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Itchy, dry skin patches? Get the lowdown on eczema and how to deal

The temps are dropping which means dry skin is on the horizon. If you're finding dry patches on you skin accompanied with itching and scratching, it might be time for some serious skin investigation. Here is the 411 on all things eczema and what to do to help soothe it. 

What is eczema?

Eczema, otherwise known by it's medical name atopic dermatitus, is a common skin condition that causes itchy and inflammed patches of skin. These patches normally appear on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands and feet. Although this skin condition is mostly found in infants and young children, nearly 3% of adults continue to have flare-ups on and off throughout their life.

Is it contagious?  

Absolutely not. Eczema cannot be spread from person to person. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body's immune system to an irritant, such as a perfume or lotion. 

What does eczema look like?

Affected areas usually look dry, rashy and scaly. For fair-skinned chicas, these areas may appear reddish and then turn brown. Extremely dry and irritated skin can sometimes cause the skin to crack.

If you have eczema... 

And you haven't found a product that works for you, here are a few products we heart that may do the trick. Remember to always consult your doc first.

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    Cetaphil

    Gental and hydrating, this cleanser refreshes your quenched skin without over-drying it. Did we mention it smells good, too? Sold.

    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $10, walmart.com

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    Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash

    Perf for bath time, this pH balanced wash is the ultimate replacement to your reg soap that could potentially do more harm than good. As an extra precaution, make sure to pat your skin dry (not rub!) after a warm shower to avoid irritation.

    Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash, $13, sebamedusa.com 

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    Epsom Salt 

    Over-power itchy skin with the yummy scent of lavender and honey. This ooh-la-la epsom salt will revitalize and detoxify skin and relax your whole bod. This is the perfect accessory to a warm and soothing bath.

    Calgon Therapy Soak Lavender & Honey Epsom Sailt, $6, houseofbeautyworld.com

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    Juju Drunk Elephant Bar

    We can't get enough of this soap bar. It's pH-balanced so it won't strip the skin of essential oils. Recent studies have show that skin irritations and conditions are caused when your skin's pH is off balance and the barrier is damaged, exposing your skin to the elements that can create dry skin and clogged pores. As an added bonus, the Juju bar contains no essential oils or fragrances which are known irritants to the skin and can cause eczema flare ups. So go on, splurge on this wonder bar...we dare you!

    Juju Drunk Elephant Bar, $32, dermstore.com 

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    Healing ointment

    This healing ointment is an effective way to enhance the natural healing process and restore moisture. Make sure to find an ointment that is fragrance-free and non-irritating to keep your skin happy and healthy!

    Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $7, walgreens.com

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    Soothing bath treatment

    Draw a warm (not hot!) bath and relax for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to avoid scrubbing the skin with a hand cloth or a harsh body scrub which will only irritate the surface of the skin more. Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment contains colloidal oatmeal, an ingredient that is known to reduce itchyness naturally.

    Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment, $7, amazon.com 

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.

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by Erin Rodrigue | 2/1/2016
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