Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation, itching, and redness.
It can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and is often associated with allergies or asthma. Symptoms can vary from person to person, including dry, scaly skin, rashes, blisters, and itching.
There is no cure for eczema, but it can be managed with a combination of moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, and other medications. In addition, lifestyle changes like avoiding triggers and reducing stress may help alleviate symptoms.
Causes of Eczema:
A combination of genetic and environmental factors causes eczema.
Some of the known causes and triggers of eczema include:
✔ Genetics: Eczema tends to run in families, so it is more common in people with a history of the condition.
✔ Skin barrier dysfunction: Certain genetic mutations can disrupt skin barrier function, leading to dry and easily irritated skin.
✔ Allergies: Eczema is often associated with allergies and asthma and may be triggered by allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
Irritants: Certain chemicals, soaps, and detergents can irritate the skin and trigger eczema flare-ups.
✔ Microbes: Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can colonize the skin of eczema patients and contribute to flare-ups.
✔ Climate and temperature: Cold, dry weather can dry out the skin and make eczema worse, while hot and humid weather can also cause sweating, irritating the skin.
✔ Stress: Stress can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms.
✔ Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormones, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can also affect eczema.
It's worth noting that different people may have other triggers, and it's essential to identify and avoid personal triggers to reduce the likelihood of flare-ups.
Skincare for Eczema:
Skincare is an essential aspect of managing eczema, and combining different approaches may alleviate symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
Here are some general skin care tips for people with eczema:
+ Moisturize regularly: Using a good quality moisturizer is one of the most important things you can do to manage eczema. Moisturizers help to hydrate the skin and form a protective barrier to prevent water loss. In addition, ointments and creams are more effective at trapping moisture in the skin than lotions.
+ Avoid triggers: Identify and avoid things that trigger your eczema. Common triggers include certain soaps, detergents, fragrances, and certain fabrics, such as wool or polyester.
+ Take short, lukewarm baths or showers: Hot water and long baths or showers can dry out the skin and make eczema worse. Instead, use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser and avoid scrubbing the skin.
+ Use a humidifier: Cold, dry air can dry out the skin and make eczema worse. A humidifier can help to add moisture to the air and keep the skin hydrated.
Avoid scratching: Scratching can damage the skin and make eczema worse. Keep your nails short and try to resist the urge to scratch.
+ Use medicated creams and ointments as prescribed by your doctor: Topical corticosteroids and other medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and itching.
+ Use mild and non-irritant laundry detergent: Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and non-irritant laundry detergent is recommended for eczema patients.
+ Consider wet wrap therapy: This method is used to hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation and itching, and improve the effectiveness of topical medications.
+ Use sun protection: Sun exposure can worsen eczema, so use sunscreen and protective clothing when you're outside.
+ Manage stress: Stress can trigger or worsen eczema symptoms, so it's essential to find ways to manage stress and reduce anxiety.
Working with a healthcare provider or licensed skincare expert to develop an eczema treatment plan that is right for you is essential. If you have eczema that is not responding to self-care measures, it is always best to see a doctor.
If you have eczema that is not responding to self-care measures, it is best to see a doctor. Work with a healthcare provider to develop an eczema treatment plan that is right for you and follow it as prescribed.