Eczema is a skin reaction which we see in several diseases. It is most common in children but adults also can get it. There are several types of eczema but Atopic (allergic) dermatitis is the most common form among all.
Although eczema is a chronic condition we can reduce the frequency of outbreaks by taking some preventive measures.
- Red patches/bumps
- Itching is severe during nights
- Dry skin
- Thickened and scaly skin
- Blisters (not common but seen in some people)
What we must know:
- Eczema is not contageous, unless it is secondary to scabies mite.
- Cause is not known but a combination of factors such as genes, dry skin, environmental factors and weak immunity can trigger the condition.
- It is necessary to consult a specialist to rule out certain medical conditions which can cause dry skin leading to eczema.
- There is no cure for eczema, but there are few things you can do to lessen your risk and prevent flare-ups.Treatment is always based on the cause and symptomatic, which includes antibiotics if there is infection, topical ointments, antihistamines and good skin care.
- Moisturizing is very important at least twice a day as dry skin can aggravate symptoms.
- Avoiding certains soaps, fabrics, lotions, deodorants, pollen and animals can prevent this.
- Avoid food which you are allergic to as some dairy products/peanuts can trigger symptoms.
- Use mild laundry detergents, and rinse your clothes twice when washing to clear away all traces of detergent.
- Wear gloves whenever you do dishes or housework, because soap and water, cleaning products, and even dust can irritate your skin.
- Scratching damages the skin and starts a vicious cycle of itching-scratching-rash. It’s better to gently rub or pinch the skin rather than scratch it.
- Cotton is a comfortable material that allows the skin to breathe, which helps prevent skin irritation. In contrast, synthetic materials, wool, hemp, and raw linen tend to irritate the skin and can cause an outbreak of symptoms.
- Stress can aggravate symptoms. All techniques for decreasing stress are recommended. For example, physical exercise is a great way to relax.