Out of all the common diseases that have emerged these days, one that cannot be denied is eczema. It is usually found among children and young adults and can be a real nuisance. The American Academy of Dermatology has also declared that about twenty percent of skin diseases occur among children and one to three percent among adults. This is the reason, why you should be aware of eczema, a common skin condition that can also spread to other parts of your body, if not treated.
Eczema is inflammation of the skin that is characterized by itchy, red, vesicular and crusting patches. The term is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes that are characterized by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin swelling, itching and dryness, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, or bleeding. Areas of temporary skin discoloration may appear and are sometimes due to healed injuries. Scratching open a healing lesion may result in scarring and may enlarge the rash.
The cause of eczema is unknown but is presumed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although some experts and researchers believe that it can be caused by –
Poor immunity: Some experts believe that if your immune system is not strong enough, you are more susceptible to suffer from various diseases including skin infections. Here are 10 immune boosting foods.
Protein reaction: While some researchers have said that high levels of a specific protein increases your risk of suffering from eczema.
Eczema can be broadly classified into 3 different types namely -
Atopic eczema: Atopic Eczema usually occurs when someone in your family has already suffered from this type of skin disease which means that the condition is heredity (it usually runs in the family). People suffering from this type of eczema usually find rashes on the head, neck, scalp, elbows and buttocks.
Contact dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is caused when you come in contact with any allergen or irritant leading to skin infection. It is further divided into two types –
Xerotic eczema: Also known as dry skin, it occurs if your body is not hydrated or your skin is not moisturized on a regular basis. People living in cold and dry regions throughout the year are more prone to this type of skin condition as compared to those living in normal or temperate climate. Here are 5 home remedies for dry skin work!
Eczema comes with several visible signs and symptoms such as dryness and recurring skin rashes, which are characterized by one or more of these symptoms.
Itching: It is one of the most common and first symptoms you will notice if suffering from eczema. You should avoid scratching the skin (particularly in the affected area). This is because, the more you scratch, the more your skin will be affected leading to further complications. Read about tips to deal with an itchy skin rash.
Skin rashes and redness: These are common in the feet, hand and facial area and form the second common sign of eczema. The moment you notice skin rashes, consult a skin specialist. Here are natural remedies to prevent/ combat skin rashes.
Patchy skin: In some cases, you might observe patchy and scaly skin due to skin rashes and itching.
Bumps: People suffering from eczema also experiencebumps on the skin. You should never scratch those bumps as they may burst out which in turn causes the pus to spread to other parts thereby further worsening of the condition.
Read more home remedies for every skincare problem you’ve ever had!
The diagnosis of eczema is based on the symptoms such as skin rash and itching. And depending upon the severity of the infection, your treatment option is determined. You doctor may also ask you about any history of eczema in your family or allergies. In some cases, a patch test may be recommended to check your susceptibility to various allergens.
Read about what is the patch test for allergies?
There is no known cure for eczema. However, treatment of this condition is aimed to control symptoms by reducing inflammation and relieve itching. Treatment is typically with moisturizers and steroid creams. If these are not effective, creams based on calcineurin inhibitors may be used.
Additionally, phototherapy (which uses Ultraviolet (UV) light along with other topical or systemic medication) is also found to be effective in relieving symptoms of eczema.
Experts advocate that monitoring your diet and skincare regime plays a key role in reducing your possibility of eczema. Apart from these, there are few lifestyle modifications which you need to inculcate in your daily life to prevent eczema. These include -
Stay away from stress: Being too stressed also increases your risk of eczema in addition to predisposing you to various health problems. For a stress-free life, practice yoga or meditation daily for around 30 minutes. Here are few yoga asanas to relieve stress.
Get good sleep: Sleeping for at least 8 hours a day also reduces reduce the chances of eczema. Here are 12 amazing facts about sleep you should be aware of.
Take lukewarm baths: Lukewarm baths have always worked well for people suffering with eczema. All you need to do is soak yourself in a bath tub full of warm water for 15 minutes and relax. Read about hot-water baths vs cold water baths – which is healthier?
Stay away from pollutants:Pollution is one of the key facts that predispose you to eczema. Hence, it is recommended to avoid environmental pollutants and take proper care of your skin to prevent this condition. Here’s how you can avoid pollution from wrecking your skin and hair.
Keep your skin hydrated: As lack of proper moisturising causes eczema, it is important to keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water and fluids. Here are10 ways you can increase your water intake.