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HOW TO EASE THE SYMPTOMS OF ECZEMA
The word Eczema comes from the Greek word “ekzein” which means breaking out or boiling over. Eczema is very similar to other skin conditions like psoriasis. It is characterized by red, itchy, and bumpy skin. Eczema is the most common in hands, feet, elbows, around the eyes, and in places where the skin is generally thinner.
People have suffered from eczema for a very long time. At the same time, there have been various treatment options developed for eczema over time. Today you can find numerous treatment options for eczema, both drug-based and natural. However, we will be focusing more on the natural treatment options in this article.
Today we will look at everything you need to know about eczema and how to treat it. Eczema is not an uncommon skin condition. Instead, it is one of the most common skin problems in the world. In the United States itself, more than 15 million people suffer from eczema. Another stat reveals that 20% of all children also get eczema at some point.
Contrary to popular belief, eczema is actually a very surface-level skin condition. It does not have any ramifications on your physical. However, it can take a toll on your mental health if you are too conscious of it.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to keep eczema in check. If you or someone you know is suffering from eczema, read on to find out how to deal with it.
Table of Contents
- What is Eczema?
- Who can get Eczema?
- What are the symptoms of Eczema?
- Other effects of Eczema
- What causes Eczema?
- Eczema treatment options
- Manage stress and take care of your mental health
- Keep your skin moisturized
- Discard harsh soaps
- Use a humidifier to combat dryness
- Drink enough water
- Avoid hot baths
- Eat fruits and vegetables
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition where the affected person develops patches of dry, red, and itchy skin in various parts of the body. Eczema can start anywhere on the body, but is the most common in places like hands, feet, elbows, and also around the eyes.
Eczema falls under the same category of skin diseases as dandruff. It is also known as atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis collectively refers to a range of skin problems with similar symptoms.
Eczema is also a type of dermatitis. Dandruff, on the other hand, is known as seborrheic dermatitis. As you can see, both conditions are closely related and are also similar in some ways.
Who can get eczema?
If you regularly suffer from hay fever or asthma, you are more likely to get eczema. The same goes for people who have family members suffering from eczema, that is, the condition runs in their genes.
In terms of racial features, African Americans are more likely to get eczema. Among the sexes, females are at a higher risk of getting eczema.
However, it does not mean that you will not get eczema if you do not fall into these categories. Anyone can get eczema, and at any age. Children are more likely than adults to get eczema.
Apart from the uncomfortable itchy sensation, there are not many physical discomforts related to eczema. It is normally painless.
Contrary to another misconception, eczema is not contagious. You cannot get it from another person who has eczema. Neither does it hint towards any hygiene issues of the affected person.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
A qualified dermatologist would not need any tests to determine whether you have eczema or not. They can simply check the skin and confirm it. It is because eczema is a purely surface-level phenomenon. It does not have any internal signs of damage or health hazard.
The most common symptom of eczema is the skin itself. If it appears red, itchy, and flaky, you are likely to have eczema. However, eczema can be confused with another skin condition called psoriasis.
In psoriasis, your skin develops scales, and those scales are clearly defined. In eczema, it is more of an overall patchy and bumpy skin that does not have clear definitions. At the same time, many of the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis overlap. They both cause itching and irritation.
Crusting skin and swelling are also symptoms of eczema. There is a range of other effects of eczema that do not necessarily show up on the skin. Let's find out more about them.
Other effects of Eczema
Some symptoms of eczema do not have anything to do with the physical change in the texture of the skin. After you realize that you have eczema, you can go through a mentally tough phase.
It is primarily because as humans, we are very conscious about what other people will think about us. Eczema is often linked with poor hygiene, despite there being no scientific basis for it. Many people fall for this taboo and start demeaning and underestimating themselves because of eczema.
In such cases, you need psychological counseling first. If you are not confident about your body, it will be much more difficult for you to fight eczema. Fortunately, there are services you can take help of to regain your confidence.
What causes Eczema?
There can be both external and internal reasons for eczema. First, if eczema runs in your genes, you can get it despite following all precautionary steps. If that's the case for you, the focus should be on treating the condition rather than trying to avoid it.
Another factor that plays a key role in eczema is the environment you are in. Dry places tend to aggravate eczema-prone skin even more. Similarly, eczema can become worse if you are at a place where humidity levels are very low. Allergies can also lead to eczema in certain cases. When it comes to these environmental factors, you can alter your surroundings to prevent eczema from getting worse.
Apart from environmental and genetic reasons, the state of your mind can play a surprising role in eczema. If you suffer from stress, depression, and related mental issues, dealing with eczema can be particularly difficult. It is important to keep your mental health in good condition to prevent and treat eczema.
Eczema falls under the condition of autoimmune disorders. In autoimmune diseases, your immune system either overcompensates or fights itself. Many skin conditions are autoimmune disorders like eczema. While there has been considerable research in the field, there is no conclusive reason behind autoimmune disorders. At the same time, there are no fixed treatments for eczema or any other autoimmune disorder. You can keep the symptoms in check and eczema often goes away by itself. Unfortunately, no treatment can guarantee relief from eczema.
Eczema treatment options
Treatment options for eczema are wide and varied. From therapy to working out to oral drugs, the range of options is huge. In this article, we will focus less on drug-based treatments. If you decide to take medicine for eczema, make sure you talk to a qualified physician before that.
Let's find out more about eczema treatment options.
Manage stress and take care of your mental health
We often do not realize the role that our brains play in our bodies. People suffering from stress are much more likely to get eczema than those without stress and depression. It can also start a chain of self-doubt if you get eczema while suffering from anxiety and stress. Before you get into any topical remedy, you must make it a point to lower your stress levels.
Lowering stress is easier said than done. While working with a therapist is a good option, it is not always feasible for everyone. In such cases, you can simply meditate every day to keep your brain healthy. Meditation is a scientific practice, and you can compare it to workouts for the brain. Doing even 10 minutes every day will have a huge impact on your life.
Keep your skin moisturized
While moisturizers cannot prevent eczema, they can stop it from getting worse. Always moisturize your entire body after taking a bath, and before bed if you feel the need to. Use a natural moisturizer, preferably with deep moisturizing agents like coconut milk and argan oil.
If you use moisturizers with harmful ingredients like paraben and mineral oil, it can make your eczema even worse. Once you have found the right moisturizer, it is important to be consistent with its use. Apply it every day without fail to experience benefits.
Discard harsh soaps
If you are still taking bath with a strong soap, you need to replace it right away. Even those without eczema should stop using harsh soaps. These soaps strip your skin of all its natural moisture and leave it dry and flaky. It is a recipe for disaster if you already have eczema.
What you should do instead is use a moisturizing shower gel. Shower gels are gentle on the skin and do not take away natural moisture. Consider using a hydrating body wash like this cucumber and aloe vera shower gel. It will keep your skin hydrated while giving you a squeaky clean feeling.
Use a humidifier to combat dryness
If you live in a particularly dry environment, using a humidifier can be very beneficial to treat eczema. Humidifiers prevent the room from getting dry by releasing moisture into it. It is a relatively inexpensive purchase that has other benefits as well. Consider using a humidifier to treat eczema if dry air aggravates the condition for you.
While using a humidifier is important, it is also crucial to design your rooms in a way that prevents dryness. That might also mean not staying in air-conditioned rooms for a long time or moisturizing the skin before stepping into an air-conditioned room.
Drink enough water
Just like mental health, ignoring water intake can have severe ramifications. Make sure you are always getting between 3 and 5 liters of water every day. If you are in the habit of drinking soft drinks and soda instead of water, it will make your eczema worse.
Carbonated drinks, in particular, can be very drying for the body. The same goes for smoking and alcohol consumption, which can dehydrate your body. Many people use mobile apps to get reminders for drinking water. It can be a smart way to drink enough water every day if you tend to forget about it.
Avoid hot baths
Hot baths can be very relaxing, but they take a toll on the skin. Avoid hot baths if you tend to dry out your skin or have eczema. It is a simple change that can make a lot of difference in your skin.
As with hot water, using very cold water can also be bad for your skin. You should either use water at room temperature or lukewarm water. That way, you can keep your skin protected without missing out on the joy of a warm bath.
Eat fruits and vegetables
While it is still speculative, autoimmune diseases are often the result of vitamin and mineral deficiency. It can be a result of not eating enough fruits and minerals. While you can get the same benefits from supplements, having organic fruits and veggies is a much safer alternative.
Apart from that, having a healthy diet overall is important to prevent skin conditions like eczema. It will also keep the rest of your body healthy, making it much easier to deal with a one-off condition like eczema.
As you can see, dealing with eczema is not as difficult as it is made to be. Most importantly, you must remember that eczema is only a surface disease. Neither is it contagious nor does it pose any serious threat to the affected person. With the right care and precautions, anyone can treat eczema.