Eczema is a chronic skin ailment giving these symptoms: dry and rough skin, redness, itching, small papules and small blisters filled with fluid. The blisters develop into small or larger superficial sores that cause weeping, oozing and crusting. The skin can become hard and thickened. The outer area of the skin can scale off in some areas and excessive pigmentation can develop.
The symptoms often occur in small or large distinctly confined areas and often in a symmetrical pattern on both sides of the body. Eczema tends to periodically flare up and settle down.
Eczema is most common in children. However, also adults may get eczema and often of a more severe type than childhood eczema. The condition can become chronic and persist for months and years. An important mechanism of this disease is inflammation. The release of tissue signal substances like histamine causes many of the symptoms of the inflammation.
There are two main categories of eczema. Atopic eczema has internal causes that are poorly understood, but inheritance plays a causing role. Irritant or allergic eczema is caused by a reaction against factors of several kinds that come in contact with the skin, come into the body by the food or are inhaled with the air. The two types are not allways clearly distinguished, because an atopic eczema can be agravated by irritants.
Factors causing allergic or irritant eczema are many, some examples are: soaps, cosmetics, sun-rays, dry air, cold weather, nuts, milk, diary products, food additives and scratching by clothes. Some conditions can give eczema as a complication, for example infections, varicose veins and greasy, seborrheic skin.
If the eczema occur during or right after exposure to some chemical or physical factor, irritant or allergic eczema will often be the right diagnosis. Doctors can also often test solutions of the most common allergens on the skin, and thereby detect a causing agent of the eczema.
A habit of rubbing and scratching can cause eczema at the area often being rubbed. Since the uncomfortable feelings in the skin caused by eczema can make a person rub the affected parts, an already existing eczema can be worsened by rubbing or scratching. Skin affected by eczema can easily be infected by micro-organisms that worsen the condition.
The following measures may be useful by any kind of eczema:
– You can find creams and lotions to help against eczema by exerting many simultaneous actions: softening the skin, protecting the skin from external impacts, reducing inflammation, moisturizing the skin, reducing itching, killing bacteria or fungi, removing scales and induce healing of sores and damages.
– Some of these topical remedies are wholly composed of natural ingredients; others can contain natural and synthetic ingredients in combination. Ingredients that give each of the listed effects are blended together. Oily substances that give several of the effects simultaneously are often important ingredients.
– Some of these topical drugs use steroid hormones to alleviate inflammation. There are however some scepticism against use of drugs containing steroids, especially long time use, because steroids can give skin atrophy.
– Anti-histaminic oral drugs are sometimes prescribed to treat eczema. The main use of these drugs is to reduce inflammation.
– There are also oral pills made of natural ingredients available in the market to treat eczema. Such pills also work by reducing inflammation, stimulating healing and supplying materials for skin healing.
– Examples of ingredients that can be found in natural oral and topical remedies for eczema are: selenium, zinc, Omega-3-oils, artichoke extract, milk thistle extract, olive leaf extract, gamma-linoleic acid, grape seed extract, collagen type II, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate.
– Of these ingredients selenium, omega-3-oils, gamma-linoleic acid, milk thistle extract, olive lief extract and artichoke extract alleviate inflammation but also stimulate healing. Zink, grape seed extract, collagen type II, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate hinder tissue destruction and stimulate healing. The oily substances also make the skin softer, more elastic and help taka away scales.
– Avoiding stress and getting more profound relaxation regularly can help to hinder eczema flaring up. Meditation is a good method to get deeper relaxation.
By eczema caused by allergy or irritation from substances, avoiding the exposure can often cure the condition. Sometimes it may be difficult to avoid exposure to the causing agent, because the substance is a part of the environment or because the causing substance is not known.
It can also be difficult to know if the eczema is really caused entirely or partly by some allergen or irritant. If the eczema gives much trouble it can therefore be useful to test out if some external factor is a causative agent, by trying to remove exposure to several factors, one after the other:
– Try to remove or change out soaps and cosmetics used on your skin. Also try to take away or exchange washing media used on interior surroundings and furniture.
– Try to cut out for some period these food types one after the other: Milk and dairy products, wheat products, acidic fruits, eggs, nuts and seafood, Also try to avoid food containing chemical additives, preservatives and colourings.
– A more rigorous cleaning of your clothes, your bed coverings and the inside of your home can take away mites, moulds and dust that your skin is reacting against.
– If you are using special chemicals in your work and are exposed to those, install measures so that the chemicals will not come in contact with your skin or do not come out in the air that you breathe.
– If the surroundings in your daily life are unmorally dry, unmorally humid, cold, warm or full of sun-shine, try to change these conditions. If that is not possible, creams to protect your skin can be of help.