Everything you need to know about eczema
Atopic dermatitis, otherwise referred to as eczema, is a skin condition characterized by inflamed, red, rough and blistered patches of skin.
There are two primary causes for the onset of eczema. They can be hereditary or environmental factors. The environmental factors that can contribute to eczema includes irritants including soaps, shampoo, conditioners, etc., microbes such as bacteria,extreme temperatures such as high temperatures and high humidity. Hormonal changes, especially in women during their menstrual cycles or during pregnancy can also lead to eczema.
Having any one of the symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have eczema. If you have two or more of the symptoms, consult a dermatologist immediately. Early detection of eczema is the key to effective treatment. If your skin is constantly dry and sensitive, it may be a symptom of eczema. Unstable behavior of a skin with frequent rashes due to temperature change should be monitored. Intense itching sensation, dark colored patches, swelling etc are all common symptoms of eczema skin. In case you have eczema, consult an allergist. They run several tests to confirm the skin condition. Allergists may use these 3 methods to confirm their diagnosis.
- Patch testing
Substances are carefully placed on the surface of your skin to see how your skin reacts to them. This test determines what skin allergy you might be having.
- Skin prick testing
A needle containing a little amount of allergen (a substance that causes allergies) is injected into your skin.
- Food challenges
Certain food items are eliminated and introduced into your diet. This helps determine if it is a food allergy.
There is no actual cure or formula to cure eczema. However, there are ways you can heal your skin and prevent flaring of the symptoms. Being committed to change your lifestyle will increase your chances of becoming eczema free. Check out some of the ways listed below that can help you mitigate and prevent eczema.
- Set aside regular intervals during the day when you can take warm baths.
- Use a mild soap on consultation from your dermatologist.
- Use a towel to pat the surface of your skin rather than rubbing.
- Avoid activities that cause excessive sweating. Sweat acts a catalyst for eczema.
- Use a humidifier if you are staying in cold or dry climates.
- It is always safer to prevent the disease than fight it.
- Use cosmetic with fewer chemicals. It is safer to use fragrance-free, bland moisturizers which contain fewer chemicals. Cosmetics, in general, may have agents that could harm your skin.
- Choose your detergent wisely. The modern liquid detergents or even the fabric softeners make your clothes softer. However, they might stimulate itches. As a general thumb rule, simply avoid anything that creates an itching sensation.
- Avoid bathing in lukewarm water as it causes your skin to dry up slower than in hot water.