Treatment for Bruising and Thin Skin Related to Eczema
I didn’t think I could be called “thin-skinned” until my eczema blossomed and triggered flares beyond previous compare!
Among my personality traits, resiliency has been mentioned more than once. Having adult-onset eczema has not only thinned my skin but has burdened my personality with self-consciousness and having to tolerate hurtful comments about my appearance. I have leaned on my resiliency more than ever to get me through those harder days, to get me out to continue my daily activities despite the public reactions.
Why might eczema look like bruised skin?
As we all know, we cannot control what others do and say – we can only control our own reaction to it. However, there are a multitude of treatments and precautions from which we can benefit when it comes to the physical thinning and bruising of our skin!
Let’s start at the beginning… There are skin rashes that can appear as a bruise, like our eczema. The intense itch from our condition can tempt us to scratch and cause a bruise or worse to open the skin up to infection.
How can it look different on different skin types?
In more severe cases, we know our eczema can cause widespread inflammation on the skin all over our body and make for constant itching. Those with black and brown skin may get round patches of eczema on their skin or eczema where hair grows. Inflamed skin can look red on white skin, and darker brown, purple, or grey on brown or black skin. This can cause many areas with bruising, yielding to open bloody spots with itching intensity.1
What can cause thin skin?
Our thin skin can develop from variables such as aging or medications, poor circulation, and nutritional deficiencies, to name a few. With the exception of aging (don’t I wish I had some control over this option!!), we could help our situation along with our intervention.2
The topical and systemic corticosteroids we need and use for our eczema thin our skin, making it easier to bruise. Certain dietary supplements, such as ginkgo biloba, also can increase bruising risk due to a blood-thinning effect. 3
How can we improve circulation?
Slight changes to our day can increase our circulation to nourish our skin and perhaps improve the flow of our blood. Here are some suggestions for prevention that I have found helpful:4
- Elevating our legs whenever we sit
- Exercising as recommended for our status
- Taking a brisk walk for about 10 minutes, especially after being sedentary
What deficiencies may cause it?
Research has found that there are certain deficiencies in our diet that can cause bruising and thinner skin all from our eczema! Anti-inflammatory diets and foods are highly recommended to counteract what we may be lacking.5
People with eczema have also been shown to have low blood serum vitamin D levels. Less exposure to sunlight, which we need for our bodies to make vitamin D, is correlated with symptom flare-ups.6
Zinc and vitamin C and K deficiencies are also associated with eczema severity. Here are a few great dietary sources of:7
- Zinc – lobster, crab, spinach, legumes, pumpkin seeds
- Vitamin C – berries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, peppers, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes
- Vitamin K – Leafy greens like kale, lettuce, spinach, berries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, soybeans
Plus, recent studies have shown that orally consumed prebiotics and probiotics may help reduce inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema.8
How can the bruising and thin skin be treated?
The treatment for bruising is the same for any trauma to our skin: Using the “RICE” anagram that I learned way back as a nursing school student:
- Compress (use a light compression bandage wrap)
For our thin skin, my suggestion is prevention first by using sunscreen and covering exposed skin when outdoors or with outside activities. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Mostly, keep skin very very well moisturized and protected by using a moisturizing cream. Mayo Clinic mentions Vanicream, CeraVe, or Cetaphil.9
I have been using Aquaphor spray, alternating days with Amlactin lotion, with great success!
Caution with fabrics: Avoid those itchy wooly types and find lighter more cottony clothing. Using less preservative and perfumed ingredients in our shampoo and skin care is highly recommended. Keeping the temperatures warmer or cooler, whichever works to our benefit, can prevent those flares unnecessarily. In short, anything that keeps our skin intact and calm is our best prevention. Being proactive is our best defense!
When should you speak to a professional?
My most crucial suggestion here is if you are concerned about eczema or any other irregularities or abnormalities in your skin, it is recommended that you FIRST consult your healthcare provider.
I urge that you take supplements only under guidance from a medical professional, registered nutritional therapist, or nutrition practitioner.
Please let us know what you may be using for your compromised skin on this journey we share…
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