Atopic dermatitis has different effects depending on a person’s age.
In adults it tends to be concentrated on the hands and face. Why?
Direct contact with the air: the hands and face are rarely covered by clothes, so the skin is in direct contact with the air. By air, we mean everything carried by it – pollen, pollutants, animal hair, as well as the wind and cold – and its hygrometry. Hygrometry is the amount of water in the atmosphere: the more water there is in the air, the higher its hygrometry, and the better the condition of the skin – the drier the air, the drier the skin. That’s one of the reasons why the skin is often healthier by the sea, because the air is not so dry. It is also the reason why babies’ bottoms are not affected so much, because the skin is always in a fairly damp climate.
Frequent friction: friction both triggers and maintains the patches. This means that any friction serves to maintain the itching, the patches, and the inflammation – a fact that might almost make the unbearable “stop scratching” seem a legitimate response! But do you really feel as though you are rubbing your face all that much? Actually yes, we do touch our faces very frequently and generally without realising. So it’s important to become aware of all the things we do deliberately that add to the friction, particularly when washing. The softest thing we can wash our faces with is our hands. The idea that the skin on our hands is a source of microbes is nonsense…a nonsensical idea put about by people selling things that are far more irritating, such as wipes, cotton wool, compresses, sponges, puffs, and so on.
The grease in emollients is not a cosmetic: to create a barrier against weather conditions that are bad for the skin, it makes sense to use a suitable cosmetic, one that can really serve as a screen. However, for reasons of comfort and appearance, this is obviously not the case. When patients choose a cosmetic for their face, they select something they like using – a very subjective concept comprising a highly personal mixture of effectiveness, comfort, and aesthetic considerations, etc.
Too many chemicals! : Take the example of a 14-year-old girl suffering from eczema around the lips for 3 years. All the test and treatment results were negative. What needed investigating was what was going on in the bathroom: with morning and evening routines, anti-acne products and atopic dermatitis treatments, make-up and make-up remover – altogether she had 14 different products. A maximum of 5 products were negotiated. Her skin was back to normal in a month…The takeaway message here is that the less contact your skin has with chemicals, the healthier it will be.
Daylight is sunshine! : The skin on your face is constantly exposed to the light. Although the sun is a natural treatment for eczema, daily exposure to daylight means that your skin has two jobs to do: repairing the effects of the UV rays and repairing the effects of the atopic dermatitis. It’s a double whammy. People who want to protect their skin from the effects of daylight can use a 50+ sunscreen.