Treating Eczema

What is Eczema

Understanding eczema is the first step towards successful treatment. Eczema is one of the most common skin ailments and affects millions of people around the world. While most people may be familiar with eczema in children, particularly babies that tend to get this condition it affects many adults as well.

Also known as “dermatitis”, the term eczema comes from the Greek which means “eruption” and accurately describes the effect that it has on the skin. Although eczema is known to have been around for many thousands of years and arguably since the dawn of our species, there is very little data from the time before the Second World War. Afterwards, the rates of eczema spread rapidly over the latter half of the 20th century, particularly among school age children.

The developed world has seen a rise in these skin conditions which has been quite dramatic and so far not fully explained. It is known that more females than males have this condition and that teens and young adults have experienced a dramatic rise in this condition. In places like England, the condition seems to have undergone a dramatic rise in recent years.

The exact reasons for this rise are not fully understood, but it is known that during the 20th century many of the developed countries went from an agriculture-based economy to an industrial or technology based which caused many people to go from outdoor work to indoor work which may be one of the factors in the rise of eczema.

What is Eczema?

Basically, it is an inflammation of the skin at various points that is characterized by the following symptoms;

  • Crusting Patches
  • Weeping
  • Itchiness
  • Erythematous & more

Eczema is not one type of skin condition, but a broad range of conditions that tend to fall into the same category. Generally speaking, most eczema will include various symptoms accompanied by what appears to be a rash on the skin. The bumps may be crusting, flaking and even oozing depending on the severity. There is also a temporary discoloration that will last for a few days.

Unfortunately, the itchiness causes scratching which only inflames the eczema causes even more which leads to the condition lasting even longer. Resisting the temptation to scratch is certainly difficult, but there are a number of treatments available.

It is estimated that this particular disease affects over 230 million people annually which will include eczema in babies as well.

Baby Eczema

Although it is generally the same as eczema in adults, eczema in babies is different in the sense that the causes are often associated with diaper rash which clears up with proper treatment. By the time the baby has grown to be a toddler, the cases of eczema usually disappear.

The conditions created by the diaper holding the baby’s excrement and urine close to the skin offers the ideal conditions for eczema to form. Proper cleaning and using baby powder helps dry out the skin and makes it less vulnerable for developing conditions suitable for eczema. When it comes to eczema in children who have passed the stage for diapers, it is generally the same as what happens to adults.

Environment & Heredity

These are the two eczema causes in adults and they can be inter-related as well. The environmental causes are created by living in an unusually clean environment that actually turns out to create the same conditions for certain forms of asthma and other allergic diseases where the body will overreact when faced with changing environmental conditions.

Basically, when the skin is affected by something minor such as contact with the excrement of house dust mites, the immune system will overreact and create the conditions of eczema. This is also why the appearance of eczema may change with different people because their immune systems react in a different fashion.

Heredity or genetics is the other source of eczema as people who contain the gene filaggrin are more susceptible to getting various skin conditions. People with celiac disease are also more vulnerable as well, indicating that there is a genetic link in those who have had parents or grandparents with this particular condition.

How to Treat Eczema

It must be noted that there is currently no cure for eczema. Because it is not a disease per say, but rather the overreaction of the immune system, there is no treatment that will actually stop eczema from occurring.

Fortunately, there are a number of methods that can be used as successful eczema treatment. For the most part, people can use topical moisturizers and steroid creams which will have a soothing effect on the skin.

Moisturizers: This will keep the skin soft and supple, preventing the dryness that occurs which starts the itching that can only make the issue worse. This allows for the natural healing of the skin once the breakout has reached its peak. Many natural remedies for eczema are based on moisturizing the skin so that it keeps from drying out and allowing the condition to linger for longer periods of time.

Steroid Creams: These are usually prescribed topical creams that will significantly reduce the itching and allow the skin to heal properly. In most cases, a dermatologist or doctor will prescribe such treatment for those who suffer from repeated bouts.

Calcineurin Inhibitors: This is another topical cream that inhibits certain aspects of the skin when applied which reduces the appearance of eczema, particularly the itchiness and redness.

Light Therapy: Another eczema natural treatment is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to help treat the skin. While this method is not quite as effective as certain topical creams, it has shown to be effective for many different people. This therapy was based on the fact that people who regularly expose their skin to sunlight suffer from fewer cases of eczema.

These are just some of the eczema treatments that can be used to reduce the effects of the skin condition. For those who suffer from repeated bouts of eczema, it is highly recommended that you see your doctor to get the proper advice and treatment.

Many times, simple rashes and eczema are wrongly diagnosed when one is mistaken for the other.

Below is a list of some of the different types of eczema and their general symptoms and appearance.

Dyshidrotic Eczema (Discoid Eczema)

 

This is among the rarest kinds of eczema and often afflicts the palms of both hands and the feet’s soles. The meaning of dyshidrotic is sweating too much and this was at first thought to be the reason for this kind of eczema. It appears in form of a rash in the initial stages but later develops into small blisters leading to the skin becoming thick, swelling or cracking and severe itching.

This kind of eczema was once referred to as housewife’s eczema, most probably because housework involves housewives utilizing different detergents with hands, which is a trigger for this problem.

Nummular Eczema

Nummular Eczema is probably one of the most persistent kinds of eczema. It leads to itchy rashes which appear on the skin in form of patches shaped like coins.

Lesions normally grow to be scaly with a clear center and many times are wrongly taken to be psoriasis or ringworm. The causes of nummular eczema are not known for certain, but it is suspected to be a side effect of medicine. In the winter season, the cases of this problem become common.

Eczema Hepeticum

This is thought to be a skin disorder triggered by a viral infection. It is a very rare kind of eczema but needs urgent medical help. This type of eczema normally starts as an atopic dermatitis turns out to be the virus for herpes simplex which causes complications.

Even though it starts as a simple rash, this later turns into blisters leading to fever and illness. It is important to seek treatment as these blisters may lead to infection causing bleeding.

 

Eczema refers to a skin problem which leads to inflammation in some areas and patches on the skin.

General symptoms of eczema are redness, itching, skin becoming thick and spotting especially on elbows, arms and knees. Lesions also form which can lead to infection.

Even though eczema is mainly found in children below 3 years, it is also common in adults. It is not known exactly what causes eczema but it is suspected that it could be a result of a faulty immune system.

It could also be hereditary or genetic or the consequence of allergic conditions and asthma as well. It is a well known fact that different chemicals contained in soaps and detergents can set off symptoms similar to eczema.

Treatment

  • Tests can be performed to establish what kind of skin ailment the body has and this is mainly carried out in form of a biopsy.

Depending on the results, the treatment suitable for the condition is established and normally involves using oils and antihistamines and which are available in the medical sector.

  • Despite using medication however, an increasing number of eczema patients are using natural remedies like supplements and vitamins. It has been realized that treating eczema should start inside the body and in many cases a drastic diet change and lifestyle is the answer for a positive result.
  • Due to this, great emphasis is laid on treating eczema. There has been great increase in production in the market for natural health.

Patients have discovered that the option for natural remedy has a more lasting effect compared to conventional means using creams or medicine.

Treatment for Nummular Eczema

Even though eczema does not have a specific cure, there are various treatments which can be used to control it.

The most common remedy which is utilized is one which treats Nummular eczema, which is probably the commonest kind of eczema.

Remedies used for Nummular Eczema

  • Emollients which are based on oil or fat are utilized as a kind of treatment for preventing nummular eczema. When emollient is applied on the skin, it becomes supple and does not dry out. Preventing the loss of moisture is a vital step in the prevention of eczema from breaking out.
  • It is well known that some emollients have properties which prevent inflammation and itching as well. Selecting the appropriate ointment is just as important also.

This is because it is very important for you to choose one that has the correct balance in oil and water, suitable for the kind of surroundings found where you live.

  • Steroid creams are known to have a calming effect and are also utilized in treating nummular eczema. They practically control the inflammatory response of the body and hydrocortisone is the one which is used the most.
  • It is possible to buy most of them from a pharmacy over the counter, although a doctor should give a prescription for dosages which are strong. Using them for a long time however, can have harmful effects on the skin making it appear thin and weak.
  • Antibiotics are normally utilized when an infection occurs. Using them for long is not advisable and results in bacterial which is resistant to antibiotics. As a general rule, antibiotics are used together with a hydrocortisone cream which is strong and one can only obtain them through prescription.

Treating Eczema with Sunlight

The beauty of sunlight is limitless, it is one of the natural remedies for Eczema treatment and it is the most effective of them all. First, it’s for free unlike most eczema treatments. Eczema patients can benefit from sunlight as it improves the skins condition.

The body produces certain vitamins upon exposure to sunlight, such vitamins work by easing Eczema symptoms and any other skin disorders. As part of you daily routine care, sunlight should be on top of your list followed by other treatment options.

Sunlight is healthy and once you have adopted the correct techniques of using it, you are good to go. Learn the best times of exposing your skin to the sun, do not expose your skin when the sun is at its harmful stage. A natural moisturizer is recommended, you don’t want to burn your skin and worsen Eczema symptoms at the expense of trying to treat it.

Too much of anything is dangerous and this applies to the sunlight. One hour each day is enough to obtain the health benefits and vitamins to combat Eczema. Exposing yourself to the sun for extended periods can damage your skin and exaggerate the existing symptoms.

One last point to remember is to use a skin moisturizer afterwards. A natural cleansing product should be used afterwards to rejuvenate your skin. Do not use scented products to avoid allergic reactions which are known to worsen the skins condition.

Utilizing Oil as a Cure for Eczema

Cortisone creams do give you relive when you apply them to eczema. However, the remedy is only temporary and the condition often relapses again. As the eczema recurs again and again, the cortisone creams start becoming inefficient in giving you relief.

Hence, a growing number of people suffering from eczema are now looking for natural solutions to get rid of eczema. So here we are sharing valuable information about some natural oils, which eczema patients use to get rid of the symptoms.

Peppermint oil is one of the most used natural oils, which gives you relief from the itching due to eczema. Besides this, Patchouli too is highly effective. Patchouli is believed to have natural antiseptic properties and it is quite simple to use. All you need to do is apply it over the affected parts and leave it there until it dries.

Oatmeal remedy too is gaining a lot of popularity and is used worldwide as an effective natural remedy for eczema. Oatmeal has proven to give excellent results in alleviating the itching as it soothes the skin.

Besides, tea tree oil has the ability to reduce the red patches and give you relief from the discomfort of rashes. Applying this to the skin gives you excellent results and has a soothing effect.

By regularly using these natural oils, you can surely get rid of eczema quickly. Moreover, these natural oils are far better than cortisone or steroid creams.

 

Food to stay away from if you suffer from Eczema

 

Since our childhood we are taught that the food we consume influences our personality and lifestyle, and with the advancement of medicine and technology this fact has gained a lot of ground.

The food which we consume is the fuel for our body, and therefore if you eat something which your body is averse to then you will have to face the adverse effects of it. This also applies to ailments such as eczema which is not directly linked to our diet. The cause of this inflammation causing eczema is not known. However with the advancement of medical science, some facts have come to the forefront.

According to the National Eczema Association, the rash differs from person to person. Its texture and intensity too may differ for different parts of the body. Besides, it may range from mild to moderate or even severe. People suffering from eczema experience dryness of the skin which is incidentally quite sensitive. Eczema can also cause extreme itchiness which may even bleed in severe cases. The rash starts getting inflamed and leads to more itching. This is known as the ‘itch scratch cycle’.

Eczema is a wide term which is used to refer several ailments such as atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, etc. These conditions may be due to an allergy or a reaction inside your system, which may be due to wrong consumption of food.

Almost two third people suffering from atopic eczema also suffered from an allergy of food. Often the condition becomes worst as soon as you consume a food that triggers an allergic reaction. Besides, in some cases people have suffered from an upset stomach too.

Food that eczema patients should stay away from:

Here is a list of foods which should be avoided if you are suffering from eczema.

  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Shellfish

Food allergies are not the same for all people. But if you know about the food which aggravates the condition then you are sure to get some relief. People who want to find out what triggers eczema should try out these options:

Elimination diets: You should stop consuming the food which you suspect makes the condition worst. Abstain for around 15 days to find out if there is any change in the condition.

Food challenges: Once you have eliminated the food for 15 days you should gradually start including small portions in your meals to check if they make the symptoms worst.

Get a skin test done: Undergo a skin test to check the sensitivity with the help of food extracts. If the area gets swollen then it indicates an allergy. However, if your skin is very sensitive then you cannot depend on the results of this test.

Blood tests: RAST — (Radio Allegro Sorbent Test) is used to identify and signs of particular food allergies in the blood cells.

It is not easy to tackle eczema. Research reveals that hormones and stress can make the situation worst. Similarly foods which have an impact on the hormonal balance too can pose a threat. Never try to resolve the issue without the guidance of a physician to get relief quickly.

 

Eczema Prevention

Eczema is among the most uncomfortable diseases for someone to live with. Even though most cases of eczema begin in childhood, when one is an adult adolescence can lead to its development.

The skin itches, turns dry and thick and is many times followed by a kind of rash. Eczema is mainly suspected to be a reaction caused by allergy either due to a specific kind of clothing or material, or chemicals and food products.

Due to this, patients are taking care to adapt, change or enhance their way of living and behavior.

Most of the products we use everyday contain chemicals. This includes our clothes which we dress in. The skin is mainly affected by appearance of rashes and itchiness, which leads to discomfort and self consciousness.

Steps to Control Eczema

 

Preventive measures can be taken however, for controlling different symptoms of eczema.

  • Choose organic clothes and get rid of products which contain strong chemicals which we normally use at home. Even though most natural products are normally expensive, they are a worthy investment for the future.

Most eczema symptoms can be controlled to alleviate the patient’s discomfort.

  • The most important step to take is changing the diet and what you eat. Undoubtedly, there is a variety of foods which trigger allergic responses in the body leading to eczema symptoms.

So, by taking the appropriate steps to prevent and get rid of unsafe food from our diet, we can actually acquire a remedy for eczema, if not a cure.

How to Control Eczema

Eczema is an allergic skin condition that accompanies both nasal allergies and asthma, especially noticeable in children. For most people, this symptom gets worse in cold weather, while in others summer can be the worst time. When the symptoms spiral out of control, the discomfort becomes almost unbearable to deal with.

 

Prevention is Always the Best Strategy When Dealing with Eczema

Almost any allergy is best dealt with by preventing it from becoming a problem to begin with. It’s no different with eczema. If you know what triggers your eczema and you can avoid those things, then you must do so for your own best interest.

For instance, I’m allergic to peanuts, so I never any foods containing peanut or any nuts of that matter. Sweating can be another trigger, so I try to avoid the heat and humid conditions as much as possible. Other people may find that dry heat indoors during cold weather is a trigger, so they may use a humidifier to keep their homes less dry.

Of course, the usual dangers such as animal dander, dust, pollen and mold can also be triggers for eczema, so you must try to keep your exposure to them to a minimum. Dry skin is a big no no, so anything you can do to maintain good skin care is also a great help. Another way to keep your skin fully moisturized is by using natural creams to soothe your eczema. You don’t want to use anything with fragrances or smells that may trigger your eczema.

 

Skin Creams for Eczema

 

Prevention is a must, as long as you’re vigilant and you stay up to date on things. But if you’re anything like me, sooner or later, the rash will appear, you’ll scratch and make it worse, and before you know it, you will need some kind of treatment to help.

 

Here are some choices:

 

Topical steroids. These are the old, tried and working, traditional treatment for eczema. They’re also some of the most effective creams you can use. Cortisone formulas come in a variety of strengths and forms, including both creams and ointments. The low dose strength formulas are available without needing prescription. Topical steroids work very well, but shouldn’t be used for a long period of time as they can have side effects such as changes in the skin pigmentation, thinning of the skin, and absorption into the body.

 

Topical calcineurin inhibitors. This creams is one of the newer treatments for eczema. Examples are Elidel® and Protopic®. Topical calcinuerin inhibitors could be taken into consideration as a maintenance therapy after a satisfactory steroid therapy, possibly by reducing corticosteroids gradually and introducing calcineurin inhibitors as substitute therapeutic agents. They could constitute a valid alternative to corticosteroids because of their ability to suppress T-cell activation and proliferation. Indeed, by blocking calcineurin phosphatase, they prevent the dephosphorylation of the nuclear factor of activated T cells, which leads to inhibition of the activation of T cells and the production of proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-2, which is a key cytokine in the activation and amplification of T-cell response. Pimecrolimus (1.0%) and tacrolimus (0.03 and 0.1%) have been proven to be effective, well tolerated and safe in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, whereas their use in psoriasis is off-label, and their efficacy is still controversial. The great thing about these creams is that they are not steroids, so they don’t have the complicated side effects that steroid creams can have. They can also be safely used around the eyes and on the face.

 

If you suffer from eczema, definitely work on prevention treatments and techniques. You must also be prepared for if and when you need to use medication to resolve your eczema symptoms. Talk with your doctor about which approach will work best for your situation and treatment.