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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 March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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