What is Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that causes your skin to be red, scaly, and itchy. It is more common in children but can occur at any age. Eczema is a chronic condition and as of today no cure has been found. Eczema; however,  is a treatable condition to a degree. There are things you can do to relieve itching or prevent outbreak. Some of such measures are not using harsh chemicals, detergents, soap, or perfumed lotion and other products that come in contact with your skin. You can also apply medicated cream or ointment to relieve the symptoms.

Symptoms

There are various symptoms of Eczema and not all people with Eczema experience all of the symptoms. Some of the symptoms of Eczema include; dry skin, itching, small bumps, red or grayish-brown patches which could appear in hands, feet, legs, neck and other parts of the body, scaly skin, cracked skin, thickened skin, and raw and sensitive skin due to scratching.

Eczema usually starts when the patients are young at age 5 or younger and as there is no cure, it extends to adolescence and adult life. Some patients may go through a period of time between the flare ups, some even for several years.

Types of Eczema

There are several different types of Eczema: Atopic dermatitis, Contact dermatitis, Dyshidrotic eczema, Nummular eczema, Seborrheic dermatitis, and Stasis dermatitis. All types of Eczema cause redness and itching but some also cause oozing or blisters. It is possible to have more than one type of Eczema at the same time.

Although the cause of Eczema is unknown, some researcher state that a combination of genes and environmental trigger may cause the Eczema.

Eczema is not contagious and you cannot “catch” it from being in contact with a person with the condition.

Different types of Eczema may appear different parts of body but all cause redness and itchy skin. With all types of Eczema it is suggested that you avoid using the following types of products: Solvents,Industrial chemicals, Harsh Detergents, Tobacco smoke, Bleach, Acidic foods, skin care products with alcohol, and soaps and perfume.

Treatment

There are different approaches to treat Eczema, medications, natural remedies and self-care.

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Medications

  1. steroid. To reduce inflammation ( common drugs; Hydrocortisone, Fruticasone, Betamethasone, Methylprednisolone, Desonide, Fluocinonide, Alclometasone)

2.Antihistamine to reduces or stops an allergic reaction. (common drugs; hydroxyzine, cetirizine)

Self-care treatments

  1. Ultra Violet lights to treat serious skin condition
  2. Moisturizer to soothe skin
  3. Barrier cream (such as Vaseline) to  protect skin
  4. Coal tar extract to soothe itchy skin

Natural Remedies

  1. Aloe vera. It is known for its antibacterial and wound healing properties.
  2. Apple cider vinegar for balancing skin’s acidity levels and fighting bacteria
  3. Bleach in the bath which can kill the bacteria on the surface of the skin, including S. aureus, which causes staph infections.
  4. Colloidal oatmeal which is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to reduce skin dryness, scaling, roughness and itching.
  5. Coconut oil, which contains healthy fatty acid to moisturize skin.
  6. Honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
  7. Tea tree oil, which is also known for its properties of anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound-healing.
  8. Dietary changes. You can add more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, such as fish, leafy greens, colorful fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils. Also try eliminating dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat, which are known inflammatory foods.
  9. Avoid strong heat sources. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.
  10. Avoid exposure to cold weather. Cold winter winds can also dry up your skin. Keep skin covered. Especially make sure to bundle up babies and little children who are more sensitive to the exposure to the harsh element. Winter air can be very dry, using humidifier in winter season may help skin from drying up.

Conclusion

There is no cure for eczema, but people can often manage their symptoms with home remedies, including natural gels and oils, medicated baths, and dietary changes.

If eczema is severe or does not respond to home treatments, it may be a good idea to see a doctor. Do so right away if a child or baby develops a new rash.

A doctor may prescribe steroid creams or other prescription medicines to treat the inflammation.

Jayden Burke

Psychiatrist at Sydney Day Hospital
Dr. Jayden Burke is one of a few medicinal experts, where he deals with a functioning practice in SDH's Essential Consideration Center and co-directs the Multidisciplinary Depression Treatment Group at SDH. He earned his therapeutic degree from the College of Missouri Institute of Medication in Columbia, Missouri, where he additionally finished his residency in family prescription. He earned his four year college education from Truman State College in Kirkistown, Kansas.
Jayden Burke