Eczema or dermatitis is a skin condition which is recognized by patches of red, dry skin that is usually extremely itchy. Eczema can appear anywhere on the skin, but is most commonly found on the knee and arm folds, the wrist or the neck area. Some may experience swollen fluid-filled bumps that may break and ooze forming a crust. This can be very uncomfortable depending on the severity of your condition. These are the facts on eczema……
- Generally it is not contagious, except when it is caused by scabies or fungi. All other types are not contagious.
- Even though there are different forms of eczema, the most common is atopic. Generally, this means it is hereditary. This condition often begins in early childhood.
- Food allergies can be a major cause, especially in children. The good news is that as children age, their symptoms usually lessen or completely disappear.
- If you have atopic eczema you are more prone to develop other atopic conditions like hay fever and asthma.
- There are times when eczema is worse than others and flare-ups can come and go. Duration times vary.
- Most eczema can not be cured. The exceptions are eczema caused by scabies or fungi when proper treatment is administered. Eczema caused by an allergy can also be cured if the culprit to the allergy is found. Then it must be treated and avoided in the future. But, that being said, there are many treatments to lesson and control the condition. Treatments usually focus on controlling the symptoms, such as dry skin, rash or itch.
Things You Can Do To Avoid Or Control The Symptoms Of Outbreaks
- There seems to be a a relationship between food allergies and certain types of eczema. If you suspect that to be the case, you may want to look into getting allergy tests done. Or you can stop eating one food type at a time to narrow down the search until you find the trigger.
- Eczema and celiac disease seem to be linked. So a gluten-free diet may be a great treatment for some people.
- Taking a bath once or twice a day can bring relief to sufferers.
- Use a moisturizer a couple of times a day or as needed. Oil based moisturizers are preferred over water based.
- You may want to try light therapy. This has been successful with a great many people to ease symptoms.
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting, breathable clothes and make sure that they are not rubbing up against the rash and aggravating it.
- Dust mites or pollen may be causing your eczema. Try to change your sheets often. Sorry, but you’ll have to do a lot of good old-fashioned cleaning and vacuuming to keep dust to a minimum.
- Try to stay away from harsh chemicals, soaps and detergents. Many times they may trigger an outbreak. Pick natural, perfume-free as often as you can.
- Smoking and secondhand smoke may be a trigger for some people.
- Alcohol may be a trigger for some people. It’s not a definite yes or no to stay away from alcohol. It’s a trial and error thing. You may find that sometimes it affects you because your immune system is weaker than other times.
- Stress seems to be a big trigger for many people. To relieve stress, try meditation, deep breathing and yoga to help.
- Exercise is great for the body but can also be a trigger for outbreaks. The cause is the sweat and the heat, not the exercise. Just try to stay as cool as possible and drink plenty of liquids. You definitely don’t want to give up exercise. Because it will help your eczema in the long run, by giving you a stronger immune system. Shower as soon as possible after exercise.
It is estimated that around 3% of the global population has some form of eczema. If you suffer, know that you are not alone, and that there are medications and treatments available that can provide comfort from the symptoms.