Signs and Symptoms of Eczema in Adults

The term eczema is used to cover several skin conditions. The most common eczema symptoms include an inflamed skin rash accompanied by itchiness. Many patients also develop flaky skin. The disease makes the skin more vulnerable to bacterial infections.

Eczema symptoms are the result of an overreaction to environmental allergens such as chemicals in household products, dust, etc. Even food items can trigger adverse responses.

egzema on face

Eczema symptoms are often accompanied by other atopic diseases including asthma, hay fever and conjunctivitis. Eczema has genetic origins and often runs in families. It is chronic and there is no cure for it at present; treatment generally revolves around managing symptoms.

Skin lesions are a characteristic of eczema. There are three fundamental types of lesions associated with eczema / atopic dermatitis.

Acute lesions are the first type. They are highly itchy, pimple-like solid eruptions (called papules) and blisters on the skin surface that are filled with fluid (called vesicules.) The skin beneath these formations is usually reddened. A watery fluid often oozes out of acute lesions. The skin layers may peel off (a process called exfoliation) or may get destroyed /eroded.

eczema papules

Sub-acute lesions are the second type of lesions. These are considerably less severe than acute lesions. They generally do not ooze fluid. The skin is reddened and peeling and scaling are present.

 

Chronic lesions are the third type of lesions. Here the skin has thickened plaques, fibrous papules as well as lichenification. Adolescents and children who have chronic atopic dermatitis may have all three types of eczema symptoms simultaneously.

Apart from the main eczema symptoms described above, patients often have one or more associated disorders.

severe eczema

  • Eczema patients often have ichthyosis, dry skin (xerosis) and many other skin conditions that are not the result of infections. People with eczema have increased chances of developing other types of skin problems.
  • Almost three-fourths of children with eczema also have nasal allergies. These allergies, called allergic rhinitis or atopic rhinitis may be either seasonal or non-seasonal. Rose fever and hay fever are two types of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Examples of non-seasonal rhinitis include allergies caused by cigarette smoke, mold spores, dust, pet dander and various other environmental allergies.
  • Eczema symptoms are sometimes accompanied by eye disorders. Conjunctivitis is one such common disorder – it involves inflammation of the tissues on the eyelid. Keratoconus, where the cornea of the eye becomes distorted and cone shaped, is another possible complication that occurs in approximately one percent of children with atopic dermatitis. About four to twelve percent of children are seen to develop cataracts that cause vision problems, sometimes by age 20.
  • Some children with eczema develop social problems as well. When the skin has extensive lesions that are highly noticeable, the child may tend to withdraw from social interaction. Severe eczema may necessitate absences from school and add to the problem. Adolescents are particularly concerned with appearance and they may avoid sports and other activities in a bid to minimize sweating.
  • Other eczema symptoms include secondary skin infections. The skin always has bacteria that reside on it. Excessive scratching of itchy skin causes breaks on the skin which can get infected by bacteria.

If one or more of the primary or secondary eczema symptoms is present in child, the parents should immediately consult a medical professional. Although eczema rarely leads to emergency situations, it should be treated correctly without delay.

How to keep eczema skin moisturized

Maintaining healthy, well nourished skin with sufficient moisture content is the best way to get eczema relief. In fact, moisture is the foundation for relieving eczema symptoms. Natural moisture in the skin prevents it from becoming broken or injured easily. In eczema patients, avoiding breaks in the skin is important to minimizing chances of bacterial and viral infections.

egzema on face

How can you keep the skin well moisturized for eczema relief?

Consuming sufficient water and using emollients is a good start. Adding emollients to bath water can help the skin retain moisture. Many people find considerable eczema relief including decreased itchiness by using emollients.

Eczema patients should avoid soaking in a hot bath or standing under a hot shower for extended periods of time. They should use only lukewarm water or cool water for bathing and spend only a short amount of time in the water.

moisturizing the skin after bath for eczema

Persons in some occupations have their hands come into constant contact with water. This is the case with window washers, some maintenance workers, cleaning persons and cooks, among others. If you happen to be an eczema patient involved in such occupations, it is advisable to wear rubber or vinyl gloves when the hands come into contact with water.

Both rubber and vinyl gloves cause the hands to sweat when used for an extended period of time. Sweating can worsen eczema symptoms considerably. To avoid this problem, wear a thin pair of cotton gloves underneath the rubber gloves. Cotton is excellent for sweat absorption. It is also the best clothing material for eczema patients to use next to their skin.

moisturizing the skin for eczema

Using the right kind of soap or cleanser is important for eczema relief. There are soaps labeled “for sensitive skin” and they are usually good for eczema patients. In general, use mild soaps such as Neutrogena and Dove. Non-soap cleansers like Cetaphil are good choices as well. Sorbolene cream is another useful product; it avoids washing natural oils out of the skin.

In addition to using emollient oil in the bath, use an emollient moisturizer after a bath. Emollients in general a help retain moisture and keep the skin supple.

Here is a very important tip for eczema relief – apply a moisturizer shortly after stepping out of the bath or shower. This will help to lock in the moisture that is present on the skin after a bath. That is why eczema patients are advised to use a moisturizer while the skin is still damp. Done regularly, this practice can help minimize eczema flare ups.

There are a number of eczema moisturizers available today. Examples include Emu Oil, Vaseline, Moisturel, Alpha Keri, Aquaphor, Lubriderm and Curel. Consistently moisturizing the skin is of critical importance for eczema relief. Make it a habit to use moisturizer in the morning before going to work and in the evening before turning in. If necessary, use moisturizer in between as well.

Oatmeal baths are an excellent way to keep the skin adequately moisturized and prevent breakouts. It was possible to make your own oatmeal bath from porridge oats. Aveeno is also a great choice for an oatmeal bath. A lotion that combines oatmeal and coca butter is also a useful alternative. Adding a small quantity of shea butter to it will help provide eczema relief.

Use some of these eczema relief tips and you should be able to control your symptoms much better

Phototherapy for Eczema

Phototherapy using ultraviolet (UV) radiation is sometimes used as an eczema remedy, particularly for patients who suffer from atopic dermatitis. This form of light therapy has been successfully used to treat patients with psoriasis and seborrhoeic eczema.

phototherapy for eczema

In essence, phototherapy involves exposing the patient to ultraviolet light of a controlled intensity and frequency range for a predetermined amount of time. Usually UV phototherapy is just one element of an overall eczema remedy program. Other elements may include topical medications, diet control, identifying and avoiding exposure to irritants, exercise and more.

phototherapy for eczema hands

Despite the advantages it offers, phototherapy is not a treatment option that can be used by all eczema patients. Those whose eczema symptoms flare up or get worse when exposed to the sun and those who have other adverse reactions to the sun’s rays are not candidates for UV phototherapy. It is also not suitable for infants and young children.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of UV phototherapy used to treat eczema. UV light therapy is one type of treatment. The other involves using psoralen plus UV and is called PUVA.

phototherapy for eczema feet

In some cases, UV light therapy is used by itself. It can also be combined with the use of a topical substance like coal tar. Although coal tar preparations are messy to deal with, patients with chronic lichenified areas on their skin may find it useful.

phototherapy for eczema on hand

UV light therapy makes use of ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B light waves. A combination of the two may also be used as an eczema remedy.

In most cases, light therapy is administered at a dermatologist’s office; the procedure is closely monitored by the doctor. Those parts of the skin affected by eczema are exposed to UV light in a controlled manner. The patient will be required to wear protective goggles in order to prevent damage to the eyes.

goggles for phototherapy

There are two types of ultraviolet B therapy – broadband and narrowband. These terms refer to the wavelengths of ultraviolet light used – narrowband therapy makes use of “narrower” or shorter wavelength light.

Broadband therapy has been in use for many decades. It tends to be quite time consuming but can be highly effective. The treatment is done three to five times each week. One of the limitations of broadband ultraviolet therapy is that it cannot penetrate to the scalp or to skin folds on the body.

 

Narrowband ultraviolet B therapy is a relatively newer kind of eczema remedy. It is less time consuming than broadband UV treatment – patients need to go for treatment only twice or thrice a week. It enjoys a success rate that is even higher than that of broadband treatment. However it must be used with great care because if it is used incorrectly or if the skin is over exposed, it can result in serious burn injuries.

The long term effects of both the above light therapies are not fully known. These treatments may contribute to heightened skin cancer risks.

The second type of phototherapy, PUVA, makes use of photosensitizing medication in addition to ultraviolet light. The term photosensitizing refers to medication that makes the skin more sensitive to light. Psoralen is an example of such medication. Patients who do not respond to ultraviolet light alone may find this type of phototherapy useful as an eczema remedy.

Psoralen is applied to the skin, which makes the skin more sensitive and creates the desired response. In some cases, instead of applying psoralen topically, it may be given orally or used in a bath. The affected skin is exposed to UV radiation after using psoralen. The patient must wear protective goggles not only during the treatment, but for the rest of the day as well. This is because psoralen will remain in the eyes for several hours after treatment and render the eyes unusually sensitive to light.

While this is an effective eczema remedy for many people, some patients experience side effects like nausea, fatigue, itching and headaches. There is also a chance that skin pigmentation could become irregular or that the skin may get burnt. PUVA therapy is done over a period of six months and is usually combined with other treatments like topical corticosteroids. The right combination can prove to be a highly effective eczema remedy for some patients.

Skin Patch Test

How a skin patch test is used to determine the cause of irritant contact eczema ?

A skin patch test is used to determine cause of certain types of eczema. Typically, this is done when the underlying cause of eczema flare-ups is likely to be one or more irritants the patient is exposed to – a condition known as irritant contact eczema.

irritant contact eczema
irritant contact eczema

A skin patch test will help identify the specific substance that is triggering the eczema symptoms. For example, the doctor will be able to find out whether the allergen exists in one of the cosmetic products being used by the patient or if it is something found in a clothing item.

skin allergy patch tests

Basically, the skin patch test involves placing the suspected irritant in contact with the skin for a certain period of time and then examining the skin to see if there is any allergic response. The irritant is held in place by using an adhesive patch. To provide a point of comparison, another adhesive patch, which does not contain any allergic substance, is also placed against the skin.

removal of skin patches

These adhesive patches may be left in place for one or two days. They are then removed and the skin is examined. If the skin shows itchiness, becomes inflamed or reddened, it is highly likely that the irritant used in the patch is a substance the patient is allergic to.

examination of results

Skin patch testing is done by a dermatologist or other skin specialist. If the patient had initially consulted a general practitioner, the later will usually refer the patient to a specialist for testing. Testing becomes necessary when the patient’s eczema is deemed to be the result of an allergic response.

results of skin patch test

The testing process usually spans a few days. On the first day, the dermatologist may apply small amounts of a variety of substances to the patient’s upper back using patches. Thirty or more substances may be chosen for testing. Non-allergic tape is used to fix the patches on to the skin.

negative result of skin patch test

The patches stay on the skin for a couple of days following which the patient must come back to the specialist’s office. The patches are then removed and the skin surface is closely examined for the presence of any allergic reactions.

positive result of skin patch test

Quite often allergic reactions take place with a time lag. To account for this delay, the doctor may ask the patient to come back for another examination two days after the patches have been removed.

positive result of the skiny allergic test
Positive Result

A wide variety of substances are tested during the process. Most of them are additives used in everyday products like household cleaners, clothing materials, soaps, cosmetic products, leathers and more. Examples of additives include quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, ethylenediamine, rosin, formladehyde, rubber accelerators, nickel, balsam of Peru, P-tert butylphenol, plants, chrome, lanolin (also called wool alcohol), neomycin, clioquinol, paraphenylenediame, benzocaine, formaldehyde resin, fragrances, quaternium-15, paraben mix, cobalt, imidazolidinyl urea and epoxy resin.

These substances form a standard battery of patches and are often used by dermatologists. Other possible irritants may be added to the above – for example, a chemical that is used at the patient’s workplace or a specific cosmetic product he is using.

It is important to maintain a clean, dry skin while going for the initial visit to the dermatologist. This should be maintained throughout the duration of the skin patch test, till the doctor confirms that the procedure is complete. In most cases, the patient will be advised to restrict himself to a sponge bath instead of taking a regular shower or bath. It is also necessary to avoid doing anything that might cause excessive sweating. This is particularly important in hot, humid summer climates. This may mean curtailing physical activity including sports, jogging, etc for a few days.

Skin patch tests can uncover the cause of irritant contact eczema. It is, however, not of use in determining the cause of other kinds of eczema such as those caused by food. A skilled dermatologist can usually uncover the irritant/s and thus help deal with the eczema symptoms.

How an eczema diagnosis is done ?

The process of eczema diagnosis involves looking into many details. The doctor begins by conducting a physical examination. Many patients are young children. The doctor looks at the child’s medical history and gathers the family medical history from the parents.

eczema diagnosis

The skin is closely examined for the presence of lesions. The distribution of lesions over the body is another factor the doctor looks at. When doing an eczema diagnosis, he will also ask about the times at which the symptoms appear, to detect any seasonal variations.

There are many environmental factors that can trigger an eczema flare up. They must be taken into consideration for a comprehensive eczema diagnosis. Environmental triggers include pet dander, plastics, dust, nail polish remover, detergents and other household cleaning agents, cosmetics and a variety of chemical agents. Several food items are also known to trigger eczema attacks.

eczema flare up

The doctor will probe for a presence of bacterial infections on skin, eye problems and several other conditions that may occur concurrently with eczema.

If the patient is an older child or adolescent, the doctor will ask them for their observations about how their skin rashes and lesions are affected by various factors such as the presence of pets, using certain brands of deodorants, shampoos, perfumes or other cosmetic products. He will also want to know whether their symptoms are affected by prescriptions medications, using fabric softeners, wearing woolen cloths, using fabrics with rough texture and so on. Other factors that go into an eczema diagnosis include changes in disease symptoms at various stages of the menstrual cycle, changes related to hot or cold temperatures, high stress levels, sports or athletic activity, etc.

eczema red skiny

Unfortunately, there are no laboratories tests that can be used to either confirm or deny the presence of eczema. That is a reason why the doctor will attempt to do a detailed study of the symptoms and possible factors as outlined above. In fact, the doctor may need to see the patient two or more times to confirm the eczema diagnosis, particularly to distinguish between various types of eczema. Doctors usually go by criteria that have been published during the 1990s.

Atopic dermatitis is diagnosed on the basis of four major criteria. The first is the presence of a particular kind of skin lesions accompanied by a characteristic distribution pattern across the body. The second criterion is the presence of pruritus. A history of atopic disorders running in the family or a personal history of such disorders is the third criterion. The fourth one is the presence of recurrent dermatitis or chronic dermatitis.

In addition to the above four criteria, there are over twenty minor criteria for distinguishing atopic dermatitis. Some of the more common ones include intolerance to woolen clothing, onset of symptoms at an early age, type 1 response to certain tests, propensity to get skin infections, dry skin or xerosis, recurrent conjunctivitis, ichthyosis, elevated levels of total serum IgE, intolerance to certain foods, symptoms triggered by emotional stress and so on.

 

If a child or adolescent displays at least three of the four major criteria and at least three minor criteria, the doctor will usually confirm the presence of atopic dermatitis.

If the child displays acute allergic reactions to foods or if she has asthma, the family practitioner may refer her to an allergist.

How an eczema diagnosis is done

In some cases the doctor may ask for blood test to check the levels of IgE in blood serum. Other laboratory test may include analysis of smears from lesions in order to rule out bacterial infections, herpes virus infections, scabies, etc. These infections create symptoms similar to those of eczema and can serve to confuse the eczema diagnosis process.

In cases of severe eczema, the doctor may ask for skin prick testing to find out if specific food items or other substances trigger eczema attacks. This test is done by pricking he skin surface with a needle o insert a small quantity of the substance in question.

Eczema diagnosis can be an involved process. It is important to go through the process diligently in order to obtain a correct diagnosis.

What is the true cause of skin eczema?

The real cause of eczema remains unknown. It is thought that eczema is a result of several factors that include genetic susceptibility, abnormal immune system responses and lowered skin barrier function.

Genetics

Eczema starts early and an estimated 65% of sufferers first developed symptoms before they completed one year of age. Fully 90% of patients showed symptoms before they turned five years old. In fact, six to twelve weeks is the most common age range during which eczema symptoms develop. It is very rare for people over age 30 to show eczema symptoms for the first time. The early onset of the disease probably has to do with the fact that genetics is a key cause of eczema.

Genetic eczema

Racial and Ethnic Groups

While digging into the cause of eczema researchers evaluated the incidence of the disease among various racial and ethnic groups. The evidence they found is conflicting. There are studies that indicate no differences in the incidence of eczema among various races. However, other studies appear to show that native Americans and Africans Americans have lower risks of developing eczema when compared to Caucasians or Asians. Others counter this pointing out that the skin lesions characteristic of eczema are more difficult to detect among African Americans due to their skin pigmentation.

Both males and females seem to have an approximately equal chance of developing eczema. Therefore sex does not appear to be a cause of eczema.

Eczema is generally characterized by skin inflammation, mild to severe itchiness, redness and ooziness. Among children, age has a bearing on how the skin lesions are distributed. In infants, the lesions occurred mostly on the hands, feet, diaper area, face, scalp etc. Fluid usually oozes from these lesions. In older children, the insides of the elbows, the back of the neck, backs of the knees, ankles and wrists tend to be affected.

In older children, skin lesions do not usually exude fluid and are often lichenified. The term lichenification refers to a thickening of the skin cells of the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin, into a leather-like or bark-like formation. This is the result of scratching the itchy lesions over an extended period of time. Lichenified skin makes normal skin markings more prominent.

Gene Identification

Since genetic factors are a cause of eczema, researchers have tried to identify the specific gene that predisposes a person to developing the disease. It is theorized that loci on chromosomes 11 and 13 are connected to this skin disorder. If one parent has eczema, a child has a 60% chance of developing the disease. If both parents have it, the odds increase to 80%. Approximately 40% of children diagnosed with the disease have at least one close relative who has the disease.

Gene Identification

Fatty Acids and Eczema

Another cause of eczema is a little-understood, complex process involving inflammation, skin abnormalities and the immune system. Researchers have discovered that levels of fatty acids in the skin are lower in eczema patients. This could be a factor that leads to the high rates of moisture loss from the skin. It may also be a reason why eczema patients are unusually sensitive to environmental irritants and chemicals.

In addition, it appears that eczema patients produce lower levels of a hormone called interferon-gamma. This hormone plays a role in the body’s response to allergic substances. Low levels of this compound may be a cause of eczema and the reason behind the hypersensitivity shown by eczema patients.

While the ultimate cause of eczema is still elusive, researchers are finding new clues that may eventually lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the disease and perhaps a cure as well.

Alternative Medicine and Eczema

Eczema is widespread among children. Many parents prefer to make use of an alternative remedy for eczema instead of relying exclusively on traditional western medicine. A large number of cases of infantile eczema are been treated using one or more complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches.

This article looks at a few of these approaches to obtaining a cure for eczema.

Homeopathic Treatment

In Europe, homeopathy is the single most common alternative medicine approach used to treat eczema. It is fairly popular in North America as well.

Homeopathic Treatment for eczema

A study conducted at Germany looked at a set of over 1100 children and about 2800 adults who were using homeopathic remedies to obtain a cure for eczema. The study discovered that over 600 distinct remedies were being prescribed for these patients by homeopathic doctors. Common remedies included sulphur, sepia, natrum muriaticum and lycopodium. Most practitioners of homeopathy on both sides of the Atlantic are of the view that eczema is a chronic condition. Therefore, the treatment should involve constitutional homeopathic prescription rather than acute prescription. The term constitutional prescription implies that the patient’s underlying weakness or susceptibility needs to be tackled instead of merely seeking to provide short term relief.

Naturopathy

This is another popular alternative cure for eczema. A research study done in the United Kingdom found that out of a group of 46 children who used naturopathy, 19 saw their symptoms improve significantly.

Naturopaths recommend following specific diet rules to contain and cure eczema. They recommend that patient should include evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil or fish oil to the diet. This is done to increase the intake of essential fatty oils. Naturopaths state that deficiency in these fatty oils is one of the main causes of eczema. They also recommend eliminating or drastically lowering the consumption of animal products.

 

Naturopathy also involves consuming herbal preparations and mixtures as well as applying herbal creams topically to the skin. Herbal preparations for consumption include extracts of licorice root, blackthorn or hawthorn berry. Creams and other topical preparations may include German chamomile or licorice.

Some studies indicate that extracts from St. John’s Wort produced symptomatic relief, although it apparently is not a complete cure for eczema.

Mind/body approaches

Researchers have observed that emotional stress plays a role in eczema – many patients reported flare-ups when stress acted as a trigger. For this reason, some researchers theorize that stress reduction can be a means to a cure for eczema. Some have used approaches like hypnosis, yoga / meditation and autogenic training to help patients cut down on stress.

However, there is no consensus among researchers and practitioners about the effectiveness of these approaches. There are studies indicating that biofeedback, hypnosis and autogenic training helped children control skin lesions even as steroid medications were reduced. At the same time, other studies conclude that mind-body approaches do not have a significant effect on the disease and are therefore not an effective cure for eczema.

Traditional medicine

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine that relies on herbs and natural products to restore health. The alternative medicine program at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that eczema patients using Ayurvedic medication were able to reduce symptoms of the disease. It also found traditional Chinese medicine to be useful for the same purpose. These medicine systems are not very widely adopted against eczema – one study found that patients with an Afro-Caribbean or Indian background tended to use these systems more than Caucasians.

Overall, complementary and alternative medicine does seem to have a place in the search for a comprehensive cure for eczema. Future research efforts may reveal more effective ways to integrate these approaches into modern medicine.

Types of Eczema

So what are the kinds of Eczema? It is equally important to be familiar with these so that you can easily spot and do a first hand examination to determine what type it is.

Currently, there are 11 known kinds of this skin disease and these are the following:

1. Atopic Dermatitis

Known to be the most common kind of Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis is genetic and tends to appear early in a person’s life. Though it is not known to be related to allergies, people who have a predisposition to inhalants are the most common victims.

Usually, the affected areas of the body include the chin, neck, elbow, cheeks, and ankles.

2. Irritant Dermatitis

Such kind happens when the skin is continuously exposed to certain toxic substances. If you remember reading earlier, these irritants are a very good trigger for Eczema.

So you need to watch the products you are using including your personal hygiene products.

3. Fungal Infection

This kind looks typically like the other kinds of Eczema. However, upon taking a closer look at a scraping under a microscope or at a cultured scraping, a fungal infection may be determined.

Again, going back to the causes of Eczema, infection caused by fungi can trigger an attack.

4. Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This happens when your skin is repeatedly exposed to a toxic substance. Eventually, the immune recognition system of your body gets activated and will produce eczema on the area that is continuously exposed.

In this case, your skin is trying to protect itself by activating its immunity responders in the form of an Eczema attack.

5. Stasis Dermatitis

This kind commonly attacks on the swollen lower leg of individuals whose blood circulation in the legs is not good. Therefore, even the things that you think are harmless like sitting for longer periods and wearing extremely tight and uncomfortable pants can actually cause Eczema.

 

6. Pompholyx

This kind is manifested in the person’s hands and feet in the form of an itchy rash that is characterized by blisters. A lot of people experience this which can be very uncomfortable and even embarrassing.

7. Xerotic

This is characterized by a patch of skin that oozes because of pathological dryness. This may not be very common but it can be very uncomfortable when the fluid from your hand’s sores ooze.

8. Seborrheic Eczema

This kind of Eczema occurs both in adults and infants. Among adults, it usually occurs on the face, ears, scalp and mid-chest area. As for infants, the weepy and oozy affected skin can affect the ears and even the entire body.

9. Nummular Eczema

If you see plaques of coin-shaped scaling skin on the lower legs, that that is Nummular Eczema. Not many people can identify it but it does occur commonly.

10. Lichen Simplex Chronicus

This usually affects the neck and shins and appears liked thickened parts of the skin.

11. Scabies

This is a more familiar kind as it is usually caused by a mite. As mentioned in the causes section, one cause of Eczema is dust mite.

Eczema Treatment – Now You Can Re-Hydrate Your Dry Skin

Dry skin is not very difficult to deal with unless it is being caused by a medical condition. If you are an otherwise healthy person you will find that getting your skin moistened is not a huge problem. However, there are hydration solutions that are better choices than others when it comes to treating your skin situation.

Humidifiers

A humidifier is a good choice to help you with skin hydration problems. Humidifiers will increase the moisture content of the air in a room where the machine is operating. This will help you significantly as dry air has a tendency to pull moisture out of the skin.

With no means of artificially moistening indoor air, dry air will play havoc with your skin. It will dry it out even further and try to put you in a situation where you feel the need to scratch.

Humidifiers

Exfoliate weekly

You will want to exfoliate your skin weekly in the effort to help it to retain more moisture. When you exfoliate, you will essentially be removing skin cells that have already died or are weak so that healthy cells from underneath can replace them more readily.

The new cells will not be as dry or decrepit as the older ones.

Moisturizer

Moisturizer

There are a number of things you need to be aware of when choosing a moisturizer. You must know that it is very important that you use a moisturizer after every bath, and as often as needed throughout the day. You should choose a heavier moisturizer that requires less frequent applications. Frequent applications of moisturizers are known to cause skin thinning.

You should also make sure that you use a moisturizer that does not contain lanolin. Lanolin is found in over 90% of all cosmetic products, but they are one of the more major skin irritants.

Steroids

Steroids are effective as a skin moisturizer, but they have the side effect of causing skin thinning. Many people are cautious about using steroids because of the potential side effects. However, when steroids are used according to instructions there are rarely any problems associated with their use.

In many instances problems arise when they use less than the amount of a steroid than that which was prescribed. People think that they are saving themselves problems in the future by using less medication than recommended. However, when using less medication the body takes longer to respond and the end result is more medication is actually used.

Immunomodulators

Immunomodulators also do a good job of rehydrating the skin. The problem with them however are that their side effects are life threatening. Immunomodulators were invented and marketed just a few years ago, and already they have been associated with being a contributor to a number of cases of cancer. Enough cases that on the packaging there is a warning that says that use of the medicine may cause cancer.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are also used as a treatment and remedy for dry skin. They do a good job of rehydrating the skin, but a problem with them is that when you stop using the antibiotic the dry skin problem just simply returns.

Phototherapy

Phototherapy

Phototherapy is the last resort of dry skin treatments. You do not want to use phototherapy unless nothing else is solving your problem. Phototherapy involves exposing your skin to ultra violet light rays. It is more expensive than other treatments, and a host of side effects and complications are possible.

General Information and Reviews On Baby Eczema

Even though there has been an ample amount of research, scientists are yet to come with an explanation as to why eczema affects some individuals and not others. It is, however, obvious that the immune system is somehow involved. This skin condition is frequently triggered by an unfavourable reaction to a substance, foodstuff or chemical etc. Baby eczemais primarily noticed as a reddish scaly rash on the baby’s face which slowly but surely worsens to the point where it becomes irritated and cracked. In little ones the disorder regrettably affects between 10-20% of all infants in the USA.

atopic dermatitis baby

In the majority of these cases, the condition resolves by the time they reach two years of age. For a small number of children this skin complaint does not disappear when they are young but continues into adulthood. Although many believe the condition only starts in childhood, this is only partially true; it is just more common in babies and infants. Sufferers have generally had the condition since before their fifth birthday and almost a third of sufferers before they were a year old.

cradle cap on head

Seen as a red, itchy and scaly rash, baby eczema is usually of the more common atopic eczema variety. Atopic eczema often runs in families, and can be triggered when a baby’s skin isn’t moisturized properly. A baby’s skin is much more sensitive and it is not uncommon for washing powders and softeners to trigger an attack. Some recent research has indicated that baby eczema may caused by babies that are weaned early so breastfeeding for a longer period be beneficial.

Other medical conditions, such as respiratory infections, may also act as triggers. Studies have also shown that it may be more common in those infants who suffer from allergic rhinitis or food allergies, or whose mothers suffer from asthma. In fact almost a third of all childhood cases are thought to be as a result of a food allergy; once the foodstuff causing the problem is discovered, it is just a simple matter of taking out of the child’s meals. Unfortunately, the process of eliminating foods is usually one of trial and error; some commonly implicated foods are:

* Fish from either freshwater or the sea
* Products with milk as an ingredient
* Bread
* Products containing eggs
* Any meals or candy etc. that contain peanuts

The management with babies includes bathing in tepid water, and correct skin lubrication with hypoallergenic creams. To make certain the baby is not feeling any discomfort ensure, once they have been bathed, that they are only dressed in natural cotton clothing. A baby with eczema can effortlessly cause infection to damaged skin if their nails are not kept short as they will certainly scratch themselves constantly. For children with more severe baby eczema, antihistamine lotion may be prescribed which should assist with relieving the itchiness. Steroid creams can also be used for a short time to help repair the skin. This is a tricky medical condition to not only manage but defeat even though it is increasingly a regular complaint.