Different forms of eczema can impact the scalp, face, and body. Biological factors like hormones, allergies, and sebum production impact eczema. It can also be affected by lifestyle factors, some of which you can manage.

Ashley Wall, the author, writes about managing eczema. Pictured, Ashley holding up hands while smiling.Share on Pinterest
Photo credit: Ashley Wall

I have three decades of battling eczema flare-ups behind me, and while there’s no perfect formula, there are preventive measures that help me manage my eczema symptoms. Let me go from head to toe.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common form of eczema affecting the scalp. It can be caused by many factors, such as:

  • stress
  • hormones
  • allergic reactions
  • yeast overgrowth

As a sufferer myself, here’s how I combat the inflammation.

Limiting hair products

When it comes to hair products, less is more. As an admitted former product junkie, I’ve entirely cut out unnecessary products. Not only has it helped heal my scalp, but my wallet as well.

I wash my hair twice a week with mild shampoo and conditioner. I massage my scalp with tea tree oil or aloe vera to seal in moisture.

Reducing friction

I avoid hats, tight hairstyles, and anything else that restricts airflow or causes excessive friction to my scalp.

Washing pillowcases

Remember that your pillowcase holds onto bacteria, so I wash it every other day using a fragrant-free detergent.

Facial eczema is tough, ranging from thin, scaly patches around the face to deep, scaly patches around the eyes. Here are some tips to help manage eczema that appears on the face.

Understanding your skin care routine

According to the National Eczema Society, facial eczema needs more gentle care since the skin is delicate and easily irritated.

Creating a gentle skin care routine is key to avoiding harsh products that can irritate eczema further. Some products that help facial eczema include:

Getting sleep, and plenty of it

There’s a cycle by which eczema can impact sleep, which can feed into eczema flares. Finding ways to prioritize sleep is important.

Getting expert help

When I was in the trenches of my eczema, I always made sure to seek expert help. While home remedies are my first go-to, there are times when they may not be enough.

It’s important to speak with your doctor if your symptoms impact your quality of life.

Feeling thick patches of eczema spread across the back of your neck, inner thighs, and elbows is a memory that I will never shake. If you’re anything like me, you drape yourself in scarves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants to mask your inflamed skin.

Actually, this ended up causing more pain from the heat and friction.

Here’s what did work.

Pausing the use of facial products

I avoided makeup and all facial products like the plague. Anything I place on my swollen, irritated skin makes it a million times worse. While I did use steroids, it was not a long-term solution, and my skin became too dependent on them.

Instead, I’d do a shower/bath combination. First, I would gently cleanse my skin in the shower with a mild liquid soap. Then, I would hop into a dead sea salt bath and soak in lukewarm water. Afterward, I would pat my skin dry and dress in loose clothing.

Did my skin look flaky, dry, and have dark patches? Yup! Did I care? Nope! It was what my skin needed at the time. Slowly but surely, my skin started to clear up.

Reintroducing lotions, creams, and emollients

As my eczema healed, my skin was in a better position to absorb outside hydration without disturbing it further. Once I reintroduced moisturizers back onto my skin, it helped lock in moisture by sealing and protecting it.

Accepting my condition

When it comes to eczema discoloration, the skin does not discriminate. Melanin can range anywhere from bright red to deep purple. I consider the discoloration on my hand an eczema battle scar.

Eczema doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s important to forgive and be patient with yourself and your skin. Acceptance of your chronic skin condition is the key.

It took me a long time to adjust and figure out what works best. But once I could advocate for myself, I felt more at peace with my stubborn eczema.

Eczema on the face can often come with dark circles under your eyes or dry skin on and around the eyelids. For a while, I wore sunglasses to avoid harsh stares, but this wasn’t helpful in the long run.

Instead, here are some tips that helped reduce my undereye circles or “excessive pigmentation shadowing.”

Using a cold compress

This is my go-to for reducing deep, sunken-in dark circles. Applying a cold press to my face not only feels great but truly de-puffs my face.

Using creams and medications

Using products such as thick, non-perfumed moisturizers or creams can help, as can prescribed medications such as topical corticosteroids.

Practicing hygiene

This includes avoiding touching your eyes and face and, if you have to, making sure they are clean first. Trimming fingernails is also important to avoid scratching or irritating the eczema further.

How do you treat eczema under the eyes?

You can treat eczema around the eyes to reduce inflammation with topical corticosteroids, cold compresses, and antihistamines.

Can stress cause eczema under the eyes?

Stress can contribute to eczema all around the body. Try to limit stress as best as you can.

How long does eczema under the eyes last?

Most eczema flares last a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist to see what changes you can make or what medications are available to treat eczema under the eyes and on the rest of the body.

Managing eczema is a delicate mix of lifestyle factors, medications, expert help, and acceptance of one’s condition. There is no perfect formula or one-size-fits-all approach, but there are many preventive measures that can be taken.

These include talking with your doctor or dermatologist, understanding what causes flare-ups, perfecting your skin care routine, and avoiding anything harsh and irritating to the skin.