There are facets of Eczema that are still a mystery, even to the experts. What causes it? Why does the body overreact to our everyday environment? And the biggest worry of all for Eczema patients: Is it a sign my immune system is weak? We know Eczema is linked to the immune system and the body’s response to irritants. These everyday irritants are frustratingly common in daily life — ranging from heat to cold to wind or soap, dander and even stress. Another interesting immunological tie is that people with Eczema tend to also have allergies or asthma or a family history of it. And allergies and asthma are known examples of an overactive immune system. But an overactive immune system is not the same as a weak immune system. What it does mean is that your skin is, shall we say... “high maintenance”! If my immune system isn’t weak, why do I always get infections? With the most common type of eczema - Atopic Dermatitis - your skin barrier is off-balance and/or damaged, meaning it needs extra care to stay hydrated and healthy. Without the extra TLC eczema demands, a broken skin barrier will develop rough, dry patches, cause itching and discomfort, and ultimately - let in germs. Once the germs have penetrated your broken skin barrier, that’s when you suffer infections and will likely need antibiotics. Your doctor may also prescribe creams and ointments with corticosteroids to ease inflammation. It can also be helpful to keep a gentle body wash for eczema at home. So back to that weakened immune system question. Yes, the stress brought on by powerful eczema flare-ups can in fact stress your immune system, which is just one more reason why people think eczema equals a weakened immune system. It’s important to remember that stress of any kind will lower one’s defenses. The good news is that the key to preventing most flare-ups and infections is a healthy skin regimen - and that is something completely in your hands. To calm your taxed immune system and bring relief to red, angry, itchy skin - or better yet, to prevent flare-ups in the first place - using an eczema relief cream is an easy yet wildly essential step. You’ll do well to select a cream formulated especially for eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and sensitive skin, meaning no fragrances or harsh ingredients. It’s why you see so many adult eczema patients using products like Dr. Eddie’s Eczema Cream for Babies. Those popular, heavily-fragranced lotions you’ll find in most people’s bathrooms and bedsides are a big no-no for you. Store shelves are full of pure formulas and assorted options for consumers, so as you look for products to keep your skin comfortable and balanced, don’t be fooled into thinking a baby product won’t be strong enough. After all, skin with eczema demands to be “babied”. And a little extra tender loving skincare is exactly what the doctor ordered.