Eczema: Nasty chemicals and skin conditions don't mix – Hayley Matthews

I always remember a kid I was at school with itching his little sore red hands.

Sunshine can help ease eczema in some people but others can experience a worsening of their condition (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Sunshine can help ease eczema in some people but others can experience a worsening of their condition (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

It looked so painful and I’d never seen it before. So, as kids naively do, I just asked him.

It was the first time I heard the word eczema. He said he had to put cream on several times a day and I just remember feeling for him.

Fast-forward 30 years and we now have the same issue in our family with our eldest boy who gets very sore in the creases of his arms, hands, knees etc. I don't know how many creams and lotions I've tried, but what I’ve noticed is that stress and cold weather seem to make it worse.

Approximately 1.3 million people in the UK are affected by an inflammatory skin condition, but with National Eczema Week being held this week, we're a step closer to raising awareness about this potentially painful skin condition and the things to avoid.

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Exposure to sunlight can alleviate eczema symptoms

For those new to living with eczema, the only advice I can offer is to really try and keep your sensitivities in check. Avoid triggers and go for products that are formulated to be delicate on the skin.

My son breaks out if I don't use plant-based or delicate washing powder, he can't take harsh chemicals in the bath and coconut oil is sometimes the only thing I can put on his skin. I've also been trying out brands that use a lot of natural ingredients such as Tisserand and Faith in Nature.

So, if this is you, I’d say stay away from those nasty chemicals and sunshine appears to help at least some people.