October 28, 2020
Chronic skin conditions can be confusing, difficult to treat, and leave you feeling *oh so* frustrated. We can relate. Something as simple as a change in weather can cause your seborrheic dermatitis to flare up just when you thought you had it under control – and an unexpected laugh attack can suddenly trigger the rosacea you haven’t seen in a few weeks. But, we’re here to remind you that 1) you’re not alone and 2) there *are* natural products that can support you in combatting these flare-ups.
Today we’re breaking down the most common skin conditions we see in the treatment room and the best tools to have in your skincare toolbox.
Skin Condition: Milia
Commonly mistaken for tiny whiteheads, milia are small, skin-colored (or slightly white) bumps underneath the surface of the skin. Usually found under the eyes or on the cheeks, these bumps are formed when keratin and dead skin cells are trapped underneath the skin. While not typically itchy or painful, they may sometimes cause discomfort and may become irritated + red with rough sheets or clothing.
How to Treat // Reach for an AHA like lactic acid or BHA like salicylic acid to penetrate and gently exfoliate deep into the skin, removing and preventing build up. Exfoliating too much can actually further aggravate your milia, so start with once a week and increase from there.
Skin Condition: Eczema
Eczema (aka ‘atopic dermatitis’) is an inflammatory condition causing dry, flakey and itchy skin. It usually appears as red or yellow patches and can be triggered by irritants (like laundry detergents), bacteria, stress, hormones, and even environmental factors. If you live with eczema, you’ve probably already tried a variety of products which can often times leave your skin feeling drier and even more irritated. Don’t give up yet, beauty!
How to Treat // Look for healing agents to replenish + protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier and calming ingredients to provide that much-needed relief. Ingredients like zinc and calendula help soothe inflammation, reduce redness and hydrate any dry patches. When it comes to preventing eczema, it’s important to be consistent with the topical application of products that work for you. Apply daily and always after a warm shower (when more moisture can be lost from the skin)!
Skin Condition: Seborrheic Dermatitis
A chronic form of eczema, seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory response of the skin. Characterizing as scaly + greasy patches, SD is caused by excessive yeast growth due to overproduction from our sebaceous (aka oil) glands. Though most commonly seen on the scalp, it can also spread to other oily areas of the body, such as the upper chest, face and back. The most common SD flare-ups occur when the weather turns cold + dry, but the good news is that the right treatment can keep flare-ups at bay and provide relief.
How to Treat // Soften scaly skin with anti-inflammatory rosemary and antibacterial ingredients goldenseal + arnica, all to promote healthy turn over and balance oil production.
Skin Condition: Keratosis Pilaris
Sometimes called “chicken skin,” KP usually looks like small, red bumps on the back of the arms or legs. Why does this occur? This condition develops when the skin produces too much keratin, which can block hair follicles and cause bumps to form. While this condition usually disappears on its own, it can still be just as frustrating to deal with.
How to Treat // For smooth skin, exfoliate the affected areas with glycolic acid and nourish excess dryness with hydrating shea butter + hyaluronic acid. When it comes to exfoliating, aim for 1-2 times a week!
Skin Condition: Rosacea
Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that manifests as flushed, red or ruddy colored skin on the face (typically on the cheeks, nose, or chin). Aside from the redness, visible blood vessels, dry + sensitive skin, and small, red, pus-filled bumps are also common. And, according to the National Rosacea Society, approximately 16 million Americans are affected. Flare-ups can occur from stress, sun exposure, emotions, exercise, temperature extremes, alcohol, spicy foods and even certain cosmetics products. Plus, it can sometimes be hereditary!
How to Treat // Natural ingredients that provide hydrating + anti-inflammatory properties is my go-to to calm the manifestations of rosacea. Look for vitamin-rich + inflammation-busting botanicals like blue tansy, frankincense, aloe vera,chamomile and turmeric. Similarly to eczema, daily topical application of these gentle ingredients is key to heal and prevent!
Have more chronic skin Q’s? Book a facial with me – I can’t wait to treat your skin!