Those with eczema know that it’s bad enough just having the condition at all. So when patches of dry, itchy, red skin start cropping up on your face, it can feel like getting kicked when you’re already down.
Not My Face!
Unlike other areas of the body like the hands, or legs, it’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible in some cases) to hide eczema on your face. The face is the first thing that other people see when you meet someone, and so having eczema on the face can be a huge blow to your self-confidence.
Luckily, if you’ve been wondering how to get rid of eczema on the face, there are few things you can do. Although it’s tricky situation to be in, we have some options.
Concealing With Makeup
If you have an important meeting, a date, or just need a confidence boost, then makeup can be used to cover up facial eczema. This can reduce the appearance of redness. Unfortunately, many brands of make-up include chemicals that can irritate your already sensitive skin.
You’ll want to avoid cosmetic products that contain these two classes of ingredients:
- Fragrance - look for parfum on the packaging. In some cases, fragrances in cosmetic products can actually trigger an episode of dermatitis
- Preservatives - like butylparaben, methylparaben, or anything else ending in paraben. You’ll also want to steer clear of these two scary sounding preservatives: methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone.
Before applying makeup, it’s best to have a warm shower to open your pores and then moisturize immediately afterwards. Then, wait a few minutes for your skin to calm down before applying foundation and concealer. The blending will take a bit of practice; if done incorrectly, makeup can make eczema look even more obvious. “More is less” is a good rule of thumb to adopt when using makeup with eczema. A few more things to keep in mind:
- Matte makeup can give the skin a dry appearance, and in eczema this may end up making your skin look even more dry.
- Avoid using powder on eczema.
Steroids For Facial Eczema
If you have eczema on your face you may be tempted to slather steroids all over yourself. But as I’ve said before, steroid creams can lead to problems if used too frequently, and this is especially true if you use them on your face. Because the skin on your face (and especially the eyelids) is so thin, topical steroid creams absorb much more readily than on other areas of your body that have thicker skin. This means that if you were to use steroids on your face, the side effects would come faster, and with less dosage than if you were to use steroid creams on your leg.
Most doctors I’ve talked to recommend only using the most mild (lowest potency) steroids on your face. This means sticking to over-the-counter hydrocortisone. In the US, maximum strength over-the-counter hydrocortisone is 1%, but you can also find it available in a 0.5% formulation. You should never use steroids for more than 14 consecutive days, and this is especially true on your face.
In general, using topical steroid creams on your face should be treated with caution, but if you must, then it’s best to stay safe and opt for the weakest formulation. If you have any doubts about whether a particular steroid cream is ok to use on your face, then ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Other Available Prescriptions
Protopic and Elidel are two prescription medications that can be used to control eczema and are approved for use on the face. They are non-steroidal, so they do not come with the same risk that I mentioned above. Since they are not over-the-counter medications, you will need to ask your doctor about these.