Monday, April 16, 2012

How I Take Care of My Atopic Skin

So, here’s a gross fact about me. I have a condition called atopy. A little bit about atopy, it’s an irregular type of hypersensitivity reaction that inherited genetically. There are four diseases that categorized as atopy and they are asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis and urticaria. They could be inherited in the same or different form. For example, my dad has asthma but it’s inherited to me in a form of dermatitis atopic.

Having an atopic condition means on daily basis I have a very very uncomfortable dry skin. And it’s very sensitive too. If I had contact with allergens (Which until now still remains a mystery. I should do series of rather expensive skin test to find out, which I still refuse to do until now), even stress and PMS, I’d come up with dermatitis as a skin reaction (or you can also call it eczema).

Having a dry sensitive skin condition means I have to avoid irritants as much as I can and pay more attention on picking the right products for my daily skin care routine. So these are the products in my routine that I can always count on. Since these are basic products that I have to purchase regularly, I stick with products that are affordable and easy to find.

Shower cream and handwash
Living with sensitive dry skin means say bye bye to harsh soap and shower gel. Always go with body wash that contains moisturizer. After I was diagnosed with atopic skin, I changed my soap to baby body wash and I stuck with it for years. It worked like a charm but I’m sure all mommies out there know that baby stuff is expensive. I used Johnson & Johnson’s Milk Bath. One bottle of 500ml milk bath lasted for just a week and a half on me, as it doesn’t lather as much (which is the point of a milk bath at the first place). As it is probably enough for tiny babies, unfortunately I am a lot larger than a baby. A bottle cost around IDR 20k, so imagine how much money I have to spend on body wash each month. I tried The Body Shop as well but as much as I love the Brazil Nut Shower Cream, a bottle of 250ml cost IDR 75k which is an even more ridiculous spending.

Thank God I found a line of affordable shower cream that sold in a large bottle at supermarket.  These days I use Leivy Double Moisturizing Shower Cream. Leivy shower cream comes in a different variety. I stuck with their Double Moisturizing Shower Cream although I occasionally try other variants. One huge bottle contains 1100ml cost only IDR 55k and lasts for a good one and a half month on me.

Hand wash is another thing I have to take care of, as hands is the body part that we wash the most. My current favorite is Palmolive Liquid Hand Wash in Milk and Olive. Also love the fact that it smells amazing.

Please keep in mind that showering and rubbing body or hand wash means stripping the fat layer on the superficial part of the skin that works to retain water and lock it in to work as natural “moisturizer” factor for our skin. So if you have dry skin, please limit the amount of showering and don’t spend too much time in the shower. Also avoid hot water and shower with water in body temperature instead. Despite the steam all over you mirror in the bathroom, hot water causes dry skin even more.

Body lotion and Hand Cream

To soak the skin in lotion is another way to treat dry skin. People with dry skin naturally has limited amount of moisture factor. Lotion works to help seal in the water and also increase the moisturizing effect. When it comes to body lotion, I always go with Nivea products. I’ve been using the lotion since I was in junior high school as the lotions work all the time for me. It gives the most moisturizing effect out of all lotions I could find in supermarket. And if I wear it regularly, my skin still feels moist even when I forget to apply the lotion for a day or two.

Another product that I'm just starting to use is hand cream. I didn’t realize how important it is until just recently. I tried L’occitane hand cream once and fell in love with it immediately. Unfortunately it was too expensive to purchase regularly. I was looking around at Watson and found their hand cream. The cream works great on keeping my hands moisturized and, in conjunction with my hand wash, it also has olive scent.

If you’re wondering why do I have to use different lotion for my hand, as I said previously, people tend to wash their hands even more than the rest of the body. Hand cream is usually thicker and more moisturized than body lotion. But I love the consistency so much, I usually wear it all the way to my elbow.

 One thing I was taught when I was in dermatology department is to apply lotion immediately after shower, preferably between one to three minutes. At this time, water still absorbed in skin layers so the lotion works to seal in the water so it would work to moisturize the skin. It’d be useless to apply lotion after all the water has evaporated.

Anyway, those are all the products that work for my dry skin. When I was in dermatology department and asked to pick a topic for my paperwork, I went with Dermatitis Atopic right away simply because that’s the topic I could easily relate to. I decided to share this because as strange as the term might sound, skin atopy is actually not a rare case. So I hope you find this article helpful.


Raisa Angelin said...

wow, lervia bagus ya buat eksim? saya juga atopic alias eksim jadi bisanya cuma pake sabun j&j milk bath dan emang jatohnya sebulan jadi mahal banget :(

Pinkbuble said...

Me too!! i have eczemaaa..and it's not pleasant!

Marcelle Yulianne said...

@elrica: aah.. it's a relieve knowing that I'm not alone :)

@raisa: yang gambar kambing itu cocok buat kulit kering. maksudnya buat hari2, bukan nyembuhin reaksi kulitnya. biar kulitnya ga jadi tambah kering. efeknya sama lah sama sabun bayi, cuma murah meriah aja.. ahaha..

Instituto Espanol said...

One thing to be careful when using moisturisers is the amount of irritants contained in the products used, in particular when you have atopic dermatitis. The best active ingredient to look for to sooth the skin of atopic dermatitis sufferers is Inca Omega Oil.

Lena said...

marcelle, dirimu gak pake puff ya kalo mandi? cobain deh, lebih hemat shower gelnya. gue kaget juga leivy itu abis sama loe sebulan. my sis in law uses this and it lasts like 6 months for her (even with the frequent guest yg ikut pake like me when i stay over).

Marcelle Yulianne said...

@Lena: ga pake mba.. ahaahha.. dulu pake sih, tapi karena puff ga ada yg awet, akhirnya kubuang semua. ternyata ngaruh ya buat ngirit? :D

Monica Agustami said...

wah, aku malah nggak pernah cocok pakai nivea.
kulitku langsung bruntusan merah-merah gatel >.<

I give you an award, please check my blog ^^

Marcelle Yulianne said...

@Monica: ah.. sayang banget. emang kalo skincare gini cocok2an sih.. kan lumayan kalo bisa pake nivea, secara murah meriah. hehe..