Dermatitis/eczema, ichthyosis and psoriasis, these skin conditions are affecting more people, and are on the rise in the Western world. Living in a more sterile environment, frequent use of disinfectants, less time spent in nature, diet full of processed, ready-made foods can all have a negative impact on our skin.
Dermatitis and eczema are both generic terms for “inflammation of the skin.” Both are used to describe a number of types of skin conditions from red, dry patches of skin to rashes.
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin disease which affects 15-30% of children and 2-10% of adults and manifests itself with skin rashes, redness, intense itching and dry skin. It has various forms, with contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis being among the most common ones.
Hand dermatitis in many people may happen because of direct damage to the skin by harsh chemicals (e.g. overusing alcohol-based disinfectants), as well as repeated contact with water and soap/detergent. As a result the skin becomes inflamed, red and swollen, with a damaged, dried-out and flaky surface. There may be cracked areas that bleed and ooze.
Psoriasis is estimated to affect 3 to 4% of the European population and it is a skin disorder charactarised by patches of red skin covered by white/silvery scales, often localised on the elbows, hands, knees, lower back and scalp. It is caused by skin cells multiplying up to 10 times faster, which results in build-up of skin cells. Normal skin cells completely grow and shed in estimated 28 days circle. With psoriasis, skin cells do this in three to seven days. Instead of shedding, the skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin. The process is still not fully understood. It is thought that it may be a genetic disorder caused by dysfunction of the immune system, where healthy skin cells are attacked by our own immune system. The symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. People affected by psoriasis may experience minor irritation to severe discomfort with detrimental effect on their quality of life.
Ichthyosis is also another skin condition with intense skin dryness and a thickened, cracked or flaky, “fish-scale” skin. There are at least 20 types of ichthyosi and result from genetic disorders.
It is important to consult your GP/dermatologist to help identify your skin disorder properly and come up with a regimen that will work for you. Some of the skin conditions can be cured and some will need constant management. People affected by any of these conditions will benefit from a proper self-care plan.
- Take note of things that may have caused your breakouts, look for food you have eaten as well as cosmetic products you used. Keep a diary to help you identify the pattern and ingredients in the products that irritated your skin.
- Use gentle cleansing products. Don’t over-cleanse.
- Avoid scrubbing your skin too hard.
- Avoid scratching, which could cause an infection.
- Avoid long baths and showers with hot water.
- If you suffer from dry skin, moisturise your skin daily with a rich, oil-based balm or ointment, containing substances similar to that found in our skin like lipids, such as squalane and ceramides.
- Apply these products straight after bathing/showering to seal in moisture.
Check our Imagine Pure Goodness Body Butter, which has been formulated to care for sensitive, fragile and dry skin, and has already helped many customers with their skin.
For more information about the story behind the product, please see our skincare blog post - Dry Skin No More.
1. Eczema: Overview, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), 2017
2. Hand Dermatitis / Hand Eczema - British Association of Dermatologists, 2019
3. A. Rendon, K. Schakel, Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment, "International Journal of Molecular Science", 2019
4. W.K. Cheong, Gentle cleansing and moisturizing for patients with atopic dermatitis and sensitive skin, " American Journal of Clinical Dermatology." 2009
5. M. Loden, Roles of Topical Emollients and Moisturizers in the treatment of Dry Skin Barrier Disorders, "American Journal of Clinical Dermatology", 2003
Photography - Gabriel Alenius