Ask Savvy Derm Diva

Ask Savvy Derm Diva – October 2023

Dear Savvy Derm Diva,
Should I be concerned about Halloween makeup if I have sensitive skin or eczema?
Scared to Wear Halloween Makeup, Emily O.

Dear Scared to Wear Halloween Makeup,
This is an excellent question as we prepare for a fun day with costumes and dramatic makeup. Unfortunately, the makeup you get at the “Halloween” aisle or specialty store is not created equal to what you normally wear, which can create a huge issue for the skin. I would start by creating a dramatic look with the makeup you already use at home. If you feel obligated to get colors that don’t exist in your pallet, then do a small patch test of the Halloween makeup to the inner forearm for 1-2 weeks before putting it all over your face. Many of these contain irritants that can even cause reactions to those who are not sensitive. I was interviewed about this topic in Dermatology Times and suggest you read the article for tips and tricks to avoid rashes or exacerbation of your eczema with Halloween makeup. Finally, please send a pic of your fabulous costume!

Diva Tip: Consider theatrical makeup as a nice alternative or Mineral Makeup for sensitive, eczema-prone skin.

Dear Savvy Derm Diva,
I suffer from eczema and keep seeing information about skin barrier. Can you tell me more about this?
Eczema warrior, Kayla K.

Dear Eczema Warrior,
With October being Eczema Awareness Month, it is a great time to educate all on this chronic skin disease also known as Atopic Dermatitis. According to WebMD, there are over 30 million people in the USA who suffer from one form of eczema or another (yes, multiple forms exist). That said, one of the most important tips for prevention or better control is building a strong skin barrier that is, in simple terms, compromised of an outer microbiome, a physical and immunological layer. The microbiome is considered a key functional component in maintaining harmony to avoid the breakdown of the skin barrier, because once the breakdown occurs an inflammatory response follows which then leads to dry skin and worse, itch! Keeping the barrier healthy and intact by avoiding hot showers, applying a thick moisturizer within 3-5 minutes after showering, and monitoring and avoiding triggers such as fragrance are essential to keep the barrier intact.

 Diva Tip:  Look for thick moisturizers with ceramides which are emollients that can penetrate the skin and retain moisture. Humectants such as Hyaluronic Acid or glycerin help hydrate by drawing water into the area. Finally, consider “slugging” with an application of an occlusive such as a healing ointment or petrolatum over the moisturizer to seal everything in. Diva Faves: Cetaphil and CeraVe.

Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skincare. Ask Savvy Derm Diva is a monthly column answering your skincare-related concerns! Make sure you follow her @savvydermdiva on Instagram, Facebook, Threads, and Twitter! You can make an appointment with her via TeleMedicine or in person at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC, or TEXT to 847-802-9667.