A brief overview on eczema

A brief overview on eczema

Eczema is a condition that affects the skin, wherein it becomes dry, cracked, rough, and itchy. In some types of this condition, blisters could also form on the skin. The most common type of this condition is referred to as atopic dermatitis and it mostly tends to occur in children. Eczema does not always have one specific cause and can be treated via various methods. Read on to know more about this skin condition

Causes of eczema
Healthcare professionals and experts are not sure of the exact cause of eczema, however, they are of the opinion that this condition develops due to environmental or genetic factors. A few environmental factors that could increase your risk of developing this skin condition are:

Irritants such as certain chemicals or substances found in detergents, soaps, shampoos and household cleaning products. Certain fruit juices, vegetables, and meats.

Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites and molds can be causal factors for allergic eczema.

Weather conditions. For example, if it is too cold it could result in dry itchy skin. Similarly, if it is too hot then perspiration or sweating can trigger itchy skin.

Foods such as eggs, dairy products, nuts and soy products can trigger the symptoms of eczema or cause a flare-up.

Hormone changes especially during pregnancy or during the menstrual cycle can make women more prone to developing the symptoms of eczema.

Stress, although not a causal factor of this condition can cause a flare-up of symptoms if you have already been diagnosed with it.

It should be noted that children are at a higher risk of developing this condition if one or both parents has eczema or a similar skin condition.

Symptoms of eczema
The symptoms of this skin condition can vary depending on the age of the person and the severity of the condition. Some of the common symptoms of this condition are dry itchy skin and open or crusted skin sores.

In infants below the age of 2, this condition can cause rashes on the cheeks and scalp that leak fluid. These rashes are extremely itchy and can interfere with sleep.

In children above the age of 2, symptoms that could be indicators of this condition are rashes that appear in the creases of the joints such as the elbows or knees. Rashes can also appear on the wrists, ankles, legs and neck.

The rash that develops in people of a darker skin tone may be gray or brown in color.

Home remedies
Here are a few home remedies that you can try to soothe and relieve the symptoms of this skin condition.

Aloe vera gel
Among the oldest and most effective treatments for a number of health issues and eczema is the gel from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can help to heal wounds. This gel is easily available in health stores and online.

Colloidal oatmeal
Oats that are ground and boiled are used to treat skin dryness, itching and scaling as it has a lot of skin-healing properties. It can be added to a warm bath as a remedy to soothe dry skin.

Bathing the skin is a key component of eczema treatment. However, ensure that the water temperature is correct or lukewarm. Use a mild or specially formulated soap. Pat your skin dry and remember to moisturize immediately after your bath.

Food regimes for eczema
If you have been diagnosed with eczema, then including anti-inflammatory foods in your regular meals could help to reduce the severity of symptoms. These include fatty fish, such as sardines and salmon.

Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, spinach, and apples are high in a plant flavonoid known as quercetin. It is not only a powerful antioxidant but also an antihistamine and can reduce inflammation in your body.

Yogurt, soft cheeses such as Gouda, and sourdough bread contain probiotics that can boost your immune system and reduce the chances of a flare-up of symptoms of allergic reactions and eczema.

Also, avoiding trigger foods that can worsen or cause a flare-up of symptoms of your condition might be a good idea. Some foods that are known allergens are dairy products, soy, nuts and eggs.

Avoiding triggers that can worsen symptoms or cause a flare-up is key to managing this condition effectively.