Eczema: Nine Things You Need To Know

Posted by Chandra Nath on

ECZEMA…

…it’s one of the most common health issues in the world. However, how many of us really understand eczema? Hence, here are a few things you should know if you or your family members suffer from the condition.

  1. Eczema isn’t actually a single health condition. But it is the result of one of at least 11 different skin conditions, with atopic dermatitis – or atopic eczema – being the most common.
  2. Atopic eczema often goes hand in hand with conditions like asthma and hayfever, all of which are inherited. Hence yep, you can probably blame your parents…
  3. The main characteristic of eczema is infuriatingly itchy skin displaying tiny blisters (vesicles). These blisters can weep, ooze and lead to crusty patches. The severity can vary dramatically.
  4. Eczema almost always develops in early childhood, with up to 20% of babies showing symptoms. However, the majority of young children – around 75% – will grow out of the condition by their teens or find that it only flares up occasionally as they grow older.
  5. Atopic eczema is essentially an issue where the skin does not function properly as a barrier to the outside world. Consequently, common irritants and allergy inducing substances like heat, dust and detergents can enter the skin and cause inflammation. Food allergies and animal fur can also trigger the condition in some sufferers. Allergy tests or a gradual process of elimination can determine the cause.
  6. You can often keep eczema at bay by moisturising regularly with gentle, unperfumed products like those in the Neutral 0% range. Moreover, the Danish Asthma and Allergy Association endorsed all Neutral 0% products.
  7. Different kinds of eczema can affect different parts of the body. For instance, stasis dermatitis is mainly found on the lower leg, while atopic dermatitis is more common around elbows and behind knees. Additionally, babies often display the telltale itchy rash on their faces, which can be upsetting for parents.
  8. Many people find that stress, tiredness and feeling under the weather can cause their eczema to flare-up. Unfortunately, this can lead to further stress and tiredness, since the itchiness can interfere with sleep. It’s not fair, is it?
  9. The good news is, eczema isn’t life-threatening and is easily controllable with the right treatment. So if you’re worried about eczema, your first port of call should always be your doctor. She can prescribe creams, arrange allergy tests or refer you to a dermatologist.
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