Millions of people suffer from this skin disease known as eczema, which appears as red and dry spots that itch and tend to worsen in humid or hot environments or when skin is exposed to the sun. It can appear anywhere on the body. It gets worse in summer due to chlorine in pools, for example. Find out more about how to eliminate eczema naturally in this article.
Eczema: What to Know
This is a very frequent problem, more than what you might think. Between 15% and 30% of children in industrialized countries suffer from it and 2% to 10% of adults. Luckily, two thirds of infected people cure the condition in a short time period. The scientific or medical name of eczema is atopic dermatitis and reflects the immunological character of the disease. It is more common in people that live in a city rather than the country, as one of the hypotheses on its appearance is related to hygiene or exposure to infectious agents. It is not contagious and people that have celiac disease (intolerance to gluten) are more prone to catching it.
Eczema is frequently related with itchiness, but you have to be especially careful because scratching it will make it worse and expose your skin to various infections. Scratching will only bring relief for a moment, the area will get worse after.
Definite cures have not yet been found for eczema, but outbreaks can always be minimized and even prevented. It is good to know that “normal” skin is equivalent to an effective barrier against pollution and other substances in the environment. In the case of eczema, the dermis will present a change that allows allergens like mites, pollen, smog, etc. to get in. This causes consequences like dryness, itchiness, inflammation, and patches, that are very frequently confused with psoriasis.
Currently, how eczema is treated is by reducing inflammation, solving the loss of moisture, and the proliferation of bacteria in this area. Doctors will prescribe moisturizing or hydrating creams that you should apply after bathing so that water is retained.
Expensive products aren’t necessary for treating eczema. However, they should be the correct type that don’t have side effects like more irritation or reddening. You should always consult a dermatologist because they may prescribe an antihistamine.
Because transpiration and sweat can cause outbreaks, it is always a good idea to bathe immediately after exercising or activities in the sun. Stress can cause attacks on your skin, so reducing stress is very useful.
In some cases, this disease appears as a cause of allergies or certain foods like dairy products, nuts, or eggs. It can be due to contact with detergents or strong cleaning products (like bleach), being in contact with water all day, too much exposure to the sun, etc.
Tips for Alleviating Eczema Symptoms
Keep these tips in mind so you can treat or alleviate problems related to skin eczema:
Don’t Come in Contact with Detergent while Washing Dishes
Use latex gloves also while you mop the floor. Do the same if you wash clothes by hand or if you use bleach as a disinfectant. You can also find hypoallergenic detergents and stop using things like towels that have been washed with the aforementioned product.
Always Choose Brief Showers Over Long Baths
Your skin needs hydration when you have eczema, but hot water makes the problem worse. A small amount of lukewarm water is better. Dry the area with small pats. Don’t rub it because the area will get worse.
Avoid Any Type of Scented Soap
And shower gels as well because they can cause allergies. Always use hypoallergenic products moderately. Try to not let the infected skin come in contact with shampoo or conditioner.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated and Moisturized
If you don’t, the eczema will continue. Apply hypoallergenic lotions a few times a day. If you leave the house, bring a small bottle in your purse or wallet.
Control Itchiness with Over-The-Counter Medications or Homemade Ointments
Don’t scratch because this prevents the inflamed skin from healing. You can also cause it to spread to other parts of the body. Use “heavy” creams at night to help healing.
Images courtesy of Niels Olson, Caitlin Regan, Bryan Chan, shaw, Marek Isalski