Eczema (Dermatitis): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Eczema is an inflammation on the upper layers of the skin and it is a type of dermatitis. However, numerous skin conditions in which the skin turns red and results in fluid-filled bumps that ooze and irritate are also termed as eczema. The most common form of eczema is called as infantile eczema and it frequently occurs in older children and infants. Though, the cause of eczema may differ from person to person, it is mainly differentiated by red, dry and awfully inflamed patches on the skin.
Systemic corticosteroid is an internally administered steroid. In severe cases, systemic corticosteroids are administered as liquid, injector or pills. However, the treatment is avoided in the case of babies and children. Due to its high potential of side effects, they are used only for a short time. To solve the problems of initial stage of usage, topical treatments are used to treat the remaining illness as well as relief from associated itching and eczema.
Using corticosteroid without proper prescription or instruction should be generally avoided when two or more persons report the problem of eczema or serious itching. For example, if both child and parent have eczema, the doctor may be consulted for instruction on medication. Breastfeeding women should also avoid systemic corticosteroid. The medicine also affects growing fetus, hampering the development abilities and growth of baby or fetus.
The best way to apply corticosteroid is to apply on a damp body which is soaked. With this kind of practice it is expected to get symptoms and signs of relief.
Cataract and Glaucoma result from application of corticosteroid near the eyes in the facial areas. It is better to avoid putting medicines near or in the eyes. Some of the known side effects of corticosteroid are stretch marks, skin thinning, loss of effectiveness, loss of effectiveness and dilated blood vessels.
As Herbal Sources were commonly used treatments before the advent of corticosteroids, there is not much clinical information in this subject studied by medical and pharmaceutical profession. Doctors avoid discussing about herbal sources, since their license does not encourage such practice.
The bath salts can be used daily or regularly to keep the skin healthy, free from eczema and itching. The skin is conditioned by bath salts with correct pH and essential minerals. Wild oregano oil, which burns the sensitive skin, is also used to control itching. To take the sting out, the olive oil can be diluted. For immediate and better benefits, pure and virgin coconut oil can be mixed with bath water to stop itching.
Antihistamines and corticosteroid are some of the commonly used anti itch drugs for Eczema. Itching associated with severe eczema is treated with antihistamines. It is believed that sedating form of antihistamine is good to stop itching or symptoms of eczema and also results in peaceful sleep. As itching brings problems of loss of sleep, antihistamines work on them, and bring sleep to the sufferer. The body makes skin repairs during sleep, having effect on future itch.
The strength and type of antihistamines that are to be used depends upon severity of the problem. Antihistamines are safe to use under proper instructions without significant side effects. It is better to avoid using antihistamines without the instruction, especially for children, which may prove dangerous.
Topical Corticosteroids are used since 1950’s to treat eczema to relieve inflammation and reduce itching. Most of the dermatologists prescribe topical forms of medication for treating eczema. Corticosteroid reduces symptoms and signs of itching and eczema. The medication is also called as steroids or glucocorticoids. Prescription is generally made after considering all the factors such as severity, location on the body and medical history of the person.
Hyper pigmentation can also be relieved by skin peels. Skin peels of Glycolic, alpha, beta hydroxy acid can be applied to break and remove the outer surface of skin resulting in a softer and toned under skin. In cases of post inflammatory hyper pigmentation, peeling methods are commonly used. Topical treatment products are also used to speed up the process of skin lightening. Peels and light are used in tandem. Doctors also prescribe such home treatments. To get best results and for efficient treatment there should be 4 to 6 peels, by observing 3 to 4 weeks’ time lapse between peels. Based on the severity of hyper pigmentation, light laser treatments can also be used. Skin peels and light treatments are used to control skin wrinkles enhances skin clarity and to uncover smooth and soft new skin.
Post inflammatory hyper pigmentation is also successfully treated by microdermabrasion, a dermatological cosmetic procedure. Microdermabrasion also, just like peels, exfoliates upper part of skin and dark areas in it. Microdermabrasion treatment is chosen to continue post inflammatory hyper pigmentation for persons with sensitive skin to avoid reactions of other treatments. The half an hour process is performed by a machine which sprays fine crystals on surface of skin, to remove exterior layers of skin with gentle sanding process. After the crystals are sprayed, they are vacuumed away with exfoliated skin.
The body should have sufficient quantity of Vitamin E, which treats the skin by reducing the intensity and frequency of scratch. The vitamin E, after absorption makes a great difference. However, synthetic form should be avoided as body can not use such forms. Vitamin E oil can be applied to skin directly to stop itching. To stop itching, tomato juice can also be used to calm the skin. However, in some eczema cases, itching is caused.
As a part of home remedies, peppermint bath relieves itching. A cup of white vinegar can also soaked with bath water to tame the itch. To get better relief from itching, the itchy parts can be washed with a solution of 2/3 parts water with 1/3 apple cider vinegar. Alternatively a paste of coconut oil and lime juice can be applied to get rid of the itch. To effectively stop skin inflammation and itching, dead tea salts can also used. The dead tea salts mixed with the bath water acts as disinfectant and treats infected and oozing eczema skin. Herbal product to confront itch contain gum weed, chickweed, comfree, plantains and calendula.
The paste of Cinnamon powder and honey can be made applied to stop itching. To reduce severe occasion of itch, Vicks Vapor Rub can also be applied directly from its container. Colloidal oatmeal or the ground oatmeal made of edible oats stops the urge to itch. The skin gets irritated sensation and itching due to elevated pH. Colloidal oatmeal reduces pH levels and protects the skin from scratch.
Chickweed plant which grows in the winter months is known as a cooling weed due to its ability to calm hot rashes. Being rich in iron, potassium and calcium, they can be taken as a tea or a poultice. It can be used in bath for better relief of itch. As Chick weed has not been reported toxic, it is safe to use.
Gum weed extract is used as an antiseptic, purgative and disinfectant. The weed grows at dried water basins and roadsides in dry summer time. The boiled leaves and flowers of Gum weed are used for the treatment of broken and raw skin symptoms.
Marigold or Calendula should be taken by mouth to reduce skin inflammation and provides relief to various ailments. The herb was recognized as far back as 1300 AD. The oil extracted from the flower of Marigold is very useful for sensitive and oily skin types.
Topical application of Witchazel on skin is useful to treat itching. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of Witchazel are used to treat broken skin and to control infections. The rare but inexpensive Witchazel is a very old method of treatment, providing miracle cure, without any side effects. As a herbal remedy, the leaves plantains are crushed and the residue is applied on the affected skin parts as a herbal remedy.
The above ingredients can also be boiled in tea. They can later be frozen in paper cups and used as ice poultice on skin to control and stop itching. As a first step to treatment, you should identify the cause of itch. If you are not able to find out the cause, you can use succus juice and calendula as a first aid to stop itching and then look for precise treatment when you find out the source.
You have to discover the silent inflammation happening in our body by identifying symptoms such as coughs, back aches and headaches. When the inflammation is explicit and surfaces on the skin, it has also built inside the body and beneath the surface.
There are various courses to treat inflammation and eczema. The problem gets reduced when the activities are organized to handle and control inflammations. The pain of inflammation alerts the body that something is wrong with the skin. The swelling is only an attempt by the body to avoid the affected area and make it immobile. The immune system also works to solve the problem through its signs of redness, itching and heat. Ignoring the building up of inflammation will only cause further damage and cause chronic problems like eczema. Inflammation and eczema and be naturally treated by making adjustments with environment and lifestyle.
Environmental pollution is a prime factor affecting inflammation. Free radical activity of oxygen molecules also causes inflammation. The highly reactive oxygen molecules create inflammatory responses. The inflammation is produced in any part of the body whereas eczema affects the skin. Air pollution, environmental pollution also cause free radical activity as it exposes ultra-violet light and hand smoke from sun.
Cold or ice can be applied in the affected area. The ice pack or refrigerated soda can also be used to treat itching. Otherwise, some water also can be kept in a plastic bag under deep freeze to control the itch. The ice will provide a numbing sensation to the itch, check the skin swelling and reduce interference during treatment.
Heat can also be used to treat the itch. By applying hot water bottle in the areas, the itch gets good relief. Unlike other heating devices, hot water bottle does not sweating.
Hydrocortinose crèmes (1%) is also available over the counter to stop itching. The crème has to be applied many times in a day to prevent inflammation and stop itching. Hydrocortinose in low dosage contains steroids in small concentrations. As the steroid concentration in hydrocortinose is very low, it does not cause any significant side effects like oral or prescribed steroids. However, in some cases of itching, due to low concentration, the drug is not strong enough to treat the itch.
Benadryl can be used to treat the itching, followed by relaxation, as the drug makes the user disoriented and/or sleepy. Benadryl relieves the itching symptoms and also induces sleep.
GLA, a fatty acid in evening primrose oil, a good nutritional supplement is also used to remove itching and inflammation.
Skin inflammation is associated with pain, swelling, redness and heat. Inflammation begins the healing process of the body by getting rid of the disturbance. The body is affected by inflammation and the immune system repairs damaged tissues and fights off germs. Due to such disturbance, irritation, damaged cell, infection or other types of assault are caused.
While infection is caused by the external pathogen, inflammation is a response of the organism or the body to the pathogen. As the immune system, antibodies and blood become active in repairing the damage, they result in pain, warmth and redness. Though inflammation helps in the healing process of wounds, they result in diseases like eczema, when they are spread too far. An inflamed skin is the main culprit which hosts eczema.
Inflammation makes the skin to age prematurely and then gets it damaged. Persons affected by skin inflammation look older than they actually are.
Though skin inflammation is generally noticeable by its symptoms such as swelling, bloat and puffiness, some times, inflammation is also formed silently which is more dangerous to the body. The inflammation gets translated and much developed to illness before the actual treatment begins. The prolonged inflammation is known as chronic inflammation. Due to the change of cells in affected area, there is a recurring cycle of good and poor health in the area. In a chronic inflammation, the cycle of injury and healing keeps revolving again and again. In the case of an acute inflammation, the inflammation goes off with the removal of offending pathogen.
Dietary factors are also responsible for inflammation. Highly refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats like polyunsaturated vegetable oils, trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils promotes inflammation to a great extent.
Stress is another key factor producing inflammation. More and more cortisol hormone is produced when the internal chemistry of the body is disturbed due to lack of sleep and stress. The resulting inflammation damages the body system.
Chronic inflammation is often caused due to family history of related diseases. More time is required to decrease or getting rid of the inflammation.
To counteract the inflammation, many varieties of vegetables, fruits and seeds with anti-inflammatory qualities can be used. Berries and green leafy vegetables naturally contain phytochemicals and antioxidants can be used to defend the production of inflammation. Yellow, red, purple and orange fruits and vegetables help in balanced intake of the minerals and vitamins and development of better skin health. However, eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes which are from nightshade family can be avoided. They contain solanine, an alkaloid chemical activates pain and inflammation symptoms in some cases.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory ingredients. The fatty acids help in reducing and stopping the inflammation in a powerful way. Cold water fish, salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut are some of the species containing fatty acids, which can be added in the food.
Eczema, also called as dermatitis, is an irritating dry skin disorder associated with an itch. Millions of people which include both adults and children in all cultures, ethnic groups and races are suffering from this problem. Eczema develops in an itchy and dry skin. Though there are many lotions and creams available in the market, they only aggravate the condition rather than curing them. Herbal treatments are proving better in the treatment of eczema.
In the past, all the cultures have used various herbs to treat eczema in a sophisticated manner. The billion dollar herbal industry has flooded the market with lotions and creams which are prepared with utmost safety of the users in mind and are formulated with actual herbal ingredients.
In eczema the skin fells prickly and becomes extremely dry. Any lotion or oil can be applied to keep the dry skin in moist condition all the day. In case of children, baby oil can be applied for the treatment. As the herbal creams are made from fruits and plants containing natural oils, they are very safe to use. Nano Lipobelle H-EQ10, is the best herbal lotion containing Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10, in short), a natural vitamin like substance.
As a powerful anti oxidant used for generating energy in the body, Coenzyme Q10 naturally occurs in environment and body. CoQ10 can be applied on skin to moisturize and nourish the deeper layers. The lotion prevents UV rays from being absorbed and helps in the removal of dead skin, thus resulting in a fresh, smoother looking and fresh skin. Even a short-term use Nano-Lipbelle makes eczema to disappear and provides the lost youthful look back to the skin. Nano-Lipobelle is found suitable for every type of skin and can be applied freely on all body parts. The Nano-Lipobelle herbal treatment can be used to keep the skin wrinkle free and look younger.
Apart from herbal skin creams, cold compress with wet cloth can be applied for a hot, itchy and dry skin to relieve the itch and soothe the skin. In some cases, eczema is intensely associated with itch. An acute itchy episode can be relieved within a few hours by using the Nano Lipobelle cream, in combination with hydrocortisone cream which is available over the counter in the market. Many corticosteroid creams with low potency are also available over the counter without prescription.
Cold compress can also be employed to suppress the itching. Instead of scratching the skin, ice can be applied in the area. The cold reduces further desire for scratching and relieves the inflammation connected with the itch. Unlike the scratching which makes the skin to split open, the cold compress protects the skin in a better manner.
Stress is an important factor in eczema episodes. Though stress does not directly cause eczema, it acts like a trigger for eczema. Normally, eczema flare ups come down on patients, after occurrence of a stressful event. To cure the eczema caused by stress, one has to first get freed of stress by organizing the lifestyle with pre-planning and schedules without leaving any room for distressing shocks.
The bath salt option is commonly used to prevent eczema flare up. During the stress, adrenaline is burned and levels of magnesium are reduced. By bathing in Epsom salts and Dead Sea Salts which contain magnesium, the skin is quickly allowed to absorb magnesium so that adrenaline can be replaced with the intake of magnesium resources.
Even teens and children are affected by eczema problem due to stress. as their peers may have a little understanding and teased them about some problem. The thinking should not affect the health. One has to become strong enough emotionally to face other people.
Gamma Linolenic acid (or GLA, in short) is a fatty acid which is very useful in the treatment of eczema. They are usually found in black currant oil, borage oil and primrose oil in large concentrations. It benefits hair, skin, melanin or nails. The positive effects of GLA are felt on eczema only after a period of 40 to 60 days when the GLA operates in the body.
Eczema is a most common disease affecting a large number of babies throughout the world. The problem beings when the baby becomes two months old. Baby eczema is categorized as an atopic disease, along with hay fever and asthma. In atopic conditions babies are affected by abnormal immune system responses.
In most cases eczema is also inherited by the offspring babies from either one or both of their parents. In some cases, eczema problem is also based on allergies. The problem begins with an itch turning into rash when being scratched. Hence a range of skin ailments continuously occur in a particular manner. Itch, being the important feature of eczema, has to be treated first. When itching is not interrupted in any manner, the itch will vanish automatically. However, persons who affected with eczema always tend to scratch them until they start bleeding.
Some of the prime characteristics and symptoms of eczema are dry, reddened scaly skin patches, fluid filled bumps, crack, swell or bleed. The eczema problem is not contagious in nature. They are normally found on sensitive and soft skin on skin folds and joints including elbows, back of knees and inside of wrists. Besides these, eczema also affects places such as forehead, legs and arms and scalp. Unfortunately, eczema has no complete medical cures, treatments or medicines to permanently stop the further recurrence of eczema symptoms. However, by making effective changes in lifestyle habits or patterns and pursuing them will control and check the eczema from flaring up or becoming active.
One has to aim at two goals to accomplish the prevention of eczema. They are prevention of inflammation and itching. There are a large number of practices to attain both these goals. In case of atopic dermatitis, to reduce the flare ups, one has to moisturize and avoid them.
It is necessary to keep the properly hydrated and moist at all the times. Dryness and itchiness are the two prime factors of Eczema. Dryness is the source of irritation which contributes to itch. When the dryness is taken way, it becomes hard for a flare up to again get started.
By keeping constant moisture in the skin, the intensity and frequency of the eczema flare ups can be considerably reduced to a large extent. The itching begins only with a dry skin. A moist skin will not allow the itching to get ready and start. By externally moisturizing the skin, the original moisture of the skin is locked, resulting in prevention of skin cracking and dryness.
A combination of proper moisturizing and bathing is very important for the skin health. The eczema patients should avoid hot water, since the hotness dries the skin and releases histamines, which play an important role in itching. The bath should be short enough and should not last more than five minutes. However, when a treatment is given in the bath, the bath may last up to 20 minutes. In both cases, the bath should be in lukewarm water and not in hot water.
The clothing should not be skin irritant, since scratchy materials like wool can irritate the skin and cause itching sensation. The scratch-itch cycle can be repaired only when the nuisance caused by clothing is tried and fixed.
Some common allergens play a key role in eczema flare ups. Allergens can cause rashes and can intensify the rashes. Only by knowing and avoiding the allergens, the risk of eczema condition can be lowered. Among common allergens, some of the food offenders are eggs, milk, wheat, soy products and peanuts and also include dust mite droppings and animal dander etc.
In case of eczema or atopic dermatitis, a dermatologist can be consulted to find about the contribution of specific allergens since all the eczema cases are not affected by same allergens and differs from person to person. Among all eczema triggers, it is very difficult to identify the allergens which are the main source of the problem. A dermatologist, by carrying out some procedures, will be able to test the reactions of skin with various allergens to avoid the offensive ones.
To avoid allergen based eczema, HEPA filtered air purifier can be used, which trap the minute particles like airborne allergens, dander, dust mite droppings, etc. HEPA filters were exclusively designed in 1940’s by the military of United States to clean up the environment in case of a nuclear explosion. To avoid the allergens from invading the house, memory foam mattresses and hypoallergenic bedding can be used, which avoid inhabitation of dust mites.
Eczema flare ups are also caused due to overheating of the body, sweating during exercise sessions, humidity changes and sudden temperature. Fluctuations in weather causes eczema flare up. Sweating and overheating problem is created with the sudden rise in temperature which can be effectively tackled by dressing with layered clothing. In a warm situation, body can be cooled down by removing some layers of clothing. Dry air causes itchy skin and further results in itch-scratch cycle. Increase in humidity causes sweat in skin and makes it sticky and clammy.
To control the surroundings from humidity causing eczema, indoor humidifier can be kept in the indoor environment at a safe and comfortable level for the skin. Sweating and overheating is the prime cause for eczema flare ups which occur in summer temperatures. It is very important to keep the skin completely moisturized. The clothing should include cotton or cotton blends with best materials comfortable to the skin.
The texture and clothing materials should not irritate the skin and make it sweat too much. Cotton is the best clothing for eczema since it is absorbent and porous. Porous clothing allows the skin to breath freely and absorbent nature pulls the moisture out from skin. As synthetic fabrics, wool feels rough they irritate the skin much and causes eczema flare ups.
Laundry detergents, dryer sheets and fabric softeners also cause eczema flare ups. Hence it is very important to extensively rinse the bedding and clothing material to remove the traces of detergents from them. At least two or three rinse cycles can be run in a washing machine to do the job. Only detergents that are sensitive and comfortable to skin conditions should be used. The detergents should contain neutral pH and should be free of fragrances. The tags which promote itching in new clothes should be removed and the clothes should be rinsed thoroughly before they are worn, to remove the traces of some dyes and industrial chemicals in them which are skin irritants.
Last but not the least, quantum changes in life style can effectively check the eczema problems. It is necessary to deal with the stress by controlling emotions, thoughts, environment, dealings, and schedules. A well balanced life will give enough time for work and home, time for proper relaxation and a state of peaceful mind. High expectations of tomorrow should not burn the today. This is the key to prevent stress and avoid any health problem including eczema.