How I Tipped My Adult Eczema In The Bud With Help From a Dermatologist

Shannon is an award-winning beauty reporter based in London. She loves to explore the implications of beauty rituals, trends, and ideals. BYRDIE’S EDITORIAL GUIDELINES



It began a few weeks ago. It started a few months ago. My lips were indeed as flaky and dry as an old croissant. But this happens every winter. So I persisted, applying the same lip balm which usually helps me get out of it — The Lip Balm (75 dollars). This time, however, there was something different about the dryness. It didn’t go away no matter what I tried.

I was becoming more and more self-conscious. As I spoke, my lips flaked off. I thought that was what people were looking at. It got worse. It spread rapidly to my chin and covered an area about the size of a large plum at the outer corner.

I quickly realized that I was not just dealing with some dry skin. It was Eczema. I had not experienced it since I was in primary. I thought I’d left it behind.

The first thing I did when I realized this was what no beauty editor would ever do: I used the harshest exfoliant I could find to scrub that dry patch, and I swabbed AHAs all over it like I was watering flowers in a drought.

My skin did not like it. The Eczema on my lips became angry, turning a darker shade of red and becoming more itchy. The only thing that comforted me was Skinowl’s Lavender Beauty drops ($48), but even though this oil eased the itching, Eczema remained.

I was fortunate to have a few dermatologists help me understand Eczema’s sudden onset and how to fight it.


  • Alexis Granite is a dermatologist consultant at Mallucci London.
  • Marisa Garshick is a board-certified dermatologist with MDCS Skincare in New York City.
  • Orit Markowitz is a board-certified dermatologist and skin cancer expert. He founded OptiSkin, a NYC-based company.

Read on to find out how I managed to get rid of my Eczema when it returned.


What is Eczema?

Granite revealed that Eczema was a skin hypersensitivity. It’s not surprising since my dad also has it. It’s often grouped with asthma and hay fever, all atopic diseases. Asthma affects the airways. Hay fever affects the sinuses. Eczema affects the skin.

Granite says that, in my case, it’s a combination of genetics, atopic Eczema, and stress. She sized me correctly. Remember all the products I use for my job, as they may have contained an allergen. Garshick says that “common triggers include perfumes, certain metals and harsh soaps.”

I cannot rule out food allergies either. She explained, “In the old days, food allergies were thought to worsen eczema, but today, it’s believed that the skin is ‘leaky,’ allowing allergens in, which can lead to food allergies. Oh my.

What are the different types of Eczemas?

It’s possible to have more than one type of Eczema simultaneously. The National Eczema Association says each type has its triggers and treatment. 1

  • Eczema was atopic: This form is the most common (and mine). The condition tends to appear in childhood but can also occur throughout adulthood. The most common symptoms are itchy rashes and dry, discolored, and painful skin.
  • Contact Dermatitis: This type of Eczema is caused by irritants such as scratchy wool, detergents, or nickel-containing jewelry. A rash can appear immediately or later, but it could lead to blistering or burning of the skin.
  • NeurodermatitisExcessive scratching and itching can cause this type. It is not widespread but appears on specific parts of the skin. This includes the feet, ankles, and hands.
  • Dyshidrotic Eczema: This type of Eczema is characterized by small, itchy bumps on your hands and feet.
  • Nummular Eczema: The term “nummular,” which means coin in English, refers to the itchy lesions on the skin. The lesions may be crusted or oozing.
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis:This chronic Eczema appears on areas of the body that produce a lot of oil, such as the scalp and nose.
  • Stasis Dermatitis: Venous Eczema is a form of dermatitis that occurs when the circulation in your legs is poor. The skin around the lower legs and feet can become dry, itchy, and scaly.

How long does it take for Eczema to disappear?

I was overjoyed that my course of action worked. After a day or two, the Eczema was almost gone. I continued using the cream my doctor recommended for another week, and it has not returned. I will stick to my simple skincare routine and only use products I have never had a problem with.

It’s not always the case. You may need to wait several weeks or months for your eczema symptoms to disappear.

How Can you get rid of Eczema?

You can only eliminate the rashes and patches that appear during an eczema flare-up. Eczema is a chronic disease. The treatments available are very effective at preventing outbreaks.

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