Eczema

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Do you find yourself constantly scratching at a spot on your body; is it constantly itching dry and reddish? You may have a chronic skin condition called Eczema.

 

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed. This can also develop other allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever.

Symptoms:

  • The rash most commonly appears on the hands, back of the knees, arms, neck, wrists or feet.
  • Atopic eczema is a chronic disease and symptoms are almost always present.
  • Some areas of the skin may be cracked or broken.
  • Skin is dry.
  • Always itchy.
  • When scratches a lot, skin may become raw.
  • Skin may be thickened.
  • Some areas of the skin become red and inflamed.
  • Some inflamed areas develop blisters and ooze liquid.

The following may worsen the symptoms:

  • Hot showers or baths
  • Allowing skin to stay dry.
  • Mental stress
  • Sweating
  • Dry air
  • Dust
  • Certain fabrics like wool
  • And temperature changes.

Causes:

Eczema is an inherited condition and people are born with it. It can be worsened due to certain environmental conditions such as; pollen, pet fur, hormone levels, dust mites and stress.

These can also be a trigger for other medical conditions such as hay fever.

Treatment:

Unfortunately there is no treatment that gets rid of eczema for good. However there are a variety of treatments available to reduce symptoms.

  • Avoid scratching
  • Apply an emollient.
  • Use lotions to reduce redness and inflammation.
  • Use ointments to treat dry area.

Prevent flare-ups:

  • Moisturize frequently
  • Avoid sweating
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid scratchy materials
  • Avoid harsh soaps

Complications:

If the skin becomes dry and cracked, there will be an opportunity for bacteria to penetrate and this can cause infection.
Some people or children with eczema have been bullied or teased at school because of their skin condition and this can cause psychological problems.
The itching seems to be worse at night and as a result from scratching this can cause sleeping problems.

With the right treatment you can reduce the symptoms of eczema and will be able to live a normal and happy life. Get treatment early to avoid disappointment later.

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