All you need to know about eczema

All you need to know about eczema

Of the many different kinds of skin conditions out there, one of the most common among them is eczema. As per the reports published by the National Eczema Association, more than 30 million Americans have some form of eczema. This skin condition can be characterized by skin turning red, itchy, and inflamed. It mostly affects babies and children but people older can also have it, there is no age barrier. Eczema is a subgroup of dermatitis. There are different kinds of eczema, and atopic dermatitis is considered the most chronic and severe form.

This skin condition can appear anywhere in the body, but children and babies develop it on their face, particularly, on the chin and cheeks. While most of the time as the child grows, eczema goes away, some children continue to experience eczema even into their adulthood.

It is to be noted that the exact cause of eczema is unknown, but research suggests it can be because of a combination of reasons, such as environmental and genetic triggers.

There has not been any cure discovered for eczema yet but that does not mean it cannot be treated. There are many treatment options and self-care measures that can help to relieve the severity and prevent new outbreaks of eczema.

While talking about the signs and symptoms of eczema, one has to realize that eczema and its symptoms can differ from person to person and not everyone is the same.

But, usually, eczema is itchy and itching can range from mild to moderate to severe. Sometimes itching could develop into something much worse and the person might end up developing a skin that is extremely inflamed. The itch gets so bad at times that scratching makes the skin bleed.

The common symptoms of eczema are:

  • Sensitive, dry skin that is swollen from scratching.
  • Very itchy skin, which gets even worse in the night.
  • Red and inflamed skin.
  • Dark-colored patches on the face and scalp for infants. And for adults, dark-colored patches on the hands, legs, feet, wrists, ankles, knees and elbows, upper chest, and neck.
  • Skin that is rough, leathery, cracked, and scaly.
  • Small areas of swelling that may leak fluid and crust over when scratched.

One can have a few or all of the above symptoms of eczema. But, to be sure, it’s always advisable to visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Generally, healthy skin can retain adequate moisture, which protects one from various bacteria, irritants, and allergens that can penetrate through the skin. Eczema arises when the skin’s ability to provide protection is compromised, and this allows the skin to be affected by the allergens, irritants, and environmental factors.

Eczema may not have a cure, but there are preventive ways to control and minimize the effects of it, These are:

  • Use moisturization creams, lotions, and ointments on the skin at least twice a day.
  • Try to reduce the time spent under a shower or in a bath to less than 10 minutes.
  • Take a bleach bath as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Dry the body with a soft towel by patting on the skin rather than rubbing. Additionally, apply a moisturizer cream while the skin is still moist and soft.
  • Use only gentle soaps.
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