I'm 30 and Just Started Having Eczema Flare-Ups—Here's What Helped


(Image credit: @caitlinburnett__)

Up until about two months ago, I spent 30 years never giving eczema a thought. I've struggled with mild rosacea and redness for my entire adult life, but I had never experienced eczema, so it wasn't even really on my radar. Then one day, right when Los Angeles started to feel like winter, I noticed some serious irritation around my nose that wasn't going away (despite trying every trick up my sleeve). Eventually, it spread and got so bad that I looked like I had a red-rash goatee. So I went to see my facialist and skin angel Vanessa Hernandez in a panic about what I thought was just dry winter skin, only to have her inform me that—surprise!—I have eczema. 

Much to my shock, that dry, patchy, rash-like skin I was experiencing all around my nose and mouth was indeed facial eczema. Hernandez explained to me that eczema is actually extremely common (about 31.6 million people in the U.S. have some form of it, according to the National Eczema Organization) and can present itself at different points in your life, with many people, like me, start seeing it in their 30s.

My mind was obviously blown seeing as I didn't even really know what eczema was, so naturally, I asked Hernandez about a thousand questions and found out some extremely helpful information and tips to calm my skin down, so let me break it down for you. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is characterized by dry, discolored, itchy, and inflamed skin. The most confusing part of it is that the cause can be a myriad of different things, and there's no real way to know what the cause is. It could be a combination of anything from diet to extremely cold or dry weather to stress or genetics. 

Because the cause is unknown, treating an eczema flare-up can be somewhat difficult and confusing. Luckily for me, Hernandez gave me a ton of helpful advice to help calm my skin down that after about a month of diligent work, my eczema flare-up is virtually gone. Seeing as how eczema is so common yet so tricky to treat, I decided to share some of the tips I learned that helped me get my skin under control. Below are the best products for eczema plus some of the other remedies like humidifiers and probiotics that can be helpful if you're experiencing a flare-up. 


Hernandez recommended I do a few things product-wise to calm my skin down and get me back on track. She said first to eliminate anything with vitamin C, as it's too harsh and will actually irritate the eczema even more (which I can vouch for, as I made that mistake before speaking with her and felt a burning sensation on my skin). Then she said the most important thing was keeping my skin hydrated, meaning hyaluronic acid and thick winter moisturizers. She also suggested a few calming products to neutralize the irritation my skin was experiencing, like SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask. Since the cause of eczema is unknown, skincare is only one step. The environment itself might be to blame. Since Los Angeles winters are known to be dry, and this year had an especially cold few weeks, my sleeping conditions were extremely cold and dry. For that reason, Hernandez also recommended I sleep with a humidifier on in my room (which I'll cover a bit more below), and the combination of this skincare regimen with the humidifier changed my skin completely. 




Facial Mists



Next up: People usually think I'm younger than I am, so I'm revealing my skincare routine.

Caitlin Burnett
Contributing Editor