Eczema is a very common disease that affects people of all ages, including young children. This is a disorder that causes the skin to become dry and flaky. It is also sometimes called dermatitis. Not only is this condition extremely irritating but it can also be very painful.
In addition, the presence of the rash on the skin can be extremely embarrassing since it tends to draw a lot of attention to itself. Other people mistakenly think that eczema is a communicable disease and therefore avoid touching the person who has it. People who suffer from eczema tend to get flare ups from time to time. It is therefore not surprising that they eagerly look for a lasting solution to the problem. If you suffer from this disease you will benefit greatly from first understanding what it is all about.
Understanding the Causes
One of the biggest problems that people face when it comes to eczema is that the exact causes of this ailment have not been clearly understood. Doctors believe that eczema is generally caused due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As a matter of fact, research indicates that this annoying skin condition is caused when the skin has an extreme overreaction to some stimulus or the other. The stimulus could be:
- something in the diet
- certain harsh chemicals that you come in contact with, mostly in household products
- animal dander
- rough or coarse materials that the skin comes in contact with
The exact cause of Eczema varies from person to person and so does the extent of the reaction. It has been observed that people in the same family suffer from this condition. Doctors also believe that there is a link between celiac disease and eczema.
What Are The Different Symptoms?
The symptoms of eczema can vary from person to person. They also differ according to the age of the person. This problem can also happen on any part of the body although it most often happens on the arms, back of the hands, back of the knees, wrist, face and even scalp. The symptoms include:
- Sensation of itchiness. In many cases, the itching starts even before the rash appears.
- Dry and scaly skin that can also crust and flake. The affected area can also turn thick. If the skin has been scratched very badly and for prolonged periods then it can also turn leathery.
- Redness of skin
- Skin edema (swelling of the skin because of accumulation of water)
- Blistering and cracking of the skin, with areas of redness around the affected area
- Liquid oozing from the skin (this is especially common if the patient is a child)
Not every person suffers from all these symptoms of eczema. They can however, be quite difficult to deal with. As a matter of fact, it is very difficult to ignore the symptoms of eczema because the itching only gets worse over time. Many people, especially children, scratch themselves so hard that they draw blood. If this is done regularly then the person might very likely be left with scars that last for a very long time. In any case, scratching will only increase the rash and should always be avoided at all costs.
Things to Do To Control This Skin Problem
The worst thing about eczema is that there is currently no proper solution to the problem. Even doctors will not be able to help you with a cure for it. All that doctors can do is give you medications that stem the spread of the rash and also reduce its severity. Most of the medications that doctors prescribe are corticosteroids.
These medications help to suppress the body’s immune reaction to whatever negative stimulus it receives. Corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant medications do help to reduce the severity of an eczema attack and might also prevent it from spreading. However, the problem with these medications is that they have many negative side effects. If you take them over extended periods you might end up with compromised immunity. You might therefore be exposed to a variety of infections.
You will find a lot more success in controlling eczema if you follow a number of home remedies. These remedies involve the use of a variety of products that help to soothe your skin and reduce the amount of inflammation it has. You will feel a lot less itchy if your eczema affected areas are covered with some sort of barrier cream that prevents the natural moisture of the skin from coming out. Since your skin is already very irritated, you need to ensure that the skin care products you use do not contain any harsh ingredients. Even the perfumes that are present in most skin creams can irritate skin that is already badly inflamed. You will also get a relative amount of freedom from eczema if you take steps to reduce your stress levels.
Take Steps to Prevent Getting Eczema
You will have a better chance of getting freedom from eczema if you take steps to avoid getting it in the first place. You will keep getting this skin problem, no matter how many corticosteroids you take, if you do not avoid the various irritants that cause this problem in the first place. You therefore need to keep a food diary and also keep track of the different things you come in contact with. It is also a good idea to keep track of your stress levels.
You will realize that periods of the greatest stress are associated with eczema attacks. Once you have a good idea regarding what causes eczema in your case then you can easily avoid this skin problem from happening. In conclusion, you need to get a good idea regarding what eczema is all about. This will help you follow the right method to get freedom from this annoying skin condition. Once your skin is clear of eczema you will feel a lot better about yourself.