The Story Behind Renewal Calming Cream
How Personal Challenge Led to a Better Solution for Eczema
March 10, 2018
Dr. Carl Thornfeldt’s 35-plus years of private dermatology practice and decades of skin research have led to breakthroughs that have impacted the world of medicine. But for the founder and CEO of Epionce skin care, his own challenges with skin disease have led to his greatest product developments.
Case in point: Renewal Calming Cream, the first product in the Epionce line formulated under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over-the-counter skin protectant monograph for eczema. A passion project for Dr. Thornfeldt because it was the culmination of decades of medical training, original bench research on skin function and botanical activity in the skin, and a personal journey to find a solution to a common condition he knew too well – eczema.
The Beginning of a Journey
Growing up on a farm in rural Oregon, Dr. Thornfeldt was familiar with hard work. When he developed what was believed to be an infection as a child doctors made multiple attempts to resolve the perplexing condition by putting him on a course of antibiotics and antifungal medicines.
But with no success.
Finally, it was determined he suffered from severe eczema — a chronic skin condition characterized by itchy, dry, sensitive skin with red, scaly patches.
This began an excruciating process of managing his eczema, a condition mysterious in its origin even to this day but thought to be influenced by genetics, allergies and a compromised skin barrier.
This experience would shape him in a variety of ways, including his decision to pursue medicine and open his own private practice.
The Personal Side of Eczema
With limited treatment options at the time, doctors could only provide him with topical remedies like tar to help with scaling and dryness, or antihistamines for the itch. Both were ineffective and uncomfortable for Dr. Thornfeldt’s severe symptoms from which he was now suffering.
“Unfortunately, most primary care physicians look at it as a nuisance and tell patients, ‘Use more moisturizer and don’t scratch’,” he explained. “That’s very difficult to do, because eczema is the itch that rashes and it’s debilitating. It affects so many aspects of the quality of life,” he said.
Eczema can often upset the sleep patterns of the entire family, as those who suffer from the condition are often unable to sleep at night due to discomfort from the itch.
As his eczema grew more severe, it began to affect his quality of life. This compelled him to take some unconventional approaches to get his mind off the irritation.
“To try to sleep, I would spend a lot of time memorizing telephone books to cope with the itching,” he said. “It was difficult to get comfortable, so I had poor sleep.”
In addition to diminished sleep and physical discomfort, the condition carried a social stigma. “I remember one year I was the only kid in the class who did not get a Valentine from anyone,” he recalled. “I didn’t get invited to a lot of things.”
His severe physical discomfort surprisingly led to an enhanced ability to focus on his schoolwork.
“If I buried myself in hard science and took hard courses, I was more distracted when I had to really focus on what I was reading,” he explained. “It was a mechanism to reduce the itch, to some degree.”
Dr. Thornfeldt’s experience with eczema as a child and teenager gave him a desire to help others suffering from skin disease. With a heightened academic focus and love for science, he pursued a degree from the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, and completed his residency and dermatology specialty at U.C. San Diego.
He then headed to the northwest to start practicing in a rural part of Oregon and Idaho.
A Dream Fulfilled
Dr. Thornfeldt’s understanding of eczema was the drive behind his passion to create a cosmeceutical skin care line that his own patients would want to use to improve quality of life.
This included early development of Epionce technologies and barrier creams such as Medical Barrier Cream and Enriched Body Cream to relieve dry or irritated skin and optimize hydration on various sites of the body. While effective for hands, feet and post-procedure healing, they did not address the main concerns of eczema like the debilitating itch known as pruritus.
He set out to create a new product similar to ultra-hydrating and soothing Medical Barrier Cream, but to specifically mitigate the discomfort caused by eczema. The result was Renewal Calming Cream.
His years of bench research on the skin and botanicals to led to a new formulation. Unique Epionce botanicals coupled with a well-known ingredient to soothe and calm itch, colloidal oatmeal, provided extra hydration, barrier repair and anti-inflammatory properties.
“The colloidal oatmeal not only provides additional skin protectant effect, but it also has an anti-itch effect,” Dr. Thornfeldt explained. “I felt if we could do better at closing the barrier and have a product that’s going to turn down the itch, we should be able to do a better job with eczema.”
A Clinically Proven Eczema Solution
Renewal Calming Cream is optimized for the most sensitive, dry and damaged skin and backed by independent clinical trials proving safety and efficacy.
It can be applied multiple times a day to hydrate and soothe affected areas, without the irritating side effects sometimes experienced with other eczema treatments.
“If you have any kind of itchy condition, or difficulty tolerating other products, you should find Renewal Calming Cream very beneficial,” Dr. Thornfeldt said.
To get help with your symptoms of eczema, talk to an Epionce professional.