January 7, 2019 4:50 pm
Here’s a review of what we talked about today:
Eczema is a common condition affecting over 30 million in the United States. It’s most common symptoms include:
- Dry, Red, Sensitive and inflamed skin
- Bad itching
- Dark colored patches of skin
- Rough, leathery or scaly patches of skin
- Oozing or crusting in affected areas
Common places that tend to affect people are arms, back of legs, hands and face but can happen anywhere. Children are most commonly affected but it can affect any age.
What is happening in Eczema or Atopic dermatitis is that healthy skin helps retain moisture and protects you from bacteria, irritants and allergens. But in those with eczema there is a problem with the gene that affects the skin’s ability to provide this protection. This allows your skin to be affected by environmental factors, irritants and allergens.
Unfortunately your typical eczema or atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition. It tends to have a genetic cause and there isn’t really a cure for it however that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do about it. The mainstay for treating and working with eczema centers in prevention and avoidance.
Steps to help in prevention of flares:
- Moisturize your skin at least twice a day. Creams, ointments and lotions seal in moisture. A good thick moisturizing lotion absent of perfumes or chemicals like Aveno or Cetafil are good options. Even using something simple as petroleum jelly can be very helpful in keeping this under control.
- Try to identify and avoid triggers that worsen the condition. Things that can worsen the skin reaction include sweat, stress, obesity, soaps, detergents, dust and pollen. Try and figure out what your triggers are and Reduce your exposure to them. Infants and children may experience flares from eating certain foods, including eggs, milk, soy and wheat. Talk to your doctor about the symptoms and possible triggers. It may be worthwhile to speak with an allergist and get some specific testing
- Take shorter baths or showers. Limit your baths and showers to 10 to 15 minutes. And use warm, rather than hot, water. In kids,bathing them every 2-3 days can oftentimes be helpful to keep them under control.
- Use Mild soaps without perfumes or antibacterial chemicals. These can remove more natural oils and dry your skin.
- Dry yourself carefully. After bathing gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
- Use a humidifier. Just adding a little moisture into the house can make a difference. This is especially true in the winter when you have a heater running in the house.
- Take a bleach bath. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends considering a bleach bath to help prevent flares. A diluted-bleach bath decreases bacteria on the skin which has been shown to help prevent flares.
To do a bleach bath add 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of household bleach, not concentrated bleach, to a 40-gallon (151-liter) bathtub filled with warm water. Measures are for a U.S.-standard-sized tub filled to the overflow drainage holes. Soak from the neck down or just the affected areas of skin for about 10 minutes. Do not submerge the head. Take a bleach bath no more than twice a week.
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