What is Eczema?

Eczema can appear on any part of the body. It causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry; even cracked and leathery. Eczema is sometimes referred to as “the itch that rashes,” since the itch, when scratched, results in the appearance of the rash.

Eczema is a chronic problem for many people. It is most common in infants.

People with eczema have a higher risk of developing allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever.

What causes eczema?

  • Genetic: Eczema is seen to typically run in families. Certain people have genetic predisposition to have extra-sensitive skin.
  • Immune system: Overactive immune system is thought to be a factor.
  • Skin barrier defects: These defects can allow moisture out through the skin and let germs in.
  • Environmental role: Higher social class, living in urban areas and colder climates can contribute to eczema.

What factors can trigger eczema?

  • Stress
  • Contact with irritating substances such as woolen and synthetic fabrics and soap
  • Heat and sweat
  • Cold, dry climates
  • Dry skin

Can Eczema be prevented?

  • Moisturize frequently
  • Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
  • Avoid sweating or overheating
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid scratchy materials (e.g., wool or other irritants)
  • Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, and solvents
  • Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies (e.g., pollens, molds, mites, and animal dander)
  • Be aware of any foods that may cause an outbreak and avoid those foods

What can be done to treat Eczema?

Good skin care is a key component in controlling eczema. For some people with mild eczema, modifying their skin care routine and making a few lifestyle changes may be all that is needed to treat eczema. For chronic cases there are multiple medical options available.

  • Steroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Ultraviolet light therapy
  • Immunosupressants
  • Immunomodulators
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

How do I care for my child’s dry/Atopic skin?

I have explained on my blog, Atopic skin care for children. http://skinandhairsolutions.blogspot.in/2014/02/dry-skin-or-atopic-dermatitis-in.html

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