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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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