Vaseline Eczema Friendly Nighttime Routine

By Dr. Mona A. Gohara, MD

Eczema is a descriptor for dry, itchy, sensitive, irritated skin, resulting from a multitude of factors. There are many different forms of eczema. For example, atopic dermatitis is a form of childhood eczema, and irritant and allergic contact dermatitis come from exposure to different products/materials. There are also forms of eczema that come from cold, or even slower vein flow. All forms of eczema are a form of barrier breakdown and regardless of the origin it always requires gentle skin care. Below are some tips on how to make sure eczema prone skin is best cared for at night.

  1. Take Warm Evening Showers: A shower before bed is the perfect way to unwind and forget about the day’s stresses before you catch your z’s. Make sure that the temperature is not too cold, or not too hot. Warm water is the best way to avoid worsening skin affected by eczema. Temperature extremes disrupt the barrier making it difficult for irritants to stay out, and water to be locked into hydrate. Moderate temperatures support a biologically sound barrier function and is the best way to keep additional irritation at bay.

  2. Use a Gentle Cleanser: Cleansers with a high pH strip the skin barrier. If you have that squeaky clean feeling after a wash, that is your skin’s way of saying “HELP!” Tight, dry, skin means the barrier is compromised and is in need of repair or support. Choose cleansers that are pH neutral. Often the label on these products will read as “soap-free” or “gentle.” If there is any confusion, ask your dermatologist to recommend a soap free cleanser for your cleansing needs. Without a doubt make sure to examine ingredient lists of cleansers before embarking on nighttime face routines or showers.

  3. Avoid Fragrance: We all love to have some fun with skin care whether that be some bubbles or a fun fragrance. Unfortunately, fragrances are a no-no, and often the inciting cause/exacerbating factor when it comes to eczema. Dermatologists will almost always advise patients with eczema to avoid fragranced products and choose brands that are fragrance free. This goes for everything from detergent to shampoo.

  4. There is a “Why” to How You Towel Dry: After a warm nighttime shower, pat do not rub the skin as you dry off. Use a soft cotton towel, and gently press on the skin to wick off extra water residue. Rubbing the skin aggressively can lead to a barrier breakdown as well.

  5. Moisturize Within Minutes: Lock in ambient humidity from the warm shower, by keeping the bathroom door closed, and applying a moisturizer within 1-2 minutes of toweling off. Vaseline Original Healing Jelly is optimal in the treatment of eczema, and acts as a wonderful occlusive, protecting the skin barrier, and preventing water from evaporating. This is perfect for a nighttime routine before going to bed.

  6. Choose Soft Cotton Light Sheets: The softer the cotton the better off you will be if you suffer from eczema. The grit of harsh materials may be just enough to stoke the skin fire, making a mess out of existing dermatitis.

  7. Get Sleep: Sleep deprivation causes spikes in an inflammatory hormone called cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol can worsen existing skin conditions or precipitate a flare. Make sure to get into a sleep routine that gives you optimal rest with low stress.

To learn more about how to treat your eczema and find a board-certified dermatologist in your area visit Vaseline See My Skin dermatologist directory.