applying cream to baby leg to cure eczema

Eczema: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a condition that inflames the skin, making it red and itchy. There are various types of eczema with atopic dermatitis being the most common.

According to research, different types and stages of eczema affect 10% of the U.S. population – 10-20% of infants and about 3% of adults. Eczema is a condition that leaves one with dry and itchy skin.

In this article, we will look at the symptoms, causes and treatment of this medical condition.


Symptoms

The symptoms of eczema, especially atopic dermatitis, vary depending on the individual and age. The symptoms of dermatitis include:

In Children: 

  • Rashes on the cheeks and scalp
  • Rashes that cause itching
  • Bumpy rashes that appear on the back, neck, legs and ankles
  • Skin tightening

In Adults:

  • Scaly rashes 
  • Dry skin at the affected areas
  • Visible rashes that cover most of the body 
  • Irritated skin that is always itchy
  • Redness of the skin depending on how much an infected person scratches 

Many people develop eczema as early as the age of 5. Most adults who develop this condition at infancy no longer experience it in adulthood. However, some of the symptoms, such as itchiness, may persist.

 

Cause

The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but according to medical experts, genetic and environmental factors are possible. Children are prone to develop eczema if their parents have it. The risk is higher if both parents have a family history of the condition.

Based on the environmental factors, the causes of eczema include:

  • Foods, such as soy products, nuts, dairy products, wheat and eggs 
  • Irritants, such as disinfectants, soaps, meats, vegetables, and shampoo 
  • Microbes, including fungi and viruses
  • For females, hormone level changes during pregnancy and some points of the menstrual cycle 
  • Changes in weather temperature 
  • Pollens and dust mites 
 

Treatment

Currently, there is no cure for eczema. However, there are treatment plans to ameliorate the symptoms and heal the affected areas. Follow the tips below to treat and prevent eczema. 

1. Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Dry skin paves the way for the manifestation of atopic dermatitis. Moisturize your skin, at least twice a day, using lotions and creams to keep atopic dermatitis away. 

For your baby’s skin, petroleum jelly will help him retain skin moisture and hinder the occurrence of eczema. If you have eczema, and your skin becomes better from using emollients, keep on using them.

 

2. Use Mild Soaps Only

When taking a bath, use gentle soaps, as they will retain your skin’s natural oils and moisture.

 

3. Bath with Warm Water

Use warm water rather than hot water. Hot water strips your skin of moisture creating a breeding ground for eczema.

 

4. Get Rid of Allergens in Your Environment

Allergens, such as dust mites, can be found in every home. If you are allergic to this microscopic organism, it increases your chances of developing atopic dermatitis.

Clearing dust mites from your house minimizes the chances of developing eczema and eases the symptoms. If you live locally, it’s a good idea to visit an allergy testing centre in London for consultation and treatment.

 

 

5. Rest Well

Stress does not trigger eczema but it contributes to the occurrence of the symptoms. The stress hormone cortisol worsens the condition. 

You have to rest properly to keep the stress hormone level low and prevent developing eczema.

 

6. Wear Soft Clothes

Irritating fabrics close to the skin, such as wool, should be avoided. Clothes made of smooth fabrics, such as cotton, should be worn as this helps in preventing eczema.

 

7. Rinse Clothes Thoroughly After Washing

After washing your clothes using allergic detergents, you should rinse them well. Some detergents cause eczema or exacerbate the condition. Keep them away from your clothes in every way possible.

 

8. Visit a Medical Expert

If skin inflammation and itching become too serious, and none of the treatment above work, you should visit an allergy testing centre. A proper diagnosis will be carried out to ascertain the underlying cause and prescribe the right treatment for you.

Eczema is a condition that takes away one’s comfort and dents one’s skin’s aesthetics. Both children and adults can develop it. The sooner you treat eczema, the better. For more information, please feel free to schedule an appointment with our specialist.