Atopic eczematous dermatitis, or eczema, is a skin condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, resulting in itchiness, dry and scaly skin, blisters, rashes, and skin infections. If you’re struggling with these frustrating and painful symptoms, you should speak to your dermatologist to find treatment, like topical creams and corticosteroids. Eczema comes and goes overtime, and as you or your kids live with it, you will likely find medications that help, like Cibinqo or kid’s eczema medication, and come to learn what triggers a flare-up—this could be things like the food you eat, the weather, allergens, and even irritants like detergent, shampoos, and soaps. To avoid flare-ups, you should avoid the following worst soaps for eczema:
1. Fragranced soaps
If you have eczema, it’s likely that you’re already aware of fragranced soaps being a trigger for flare-ups. No matter how much you love your seasonal scented soaps, it’s best to avoid them. This includes soaps scented with essential oils—although it’s natural, these can still be harsh on the skin and cause skin reactions.
2. Soaps that contain dye
However fun a bright pink or pastel blue bar of soap may look, they should just be kept for bathroom decor. Soaps containing dye can be harmful on eczema-prone skin, as they can be allergens. Avoid any colored and dyed soaps for the sake of your skin.
3. Soaps containing ethanol/alcohol
Soaps containing ethanol and alcohol are problematic for anyone, not just those with eczema. While issues may prevail quicker and more severe in eczema sufferers, soaps containing alcohol strip away the skin’s natural acid mantle that acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants if used frequently.
4. Foaming soaps
Foaming soaps contain an agent called SLS, which is a common eczema flare-up, and alcohol, which we previously identified as problematic for those with eczema. If used, these soaps can cause skin to lose hydration and moisture, leaving them more prone to worsened flare-ups with dry skin.
5. Non-alkaline soaps/soaps with a low pH
Soaps with a low pH are acidic and known as non-alkaline and they can be very irritating to the skin if you have eczema. It’s best to look for anything on the basic side of the pH scale, that’s 7 or greater. Alkaline soaps maintain your skin’s pH, reducing irritation and itchiness, where soaps on the other end of the scale will do the opposite.
If you have eczema, you’ll want to look for soaps that have an endorsement from the National Eczema Association (NEA) to be sure that they’re safe for use and won’t cause flare-ups. If you can’t find any, just be sure to avoid the kinds of soaps and harmful ingredients we’ve listed.