Eczema is a medical skin condition where the infected patient has patches of skin which becomes inflamed, itchy, red and rough. Eczema is referred to commonly as atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema. It is a chronic skin condition that commonly starts during infancy and continues through into childhood. Certain foods such as nuts and dairy can trigger symptoms.
Eczema can also be triggered by environmental factors like smoke and pollen. The symptoms of atopic dermatitis can vary depending on the age of the person with the condition. Most people develop atopic dermatitis before the age of 5. People with the condition will often experience periods of time where their symptoms flare up or worsen, followed by periods of time where their symptoms will improve or clear up.
In infants, rashes commonly appear on scalp and cheeks, they usually bubble up before weeping fluid. Rashes can cause extreme itchiness, which may interfere with sleeping. Continuous rubbing and scratching can lead to skin infections. Rashes commonly appear behind the creases of elbows or knees. They also appear on neck, wrist, ankles and the crease between buttock and legs. Rashes can be light or dark in colour. They can thicken and then develop knots and a permanent itch. They cover much of the body. It can also cause very dry and scaly skin. Scratching and rubbing irritate the skin further, increases inflammation, and makes itchiness worse.
A specific cause of eczema remains unknown. However, it is believed that it develops due to a combination of hereditary & environmental factors. Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has had it or another atopic disease.
Environmental factors of Eczema
Allergens like dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff.
- Microbes 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.
- Foods that include dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat.
- Stress: it is not a cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse.
- Hormones – women can experience worsening of eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, for example during pregnancy and at certain points in their menstrual cycle.
Home remedies for Eczema
There is no cure for eczema. However, there are a number of things you can do at home for eczema.
- Take lukewarm baths.
- Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing to lock in moisture.
- Moisturizing every day.
- Wear cotton and soft fabrics, avoiding rough, scratchy fibers, and tight-fitting clothing.
- Use a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing.
- Air dry or gently pat skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing.
- Avoiding rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat.
- Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather.
- Keep fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking skin.
Medication for Eczema
Apart from this, there are several medications that can be prescribed by doctors to treat the symptoms of eczema. Also, topical corticosteroid creams and ointments are a type of anti-inflammatory medication and should relieve the main symptoms of eczema, such as skin inflammation and itchiness. Medications to treat fungal and viral infections are also present. Barrier repair moisturizers are also there to reduce water loss and work to repair the skin. Phototherapy can be prescribed to treat mild to moderate dermatitis. It involves exposure to ultraviolet A or B waves, alone or combined.
You should try home remedies, if not enough then you should consult a doctor and take good care of your skin.