Eczema affects around 1.6 adults in the UK and can have a severe impact on daily life, resulting in itchy, dry, red and - frankly, uncomfortable - skin. Suffering with eczema doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on spa visits though; simply plan ahead for spa heaven. And with National Eczema Week happening now (12 – 19 September), there’s never been a better time to give a spa a go.
Stylish Spy seeks advice from Rebecca Randall, Spa Manager at Bedford Lodge
Can a spa-goer with eczema still enjoy the communal facilities and pool?
Yes and no, basically. Pool water can potentially trigger symptoms or cause an eczema flare-up so it’s wise to have a quick rinse in the shower before hopping in. A layer of protective moisturiser prior to showering will help, too. Jacuzzis and hot tubs are a little trickier as higher levels of bacteria and chemicals can cause irritation. If you like the heat, the steam room or sauna is a safer bet; just don’t stay in there too long.
Are there particular products therapists should use?
Essential oils are great for people with eczema; we use plant-based products from ESPA which work well on sensitive skin. It doesn’t hurt to call ahead and discuss the products that are likely to be used in particular treatments either. If possible, pop in for a patch test to ensure you don’t have any reactions on the day.
Which treatments work best for eczema sufferers?
It’s best to avoid abrasive scrubs, hot stone massages and treatments containing heavily-scented products. A simple massage or facial using fragrance-free oils can actually be beneficial to sensitive skin, while gentle exfoliation helps to remove the build-up of dead follicles. Tailor-made treatments – which allow therapists to create the whole experience around your particular skin’s needs – are ideal.
Which treatments do you offer for sensitive skin?
Our ESPA Personalised Facial (£85, 60 minutes) leans to whatever the skin needs. It includes a deep cleanse, gentle exfoliation, face and neck massage and rejuvenating mask.
Or try our Deeply Relaxing Lavender Floatation (£85, 60 minutes), a facial exfoliation followed by a nourishing body wrap containing healing lavender. The treatment ends with a relaxing session in a floatation tank.
Soothing ingredients to use at home
Aloe Vera is very soothing and can be used on anything from eczema to sunburn. Honey has anti-bacterial qualities, while oatmeal is said to restore skin PH balance.
Seaweed contains lots of minerals and vitamins, too; it's also an emollient, so good for soothing skin conditions such as eczema. Spa brands such as Thalgo, Voya and ishga all use seaweed in their products.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) serum is good for restoring the skin’s moisture barrier, again giving you that extra layer of protection and reducing irritation caused by dryness.