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Eczema is a skin condition where the skin is red, dry and itchy. The cause of most eczema is unknown but it can often be caused by contact with allergens which irritate the skin and cause it to become inflamed. This is contact dermatitis and is often caused by detergents such as washing up liquid or liquid wash products or the metal nickel in watch straps or jewellery.
Eczema has become so common in the last 30 years that senior dermatologists have referred to it as an epidemic. One in five children are affected by eczema and one in eight adults.
The cause of most eczema is unknown but recent research has linked many cases to preservatives such as MI (short for methylisothiazolinone) which is found in cosmetics and bodycare products – and also paint – to stop the growth of bacteria and yeasts.
People prone to bouts of eczema also find that it can be triggered by extremes of weather ( cold or hot), tight clothing which rubs and may cause sweating which irritates sensitive skin, by wool clothes and by stress. Conversely, many eczema sufferers find their symptoms improve when they go on holiday to sunny warm climates, although there is debate as to how much relaxing on holiday contributes to this effect.
Hygiene is obviously a problem as exposure to water can be very drying and bathing needs to be handled with care. Marble Hill’s Neem Oil is a blend of the mildest plant soap with glycerine. Every bar contains water from our own spring and 10% natural premium plant oils including olive oil, vitamin-packed sunflower oil and shea butter to nourish and improve suppleness. Many people, particularly new mothers who wash their hands very frequently choose Neem Soap to wash their hands as it moisturises with every wash and helps heal and prevent chapping.
The rise in the prevalence of eczema/dermatitis is closely paralleled by the introduction and increased use of synthetic detergents in bodycare products which has been accompanied by an explosion in sales of moisturisers. Many people find these “syndets” as they are known in the cosmetic industry to strip the skin of oils leaving it vulnerable to drying and irritation.
Fragrances found in body care products are the ingredients most commonly found to cause allergies.
Acute eczema is characterized by an area of dry, itchy skin. It may blister and weep. Scratching may result in bleeding and infection. Chronic eczema causes the skin to become thickened (lichenified) .It is still itchy and may bleed and is also prone to infection. The skin appears red, inflamed and uncomfortable and it may cause depression.
The management of acute eczema initially involves moisturising the skin regularly with lavish applications of emollients which is the medical term for moisturisers.
If it is possible to avoid a breakout by avoiding triggers which may be contact with irritants/allergens, cold weather or fabrics this is obviously the most desirable path to take but if this is not possible then it is very important to have a very thorough regime of application of emollients, whether creams or ointments and to use plenty at every application. Many people apply too little, too infrequently and suffer as a result. The choice of emollient is a very personal one but many people have found that very pure products which are free from irritant additives can be very helpful, and whilst these are not produced as a treatment for eczema, SheaSalve, SurgiSalve and most intense of all Moisture Veil comes highly recommended by our customers who suffer from eczema.. Our Q24 oil provides a light, soothing barrier to moisture loss from the skin while replenishing the body’s own natural oils directly to the skin’s outer layers. Using a soap for eczema such as Neem Oil Soap is very popular amongst our customers.
Using Marble Hill products provides pure moisturising oils with no risk of allergens.
Management of severe or chronic eczema is a matter for medical professionals as treatment of infections may be necessary but daily maintenance is very much a matter of personal choice. At Marble Hill we offer a range of moisturisers which contain no fragrances, colours or chemical additives of any kind. We do not use petroleum derivatives and because our products are free from added water they are very economical and do not require irritant preservatives.