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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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