How To Deal: Adult Eczema


When this past summer ended, my skin did all of its normal things—tan faded, lips needed more balm—plus a couple of new things. There was discoloration, plus a dryness I couldn't shake. So I headed to the dermatologist, who identified it as adult-onset eczema. Cool! It was likely tied to the changing seasons and stress. She advised me to avoid hot showers, but otherwise my case wasn’t quite severe enough for a prescription.

But I had to do something. Dozens of products later, I landed on three—one for day, one for night, one for the shower. Walk with me:

I cannot, nor will I willingly, shower without Neosporin Moisture Essentials Daily Body Wash. That whole “don't take scalding hot showers, Claire' advice was never really going to stick anyway—so, luckily the soap- and fragrance-free formula here helps negate some of the drying, burning, itching consequences of that habit. I also use it with a washcloth, instead of a rougher loofah, since eczema-prone skin responds better to softer fibers, like cotton.

I do love a good wool sweater though, so to prepare my skin for my knitwear habit, I use Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm every night. It was developed for babies, so you know it's good. It’s the thickest lotion I’ve ever used—really, it’s almost a salve—and it leaves skin plumper (hello, lipids) but not waxy. And it kills the urge to itch. All of this meant Mustela was my solution in a French pharmacy-like bottle. It is, however, too heavy to wear during the day, so I added Kate Somerville Eczema Therapy Cream to the roster. The latter is lighter and incorporates calming Colloidal Oatmeal. Makes me smell a little bit like a Quaker bar, too.

—Claire Knebl

Photographed by Tom Newton.