Eczema is the chronic inflammation of the skin. We will see Top 5 things about Eczema. It begins as red, raised tiny blisters containing a clear fluid on top of red, elevated plaques. When the blisters break, the affected skin will weep and ooze. In older eczema, the blisters are less prominent and the skin is thickened, elevated and scaling. Eczema almost always is very itchy.
Top 5 things about Eczema
1. Symptoms of Eczema
- Dry skin, Itching which may be severe especially at night.
- Red to brownish-grey patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees and infants, the face and scalp.
- Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched.
- Thickened, cracked, scaly skin.
- Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching
2. Causes of Eczema
The specific cause of eczema remains unknown, but it is believed to develop due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Eczema is not contagious. Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has had the condition or another atopic disease like asthma or hay fever. If both parents have an atopic disease, the risk is even greater. Environmental factors are also known to bring out the symptoms of eczema, such as:
These include soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, juices from fresh fruits, meats, or vegetables.
Dust mites, pets, pollens, mold and dandruff can lead to eczema.
These include bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, viruses and certain fungi.
- Hot and cold temperatures:
Very hot or cold weather, high and low humidity and perspiration from exercise can bring out eczema.
Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products and wheat can cause eczema flare-ups.
This is not a direct cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse.
Women can experience increased eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, for example during pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle.
3. Types of Eczema
The term “atopic” means there is a hereditary tendency to develop eczema, asthma and/or hay fever. This is the most common form of eczema. Atopic dermatitis usually starts during childhood, typically in the first six months of life. Its symptoms include dry, scaly skin, redness, itching. Most often, it affects skin on the face, hands, feet, inner elbows, back of knees . Irritants that can make symptoms of atopic dermatitis worse.
Eczema occurs when your skin comes into contact with irritants or allergens (called triggers), resulting in redness, inflammation, itchiness and pain. There are two kinds of contact dermatitis ie. irritant and allergic. The common triggers of irritant contact dermatitis are solvents, detergents, paint, pesticides, bleach and fumes. Conversely, allergic dermatitis (also called allergic eczema) can be triggered by topical antibiotics, adhesives, fabrics and poison ivy. Treatments include: Moisturize the skin. Avoiding future contact with the irritant or allergy.
The condition is more common in women. This type of eczema affects the hands and feet. The first symptom may be severe itching. Blisters may then appear, which give way a few weeks later to scaly patches. Sometimes deep cracks can appear on the hands or fingers. The condition is more common in women. This type of eczema may become chronic and painful Treatments include ie. Cool, wet compresses
Also known as discoid eczema, it causes coin shaped red marks on skin especially in the winter months. It usually affects the legs. It’s more common in men
This type of eczema is better known as dandruff. In infants, it affects the scalp. In adults, it also affects eyebrows, sides of the nose, area behind the ears, groin, center of chest and beard. It causes skin to fall off in flakes. The condition may be due to an overgrowth of a type of yeast that normally lives in these areas, as well as overgrowth and rapid shedding of cells on the scalp.
People with this type of eczema develop skin irritation in spots that they frequently scratch out of habit. This type of eczema often affects areas like back of the neck, Genitals, scalp, Wrists, Ankles, inside and behind the ear people may scratch affected areas during the day without realizing it. They may also scratch while asleep. Usually, neurodermatitis causes a skin outbreak that doesn’t get any bigger. But the irritated skin can grow thick and deeply wrinkled. Infections may also develop in the irritated areas. The main treatment for this type of eczema is to stop scratching it.
This type of eczema can develop in people when the veins in their lower legs don’t properly return blood to their heart. The common symptoms are swelling around the ankles, redness, scaling, itching and pain. In more severe cases, oozing, cracking and ulcers may develop. Over time, this type of eczema can cause the skin to develop brown stains.
- Elevating the legs.
- Compression stockings.
4. Eczema Treatment
The conventional eczema treatment is the use of topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) and systemic oral drugs. However, these medications can cause a variety of adverse effects. For instance, corticosteroids (the most popular option), can cause thinning of your skin, inflamed hair follicles, stretch marks and may even worsen a pre-existing skin infection. This is why you should try other alternative ways of treatment like homoeopathy. Homeopathy not only treats the eczema but stops the relapses permanently.
5. Lifestyle and Home Treatment for Eczema
There are numerous things that people with eczema can do to support skin health and alleviate symptoms, such as
- Use Moisturizer:
After bathing, apply a heavy, ointment based moisturizer while your skin is still moist. Creams, ointments and lotions seal in moisture. Using petroleum jelly on your baby’s skin may help prevent development of atopic dermatitis.
- Try to identify and avoid triggers that worsen the condition:
Things that can worsen the skin reaction include sweat, stress, obesity, soaps, detergents, dust and pollen. Reduce your exposure to your triggers. Infants and children may experience flares from eating certain foods, including eggs, milk, soy and wheat.
- Take shorter baths or showers:
Limit your baths and showers to 10 to 15 minutes. And use warm water.
- Take a bleach bath:
Dermatologists recommends considering a bleach bath to help prevent flares. A diluted bleach bath decreases bacteria on the skin and related infections. Take a bleach bath no more than twice a week.
- Use only gentle soaps:
Choose mild soaps. Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps can remove more natural oils and dry your skin.
- Dry yourself carefully:
After bathing gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
- Wear loose clothing:
Wear cotton and soft fabrics and avoid rough, tight fitting clothes.
- Use a humidifier:
Dry air can be stressful for your skin.
- Cutting your nails:
Keep fingernails short to prevent scratching.
- Use Coconut oil:
This is known for its antibacterial, antifunga, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Apply the oil directly on the affected skin a few times daily for instant relief.
- Use of aloe vera:
It offers antibacterial, regenerative and antioxidant properties that make it a popular ingredient in skin care products. Extract the gel from a fresh aloe leaf and apply directly to your skin.
- Use Moisturizer:
Probiotics Like youghurt, buttermilk, cheddar cheese. Give your immune system a boost . Good bacteria can help soothe inflammation and stimulate the body to produce antibodies and certain white blood cells that are vital for preventing the body from overreacting to allergens from breaking the skin.
- Opt for Hypoallergenic Foods:
Hypoallergenic or low allergenicity foods are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Hypoallergenic fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, apples, pears, squash, cucumbers, kale, Brussels sprouts, celery, lettuce, zucchini, beets, bananas, blueberries, apricots and turnips, are generally considered safe for people with eczema.
- Increase your omega-3 intake:
Dry skin is a common sign of omega-3 deficiency and can trigger eczema symptoms. Hence, if your skin is dry, you should try eating more omega-3 rich foods.