Relieving Eczema with Glycolic Acid
While eczema can never be cured – a disappointing diagnosis for the millions suffering from this uncomfortable skin condition – the superstar Alpha Hydroxy Acid, glycolic acid, can offer serious relief. This skin-saving, cure-all ingredient, or “the new holy grail for those suffering with eczema,” is adept at not only soothing skin, but also at reducing inflammation, ending current outbreaks, and ultimately repairing the broken skin barrier.
The multi-faceted skincare problem
Eczema is not a single skin care condition, but instead a wide variety of skin issues, united by the symptoms of dry, itchy skin, redness, and a weak or broken skin barrier.
While the severity and duration of eczema outbreaks varies from person to person, the most common form of this ubiquitous skin condition is atopic dermatitis, which is denoted by a red rash and cracked, dry, or inflamed patches of skin.
While the exact causes of eczema are still unknown, many signs point to inflammation as a root cause. Additionally, stress, genetics, diet, or negative reactions to allergens like pollen, laundry detergent, or fabrics can all also trigger an eczema outbreak.
While many consumers attempt to change lifestyle factors to deal with their eczema, a consistent skincare routine incorporating glycolic acid-based skincare products is actually one of the easiest and best ways to manage this uncomfortable skin condition.
An excellent exfoliator
First and foremost, glycolic acid is the perfect skincare ingredient to combat eczema because is the most gentle chemical exfoliator available. While scrubbing or manual exfoliation can irritate or even worsen eczema outbreaks, removing those dead, damaged skin cells is critical to healing eczema over time.
As the smallest molecule of the Alpha Hydroxy Acid family, glycolic acid can most quickly and effectively penetrate the dead, damaged skin cells of an eczema outbreak and rapidly slough the damaged skin cells off.
Shedding off these dead skin cells is critical to not only providing fast relief to itch-ridden sufferers (the dryness of dead skin cells causes the itchiness of eczema), but also to eventually restoring the skin’s natural, healthy barrier function.
Driving healthy skin cells to the surface
Additionally, glycolic acid offers eczema sufferers another crucial benefit. Underneath the top layer of the epidermis, glycolic acid works to relieve the symptoms of eczema by triggering new skin cells to move up to the surface of the skin. These new skin cells are then healthy and retain appropriate levels of moisture, which helps prevent further dry skin – and skin barrier breakage and itching – in the future.
Additionally, these new skin cells are better able to absorb preventative moisturizers, lotions, and creams. Thick, oil-based moisturizers can help to create a protective film over the skin and prevent hydration loss, cracked skin, and itchiness – all of the most uncomfortable problems of eczema.
So combining glycolic acid based skincare products with heavy-duty moisturizers is a key move in reducing the agonies of eczema for millions of sufferers.
Glycolic acid: relief for sufferers, an opportunity for formulators
It’s chronic, unsightly, and profoundly embarrassing for too many sufferers (like the poor youngster soaking the tub at the top of this post). Eczema creates irritation and distress for millions around the globe, but there are ways to alleviate it.
This all-too-common skin condition presents formulators and marketers with a twofold opportunity: to create skincare solutions to eczema with glycolic acid-based products and to educate consumers about the important role glycolic acid can play in taking the itch and embarrassment out of eczema.