Eczema is a prevalent disease caused usually by allergens in food, perfumes, hair and skincare products for most people. A number of cases have had the disorder because of slow and poor digestions as well as gut related problems such as Leaky Gut Syndrome.
While an eczema attacks can occur due to any sudden exposure to a certain type of chemicals or any type of substance, studies have shown that genetics and allergies have been more responsible for most of the incidences.
This is why people are usually diagnosed with eczema at very young ages or as toddlers. People with genetic eczema mostly have it in visible spots such as the cheeks, chin, arms, and legs. For adults and teenagers, it is less likely to happen on the face and is usually observed to be in the back, chest or ankles.
Eczema can be easily spotted because of its reddish, itchy rashes though these marks vary from person to person depending on factors such as the skin type of the particular person. For example, people with dry and sensitive skins have cracked and blister-filled spots while people with oily skin with have a paler tone of red in their spots.
Nevertheless, it is the redness of the eczema rashes that make them easy to be diagnosed as well as the chronic itch that comes with it. Itching induced by this disease can be so chronic that it can make the rashes bleed which further damages the skin.
Some researchers have shown that eczema is not a single condition but a combination of various skin problems that have similar symptoms. These different types of eczemas are based on their causes. The most commonly detected ones are:
- Atopic Dermatitis (linked to different allergies)
- Contact Dermatitis (related to irritation)
- Dyshidrotic eczema (includes fluid-filled blisters)
- Neurodermatitis (Severe itching caused by scratching)
- Stasis Dermatitis (happens in lower extremities)
What are the symptoms of Eczema?
Symptoms of Eczema can vary in terms of being chronic or acute. Signs such as redness and cracking tend to occur periodically, usually in response to fluctuating immunity in the specific person or rise in stress levels.
Some of these signs might even go away, leaving behind no spots for several weeks or even years, but they are usually reoccurring and the patients are likely to suffer repeatedly and often in a more severe form if the condition is not treated properly. Though different types of eczema might come with unique symptoms, the most commonly shared ones are:
- Inflammation in the skin which gives the affected part of the body a red tint similar to the redness from blood followed by extreme swelling that makes the part more sensitive to pain.
- The start of the ‘Itch-scratch cycle’ which induces itching and irritation on the affected part. The itching does not help in relieving the eczema attack, but rather makes in worse and can worsen the condition.
- The extreme dryness that can make the eczema-affected part to flake and give off a scaly look to the skin. A prime example of this is Seborrheic Dermatitis, a type of eczema that attacks the scalp leading to Dandruff.
- The appearance of random cuts throughout the skin is a symptom of eczema that can make way for bacterial infection to happen.
- Increased sensitivity to skin and hair related products such as shampoos, creams, lotion. The easy way to detect this is by noticing if any burning sensation follows after the use of any such product.
- Alterations in skin tone and texture. Eczema patients can usually undergo a darkening of the skin as well as roughness and thickness.
- A stage two of symptoms follows if the aforementioned ones become more intense. As a result high levels of stress, lack of sleep and difficulty in concentration can be caused in severing causes of eczema.
- Eczema due to allergens such as Atopic Eczema has distinctive symptoms such as perpetual illness, respiratory issues and fatigue.
- Other skin conditions in adults that constantly keep coming back, for example, warts can be a sign of a possible eczema attack.
Conventional Treatments for Eczema
A proper cure for eczema really does not exist. Dermatologist instead recommends a routine that can avoid intensification of eczema effects and manage its symptoms which usually consists of avoiding products that can be hard on the skin and daily, mild cleansing.
Sometimes these routines can include changes in daily food intake, especially in cases of allergic eczema to lower chances of coming in contact with those allergens in normal meals without knowing.
When professional help and medication becomes a necessity, skin creams can often give to eczema patients to reduce the dryness in the skin and moisturize. An example of this can be steroid creams or Corticosteroid that can control itchiness in the skin and stop a patient from hurting eczema affected parts.
Pimecrolimus and Tacrolimus are used as a substitute for patients whose skin have become too sensitive or is just not suited to handle steroids from Corticosteroid.
The use of skin-sensitive products is recommended by most dermatologists even at the very first symptoms of eczema. Skincare and hair products, in accordance with studies, contribute greatly to eczema as synthetic smells and their chemical-rich formulas can irritate the skin greatly.
Companies have therefore developed eczema-special medicated products that do not contribute to the severity of eczema in any other way.
What Can You do to Prevent Eczema?
Although most people prefer seeking professional help for eczema, there are a number of ways the severity of eczema can be controlled at home, reducing chances of more harm. Simple changes in habits that can manage this skin disorder include:
- Avoiding continuous contact with the skin
Wanting to scratch the skin is a feeling that is hard to resist in eczema but keeping in mind it can greatly harm the skin, it should be avoided at any cost. Using the right medication can help relieve itching.
In addition, contact with too hot or cold water, going out in extreme temperature and using products which can possibly irritate the skin should all be kept away from. Working too much on the skin can worsen the situation.
The best way to tackle is to leave the skin alone.
- Changes in Diet
A number of studies have shown that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help soothe the symptoms of eczema and improve immunity. Foods that have a high chance of helping are high-fiber foods, antioxidants, and probiotics.
- Healing oils application
Some specific types of essential oils can help manage eczema. For example, Lavender oil can reduce redness in the skin and reduce the number of occasional flare-ups because of its anti-inflammatory function.
Geranium oil, Myrrh oil, and tea tree oil can similarly be all used on the eczema-affected region for soothing and for a natural, simple solution.
- The role of supplements
Some available supplements have possessed properties that can lessen the skin’s tendency to be irritated and become more manageable. Vitamin D-3, probiotics, Omega 3 and vitamin E, C and A can have a preventive as well as protective role.
Appropriate doses of these which have been approved by the doctor can help in boosting the immunity and encourage healthy digestion along with better gut health.
Natural home remedies and treatments can always help in managing eczema even if one prefers help from a doctor. In fact, for better health and fast improvement in severe eczema, a combination of both can do wonders if done properly.