area multiple times a week (bed lining every 3 days and towels everyday)

It wasn’t an overnight fix. It took months of a fixed routine but it was important to have that consistency. It worked for me and now my eczema is at a level that doesn’t require as much treatment. My cream consumption has gone down considerably and my new fixed routine has allowed my body and skin the chance to flourish.

Product1Source

Childs Farm Sensitive Skin Moisturiser

Childs Farm Baby Moisturiser, 250 ml, Shea and Cocoa Butter ...

potential risk index 6
Alpha-Isomethyl Lonone
Benzyl Alcohol
Parfum

Zerobase Emollient Cream

Zerobase Emollient Cream

potential risk index 10
Chlorocresol
Liquid Paraffin
White Soft Paraffin
 

Aveeno Moisture Daily Lotion

Aveeno Essential Moisture Daily Lotion | 艾惟娜水润保湿乳

potential risk index 4
Chlorhexidine Digluconate

Cetaphil Moisturizer Lotion

CETAPHIL MOISTURIZER LOTION | 丝塔芙保湿润肤露

potential risk index 5
Benzyl Alcohol

DML Moisturising Lotion

DML Moisturizing Lotion 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2) - Buy Online in Aruba ...

potential risk index 6
Benzyl Alcohol

Hydrocortisone Ointment

Hydrocortisone Ointment 1%

potential risk index 6
White Soft Paraffin

Betnovate Ointment

Betnovate Ointment

potential risk index 6
Liquid Paraffin
White Soft Paraffin

Dettol Body Wash

Dettol Original Antibacterial Ph-Balanced Body Wash 滴露 經典松木沐浴露

potential risk index 10
Methylchlorisothiazoinone
Chloroxylenol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Parfum

Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Amazon.com : Dove Body Wash for Softer and Smoother Skin Sensitive ...

potential risk index 10Methylisothiazolinone (10)
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Fragrance

What Products I Use Now

These are the products I use every day to maintain my conditioning of my skin. It works for me but it may not work for all. I’d say the products I use along with my daily routine have allowed my eczema to in a more controlled state.

Product1Source
DML Moisturising Lotion

DML Moisturizing Lotion 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2) - Buy Online in Aruba ...
potential risk index 6
Benzyl Alcohol
Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Amazon.com : Dove Body Wash for Softer and Smoother Skin Sensitive ...
potential risk index 10
Methylisothiazolinone (10)
Phenoxyethanol
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Fragrance
Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo

Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo C1 Hair Energizer | 欧倍青咖啡因洗发露C1
potential risk index 6
Methylparaben
Propylparaben
Phenoxyenthanol
Sodium Laureth 

Reflection

The information that has been provided by 1Source has highlighted that the products I have used in my lifetime have a high potential risk index. After reviewing my results, I can pinpoint what products and ingredients may have contributed to the severity of my eczema. By exposing these ingredients, I can research more into how it may be affecting my skin and look for alternative products that are considered to be safer in terms of ingredient safety.

The products that I use now currently work for me and I have seen great results. However 1Source is a platform that has allowed me to further my knowledge of ingredients in products and how potentially harmful they may be. I highly recommend anyone with skin problems like myself to check the products you have been using and to see if there are ingredients that may be considered harmful.

Living with Eczema

Eczema….. Don’t you just hate it?

It is heart wrenching to see people suffering with it, and it is especially difficult to watch if it is your own children.  

So how do we help them?


Eczema refers to a group of medical conditions which affect the skin and cause sore, itchy, scaly dry patches to form.  There is no one cause for eczema and it can be triggered by anything from the metal in a zipper to changes in weather. It’s common in babies and toddlers, and those with compromised immune systems. There isn’t necessarily a cure but many find ways to keep it under control and many outgrow it.

Certain ingredients have been linked to flare-ups and avoiding them may help minimize the chance of outbreaks.  

Here are a few common ingredients that are skin irritants:

  1. Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) – an antimicrobial Preservative
  2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – used as an emulsifier, gelling agent, and surfactant. This is what makes a lot of soaps bubbly
  3. Fragrance – Not a single ingredient but a group comprised of almost 5000 different ingredients
  4. Triclosan – A antimicrobial preservative and disinfectant
  5. Nickel – Metal found in jewelry, snaps, buttons, zippers and so on.
  6. Methylparaben – A antimicrobial preservative

The hard part in helping children beat eczema is rooting out the cause.  Pay close attention to everything your child comes into contact with, eats and drinks. Look at all the ingredients and see if any are linked to common allergies or skin conditions. A quick way to do this is by using the 1source app which allows you to enter a health condition and then scan products to reveal which ingredients are good and which are not and which will affect their health condition.  If you don’t have the app you can download it here for Android or Iphone.  

Other things to consider when trying to identify the cause is that you’ll need to think a bit outside the box. What things are they contacting indirectly? Things such as the cleaning agents which were used to wipe the floor, the type of dryer sheet used in the dryer, or the air freshener used inside the home.

When a child is suffering from eczema you may feel helpless and figuring out the cause may feel overwhelming. But this process of going through everything and really understanding the amount of chemicals and objects we come in contact with is really an eye opening experience. It is also a great chance to form healthier and more eco-friendly habits.  

I suggest whether or not eczema is a concern in your home that you take a moment and list all the things you come in contact with daily, and see if there are ways to reduce the amount of chemicals and compounds you come in contact with daily. I think you’ll be surprised. I know I was.