Dermatitis is a highly complex inflammatory skin condition, with elements of its aetiology and pathophysiology still remaining unknown to the scientific community, making it very difficult to treat in some instances.
Dermatitis can range in severity from mild to debilitating, and some sufferers have experienced dermatitis for as long as they can remember; while others may only experience dermatitis symptoms sporadically later in life. Whatever the individual circumstances, the condition can be extremely frustrating and impact greatly on an individual’s self-confidence.
While there are several medicated topical agents available for dermatitis symptoms, these can sometimes cause additional negative impacts on the skin. Some topicals, such as steroid-based creams, can also only be used for short-term periods before causing rebound symptoms and often worsening skin conditions. This has led many sufferers seeking natural remedies for their dermatitis. If you experience facial dermatitis, there are several remedies and tips we can recommend that may assist in reducing symptoms such as inflammation and irritation.
1. Be wary of allergies and intolerances
There are several different forms of dermatitis. One is contact dermatitis, in which symptoms flare up in response to the skin coming into contact with something you are allergic to or intolerant of. If you have only endured dermatitis symptoms later in life, it may be worth receiving a skin prick test, visiting an immunologist, or conducting an elimination test to find out if you are allergic or intolerant of your current skincare, cosmetics, diet, environment, cleaning agents, or other personal care items.
2. Avoid irritating ingredients
Dermatitis is often aggravated by artificial fragrances or high quantities of certain essential oils, as well as some detergent agents. If your current skincare incorporates these, it could be triggering or exacerbating your facial dermatitis. All Mukti products are free from artificial colours, fragrances, and foaming agents in order to reduce the likelihood of irritation or flare-ups with conditions like dermatitis and rosacea.
3. Keep skin moisturised
One element that tends to aggravate dermatitis symptoms in most sufferers, particularly itching, is dryness. Allowing the skin to become dry can very quickly lead to itching, and once the scratching begins, more histamines are released in response, making the itching worse in a horrible self-perpetuating cycle. Keeping skin well moisturised can reduce the feeling of itchiness, as well as reduce flaking and redness. Using a gentle but nourishing moisturiser several times per day can assist greatly. However, be wary when it comes to facial oils. This can depend on the oil and the individual, but some ‘dry oils’ are known to further irritate dermatitis in some individuals.
4. Avoid hot water
Very hot showers and facial washing can not only dry out the skin, but also increase the level of inflammation already in the tissue. More inflammation means more itching and irritation, but also more free radical production, leading to skin damage and premature ageing.
5. Focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients
As mentioned above, it’s crucial to reduce the skin’s inflammatory response in order to prevent premature ageing and increase skin comfort. Prolonged inflammation can lead to oxidative stress, destroying skin cells, lipids, and collagen fibres, as well as DNA. In addition, your barrier function will be disrupted, which can lead to infections and breakouts, in addition to further irritation and discomfort. Our favourite ingredients known to down-regulate the inflammatory cascade and reduce heat and discomfort in the skin include Niacinamide (vitamin B3), aloe vera, chamomile, rose, hemp, and shea butter. To further combat the ageing effects of inflammation, it’s equally important to incorporate antioxidant ingredients, in order to reduce the excess free radicals produced as part of the inflammatory cascade – highly present in facial eczema. Our favourite potent antioxidants include Coenzyme Q10, mountain pepper leaf, vitamin E, Kakadu plum and Davidson plum.
6. Beware of pigmentation
Another detrimental impact of prolonged inflammation associated with skin conditions like eczema is risk of pigmentation. Heat can aggravate melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing pigment. This is why skin that has been injured, or has been treated with clinical treatments and procedures involving heat in the tissue, are prone to excess pigment being produced – this concept is referred to as a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Darker skin types are particularly prone to this condition, as they already have greater melanocyte activity. The inflammation and heat produced as a result of eczema is no different, and can also lead to excess pigmentation. Many ingredients used in skincare can help interfere with the melanin pathways to prevent this over-production of pigment. However, many of these such as retinol, ascorbic acid, and kojic acid can be too strong for dermatitis-prone skin and result in a flare-up. Instead, many of the ingredients contained in our products act as very gentle pigment inhibitors and brighteners, so that they may be used to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in highly sensitive skins. These include licorice root extract, Kakadu plum, finger lime caviar, and desert lime.
We understand just how difficult it can be treating chronic inflammatory conditions such as eczema. We can only hope that one day, we understand much more about the complexities of this condition and others so that we may better manage them. In the meantime, we hope that Mukti’s array of naturally-derived, gentle, calming, and antioxidant-rich formulations can help improve your skin’s comfort and health, and in turn, boost your confidence and quality of life.