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What You Need To Know About Eczema

What You Need To Know About Eczema

Eczema is uncomfortable, itchy, and causes social stress. It is very important for an individual to understand the basic information about this unpleasant skin condition.

Besides being irritating to live with, eczema can cause an individual to feel embarrassed about the way his/her skin looks. Treatment has to be consistent and long-term, but the rash can be controlled.

What is Eczema?

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a type of skin disease that produces an itchy, non-contagious rash. It can affect people of any age, but is most common in young children. It usually goes away in childhood, but for some people it is lifelong.

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is considered hereditary and is associated with food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. It is caused when the skin is inflamed and cannot retain sufficient moisture.

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Eczema can be aggravated by moisture from sweating or humid weather, but also by dry, cold extremes. It can also flare up from stress, irritants (materials, soaps and lotions), particular foods, or dust and molds.

What are the Symptoms of Eczema?

The symptoms of eczema can vary depending on the age of the individual involved:

Infants

For infants, there is usually an itchy rash over the face, neck and scalp, and sometimes on the front of the limbs.

If the infant scratches, the rash can become wet, spread and crust over.

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Older Children

Eczema in older children is usually behind the knees, on the inside of the forearms, and opposite the elbows.

If the skin is covered with the rash for long periods of time, it can become more brown in color, thicker, and drier.

Teenagers and Young Adults

Teens and young adults most often get eczema in more places, including the ankles and wrists, bend of the elbows, behind the knees, face, neck, chest, soles of the feet, and palms of the hands.

Basically, for all ages, eczema is a rash that leaves the skin dry, hot and itchy. The itchiness can be extreme at times. The rash can also be weepy or scaly. In some cases the rash is mild, in others it can cause the skin to crack, peel, and bleed.

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How is Eczema Diagnosed?

To diagnose eczema, a medical expert will examine the rash and take the patient’s history. He/she will likely look at the family history of allergies, eczema, and asthma. Tests may be done to determine if a food allergy is responsible for the condition. Suitable treatment will be recommended.

How is Eczema Treated?

It is very important for eczema to be treated and controlled. Scratching can cause infections, and if the rash is left untreated, the skin can become thick and discolored.

When it comes to medications, a medical expert can make the best recommendations.

Here are some efficient eczema rash tips you should consider:

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  • The individual should avoid any known foods or allergens that aggravate it and cause inflammation.
  • Perfumed soaps, lotions, detergents, and cleaners should be avoided. Gloves can protect the hands when cleaning or doing chores.
  • Baths in soothing solutions can help to relieve itching. The skin should also be kept hydrated with appropriate lotions.
  • It is a good idea for children to keep their nails short to avoid excessive scratching. They can also wear cotton socks and gloves when sleeping.
  • The individual or family can also try to avoid stress and to seek support for the unpleasant emotions that eczema can bring on.

Eczema is an unpleasant skin condition, but it can be treated and controlled. It can take a while to figure out the triggers and what works best for an individual, but, with effort and education, there is almost always improvement over time.

Featured photo credit: shutterstock via thumb9.shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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