Itching for a Cure

Each seasonal change also influences skin concerns and a whole host of new reasons for spa-goers to book appointments. Fall ushers in cooler temperatures and often more dry skin and related conditions. October is recognized as National Eczema Awareness Month to raise awareness of this uncomfortable skin condition afflicting more than 30 million people in the U.S. according to the National Eczema Association. Eczema is a general term for any type of inflammation of the skin and causes dry, itchy patches. Though there is no cure for eczema, Marina Peredo, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City) and founder of Spatique Medical Spa (Smithtown, NY) has a few tips to share to help clients manage symptoms.

  • Take warm baths instead of hot showers. Warm baths are less drying.
  • Adding in Epsom salts will help provide anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. The extra bonus? Relaxation! Epsom salt baths help soothe and relax the muscles, so tension is eased. Stress is a major component in eczema flare ups so relaxation is key to managing the problem.
  • Using a very gentle cleanser that maintains the skin’s barrier is important.
  •  After bathing, pat the skin dry and avoid rubbing vigorously with a towel. Make sure to apply a highly nourishing and moisturizing product within 3 minutes while skin is still damp to lock in moisture. Recommend products specifically formulated for dry, itchy skin.
  •  Look for moisturizing ingredients such as ceramides, petrolatum and shea butter to help reduce trans-epidermal water loss and restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
  •  Ingredients such as a light amount of an alpha hydroxy acid can help minimize the dry, itchy plaques. Try a cream that contains salicylic acid in addition to vitamin D.
  •  Look for ointments and creams instead of serums and lotions. Always opt for a fragrance free product.
  •  Have your vitamin D levels checked. Recent clinical studies have shown that there may be a link between vitamin D deficiencies and atopic dermatitis.
  •  Avoid tight fitting, rough, scratchy clothing. Instead of wool, opt for cotton.
  •  Visit your dermatologist to determine whether the use of prescription-strength products are necessary to help manage your eczema.

What does your spa offer for clients suffering from eczema?

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