Help Me Choose:
Help Me Choose Products For Eczema & Psoriasis
What is it?
Both Eczema and Psoriasis deal with inflammation of the skin. While Eczema is a very general term for any type of dermatitis where the skin is irritated, Psoriasis refers to an actual condition.
There are numerous types of psoriasis and the symptoms vary from mild to severe, depending on the type. How can natural skin care help? There is no cure for psoriasis. While skin plaques may come and go, psoriasis is always there.
As a skin care company we are not trying to treat the disease, the best we can hope for is to help ease the inflammation and discomfort associated with psoriasis. We wish we could recommend a product that I know would help--unfortunately, there is no one single answer to help psoriasis, not everything works for everyone and what works well for one person might be ineffective for someone else.
Symptoms of Eczema
Often, the first symptom of Eczema is intense itching usually followed by redness and a rash. Some areas will blister, weep or peel. The affected area is usually very dry and can appear thickened or scaly. Severely affected skin may develop painful, deep cracks, called fissures.
The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis. It is a chronic and usually begins in childhood. Atopic dermatitis starts with dry skin patches that are very itchy. Scratching causes the dry skin to become red and irritated.
Contact dermatitis is another common form of eczema. Contact dermatitis happens when the skin touches irritating substances or allergens. These make the skin inflamed, causing it to burn, itch and become red. Contact dermatitis often appears on the hands or any part of the body that touched the allergen or irritant.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis can present as thickened patches or plaques of red, inflamed skin often covered with loose, silvery scales. These patches can itch, burn, crack, bleed and become very painful. The plaques may grow together creating large areas of irritated skin.
Folks may also experience discoloration, thickening, and pitting of the nails. Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in the joints.
Although psoriasis most commonly occurs on the knees and elbows, it may occur anywhere including the face, scalp, and neck.
Treating Eczema & Psoriasis
One of the most common triggers of a psoriasis or eczema outbreak is dry skin. Skin affected by these conditions is typically very dry and needs moisture—especially in cold weather when the combination of the cold outdoor windy weather and dry heat in buildings will lead to very dry skin. During the winter months, you may need to apply a moisturizer several times a day.
Moisturizers will not heal these conditions, but keeping skin well lubricated on a daily basis can help reduce dryness, itching, inflammation and scaling and encourage healing. Dry skin can also lead to scratching which can make the condition worse.
It is important to choose a good natural moisturizer. The base should be made with pure emollient oils and butters. For many, the synthetic ingredients and fragrances in commercial moisturizers can actually exacerbate skin problems. The type of moisturizer you use depends on the dryness of your skin. Generally, products with more oil are more emollient and provide greater long lasting protection. Dermatologists tend to recommend heavy creams and ointments or salves to lock water into the skin.
To get the most from your moisturizer, moisturize immediately after a bath or shower while the skin is still moist. We recommend: Organic Salves, Organic Bath & Body Oils, Organic Body Balms, Organic Body Butters and Shower Lotion Butter Bars.
Soaking in a warm (not hot) bath for 15 minutes can help loosen scales, reduce the itching and inflammation and calm irritated skin. Here are some tips:
- Add oatmeal, natural bath oil, or a natural bath salt to a warm bath water. Try our Simply Salt Bath Salt.
- Organic Herbal Bath Teas are a soothing addition to a warm bath and can also be used as an "herbal washcloth."
- Gently pat skin dry after a bath or shower. Vigorous rubbing can make irritated skin worse
- To get the most from a moisturizer, moisturize immediately after a bath or shower
Natural Soap & Shampoo
Use a mild natural soap and shampoo. Commercial soaps not only strip natural oils which dry out skin, the harsh detergents, fragrances, dyes and preservatives cause irritation on skin that is already sensitive and inflamed.
Our Moisturizing Organic Natural Soap Recipes Are Meticulously Developed to Produce a Mild, Skin-nourishing Soap
- No harsh detergents, dyes or fragrance/perfume oils
- Our goat milk soaps (Goat Milk Oatmeal, Castile & Shea and Carrot and Honey Complexion Bar) are two that often get mentioned by our customers with irritated skin conditions
- See our Help Me Choose page for sensitive skin
There seems to be a lot of debate as to whether exfoliating is helpful to psoriasis or eczema sufferers. Gentle exfoliation is a way of washing away dead skin to help reduce scaling and encourage healing. However, folks with psoriasis need to be especially careful not to aggravate their already sensitive skin by scrubbing too hard or using harsh products.
Sugar scrubs are helpful because they exfoliate by both physical and chemical means. The sugar crystals work as little mechanical scrubbers, but sugar also contains glycolic acid, an Alpha-hydroxy acid which, when applied to the skin, helps loosen the “glue” that holds the dead skin cells to the surface of the skin and thus helps to facilitate the removal of dead cells.
If you decide to try an exfoliating scrub, here are a few suggestions:
- Irritated skin may better tolerate using facial scrub for the body. Facial scrubs use finer textured sugars and grains that are gentler on sensitive skin
- Be sure the scrub is made with natural moisturizing oils or butters
- Do not use on broken or irritated skin
- Use a very gentle, massaging action
- Although salt baths may be helpful, salt scrubs can be vey irritating
- If you are seeing a health care professional it is always advisable to consult them before starting to using sugar scrubs or any home remedy
Things to Avoid
Fragrances, Dyes & Preservatives
Synthetic preservatives, needed to give commercial creams, lotions and cosmetics a long shel-life, can also cause irritation and inflammation especially to folks with sensitive skin conditions.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes, even in small amounts, can trigger eczema flare-ups and worsen psoriasis symptoms.
Soaps & Shampoos Made With Synthetic Detergents
The detergents used in commercial soaps, shampoos and shower gels and bars are potentially irritating surfactants. They also synthetic emulsifiers and preservatives. These harsh detergents strip natural oils which dry out the skin.
Petroleum Based Products
Be careful with skin care products, often moisturizers, that contain petroleum based ingredients. Folks with irritated skin conditions, especially eczema sufferers, often find that products with petroleum-based ingredients can exacerbate these skin conditions.
Products that contain sulfates, like the sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) family, are often very irritating to sensitive skin types. Sulfates are often found in commercial soaps, shampoos and body washes to create lather and suds.
Don't forget cleaning products. Products like dishwashing liquid are often the most irritating products.
We often receive emails and phone calls from customers with chronic irritated or inflamed skin problems.
We have learned that for some people simply switching to a natural product may help.
We believe that natural ingredients are milder, healthier and gentler on the skin. I often say that it’s what's NOT in our products, that is often the most helpful.
While we cannot promise that our products will help heal your inflamed or irritated skin conditions, we have received a lot of feedback from customers telling us that our products have helped soothe irritated skin problems.
We have used this feedback to create "Help Me Choose" pages for a variety of skin issues.
Pure essential oils, herbs, and other natural ingredients have been used for centuries. Their folklore and uses have been passed down through generations.
Please note that our products are NOT drugs or medicines meant to treat or cure illness, which would require FDA testing and approval. Our products are intended to help soothe irritated skin.
If you have sensitive skin issues, always try an allergy patch test before using a new product.
Trying to choose the right natural soap and skin care products can be a bit overwhelming especially when you have allergies and/or skin sensitivities.
Since we proudly list every ingredient in all of our products, reading the ingredient list will help to eliminate ingredients that may cause you problems.
We receive so many emails asking for help with allergies, we created categories in our “Help Me Choose” section to provide information for those with allergies or sensitivities to nuts, coconut, shea butter and gluten.
Customer Tips for Help Me Choose Products For Eczema & Psoriasis
Goat Milk Honey Oatmeal Soap
"Wow...thank you again Sam & Co.! After just 3 days my eczema is almost gone. Like the biblical 10th leper I say THANK YOU!!! I talked with Sam at Cleveland Flea on Sunday. Bought the Goat Milk Oatmeal & Honey soap and some Calendula salve...today WEDNESDAY my skin is almost clear. It is nothing short of miraculous! And it's winter time...with dry cold air outside and dry hot air inside. Since childhood, I have been prescribed steroidal cremes, soaking in blue-chemicals, detergent, and ultraviolet light. I have taken fish pills. No more!!! No more itch! No more scratching! No more eczema! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professionals. Do not use the information found on this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. If you have medical concerns regarding yourself or your family you should seek the advice of qualified, licensed health professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Read our Full Medical Disclaimer.
People with severe allergies--please note: If you have severe anaphylactic-type reactions to ANY of the ingredients in ANY of our products, please do not buy our products. We have dedicated soap rooms and product rooms that are kept meticulously clean, but we cannot guarantee against possible cross-contamination of individual ingredients.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.