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Holiday Shopping for Someone with Eczema? What to Avoid!

Have you ever gotten a Christmas gift you couldn’t put to use because of your eczema?

With Christmas just a few days away, many of us are about to dive into holiday shopping (if not already done so) in hopes to bring a smile to our loved one’s faces. But there’s nothing more disheartening and discouraging like receiving gifts that someone with eczema cannot use.

Christmas gifts

Although I have culturally reached an age where it is considered “old” to expect and receive Christmas gifts from my family, I’m always very appreciative and grateful when I do. (I mean, who doesn’t like receiving gifts?)

But growing up, I could tell the difference between those individuals who thought out their gifts for me and those who simply wanted to be “nice” and just wrap something random together. Often times, those gifts were either re-gifted or donated. (Just being honest here!)

Thoughtful gifts

Normally, a thoughtful gift considers the receiver’s character, health, hobbies, interests, fashion, and more. It may look like a piece of clothing he or she would wear or a kitchen tool he or she could put to use. Ultimately, the perfect gift matches who they are as a person or who they hope to become, and it is something they can take full advantage of.

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That’s why when someone considers my eczema in their proposed gifts to me, I know they truly care about me. It’s one of the highest forms of love. I feel like I matter and that my eczema matters too. I feel fully SEEN.

Gifts that aren't eczema-friendly

To consider your friend’s or family member’s eczema when gift shopping is probably one of the most thoughtful and loving things you can do. That’s why I’ve decided to put a list together of the common gifts I’ve received and couldn’t use over the years, as well as an alternative gift that would have been preferred and ultimately utilized.


Fragrance is one of the top items on almost every eczema person’s “Do Not Use” list. The scent on our skin and even the smell of it in close proximity can cause anyone with eczema to have a flare.

That’s why a great replacement for synthetic perfumes and fragrances are natural, organic, and pure essential oils. Not only do they smell just as amazing, if not better than many perfumes, but many essential oils are known to reduce inflammation and anxiety. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender oils are some of my favorites, just to name a few. (Be sure the product has a “USDA Organic” label on it to confirm its purity).

Body wash and lotion sets

Body washes and lotion sets are easy and quick to buy products for the holidays. Just look at why Bath and Body Works is a popular franchise store till this day. However, not only do many of these products include fragrances in them, but they also include toxic ingredients that can cause significant harm. Rule of thumb for the buyer: the less ingredients, the better.

When buying these types of products for someone living with eczema, look for items that have natural and organic elements in them. Oils, vitamins, minerals, water, etc. are a great start. Another rule of thumb: If you don’t understand the ingredients in them, it’s probably not a good idea to buy them for a person living with eczema.

Non-cotton fabric

I love clothes and accessories. So when I unwrap a wool sweater or a knitted sparkly scarf, I already know in my mind that I cannot use it.

Due to our sensitive skin, 100% cotton articles of clothing or accessories like scarves always works best against our skin. Cotton is smooth and cooling, allowing the skin to breathe and not overheat. So when buying clothes or fabrics, be sure to check the tag to see what material or fabric it is made out of. Wool and other synthetic fabrics are not recommended.

Eczema-friendly gifts

Other gifts that will support anyone living with eczema:

  • A fun game to create distraction from itchiness
  • A self-cleaning machine, like Roomba, for the days when we are physically impaired
  • A juicer to take to promote a healthy diet
  • Any self-care gifts like journals, fragrance-free candles, books, etc.

Communicate your needs

If you have benefited from reading this article or wish your friends and family knew about how to effectively buy you a Christmas gift, feel free to share this article with them! I’ve already done so ;). Believe me, this will most likely bring them clarity, and even save time and money. Christmas shopping can already be a stressful task for most people. Let’s make it easier for our loved ones.

Question: What are some gifts you have received in the past that you couldn’t use due to your eczema?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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