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Eczema is a skin disease that causes red, dry, and itchy skin. It generally tends to affect children than adults and typically appears on the face and scalp of people. The itching sensation can be so severe at times to make a person very uncomfortable. If your child is suffering from eczema, you should know how to treat it because it can cause severe inflammation if not adequately treated. There are many natural ways to get rid of eczema, such as avoiding grain products, avoiding dairy products & going for organic foods, taking Vitamin A supplements in small doses, staying away from mineral oil or petroleum-based creams or lotions, etc. which we will discuss in detail further. Before going forward, let’s know more information on eczema.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin disease that causes red, dry, and itchy skin. It generally tends to affect children than adults and typically appears on the face and scalp of people. According to a research study conducted in the USA, around 10% to 20% of eczema cases are found in infants, while 80% to 90% cases are found in adults. Usually, kids or infants do not start this disease before or after three years of age, but older adults are also at risk because when you get exposed to something, your immunity is down the chances for eczema are more. Some experts say that any child who has a parent with eczema is at risk even if he never gets exposed to anything, which can be due to family history or genetics. But there is no cure for this disease as such and can be controlled to some extent.
Here are the most common types of eczema you’ll find-
Contact dermatitis: This type of eczema is caused because of prolonged exposure to irritants against the skin. Hassles can be in various forms, such as soaps, detergents, cosmetics, etc., and can make your skin red and dry. The rash you get depends upon the substance that irritates your skin, but this disease usually takes months before it starts showing its effect.
Dermatitis herpetiformis: This dermatitis appears with small pimples over arms, thighs, or abdomen area, which tends to be very itchy. It generally affects adults than children, and you get relief from itching only by showering or applying hot water for a few minutes on the affected area. However, there are no serious long-term effects if this disease is ignored for a long time.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis: In this type of eczema, your hands and feet get small, itchy blisters. This is also known as ‘pompholyx.’ If left untreated, these blisters can grow up to affect the whole hand or foot within a week.
Nummular dermatitis or discoid dermatitis: In this type of eczema, your skin gets red circular patches surrounded with scales on the skin. Only a few people develop this disease, but some factors can increase your risk, which we will discuss later in the article.
Atopic dermatitis: This form of eczema appears as dry, red scaly patches on different parts of your body such as the face, knees, elbow creases, etc., and there is a big chance that you have been suffering from this disease if your parents or grandparents had eczema during their childhood.
Seborrheic dermatitis: In addition to red patches on the skin, seborrheic dermatitis can also cause thick yellowish crusts on the scalp and hairline, further leading to hair fall. This type of eczema mostly appears around eyebrows, nose creases, ear canal area and back of the neck, etc.
You need to contact a doctor immediately if the symptoms of your disease worsen. Many other disorders are causing similar symptoms, such as ringworm, allergic reactions, etc., so it’s better to consult a doctor and know what you’re suffering from.
How does eczema happen?
Eczema causes several reasons such as family history, weak immune system, dry skin, etc.
Genetics: Genetic studies have shown that people suffering from this disease also tend to pass it on to their children. If your parents or grandparents had eczema, then there is a high chance that you will end up developing the same condition as well.
Immune system: Your immune system keeps your body safe and healthy by fighting against harmful bacteria and viruses, but sometimes certain factors may interfere with the functions of your body’s immune system, such as stress, poor lifestyle, etc. which can lead to the worsening of overall health including skin health. When harmful substances such as pollen, dust particles, animal dander (furs), etc., enter your bloodstream without any harm, they weaken your immunity, which finally affects your skin conditions like eczema.
Body allergies: Sometimes, your body becomes allergic to your skin cells which further leads to the development of eczema. This is generally known as ‘autoimmune response’ or more commonly ‘autoimmune disease.’ Several factors trigger this reaction, like stress, infection, change in season, food allergies, etc.
What are the factors triggering eczema on the face?
There are many reasons for skin problems such as genetics, weak immunity system, or lack of nutrients, but often these factors can be ignored when it comes to skin problems. Still, other important factors contribute towards developing red patches and rashes on the face. Here we will see what these triggers are-
Detergents: There are many soaps and detergents available in the market that claim to keep your skin healthy, but they contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, dyes, fragrances, etc., which can irritate the skin further.
Change of Seasons: Climate change during winters or summers always irritates people with skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis, etc. Sometimes a slight shift in weather conditions can make a big difference for them.
Food allergies: If you suffer from food allergies, then there is a high chance that you will develop rashes on different parts of your body, including the face, which may worsen if you consume any foods containing gluten, wheat, eggs, etc. Although not everyone suffering from eczema is allergic to certain types of food, it’s best to avoid such foods if you’re already suffering from skin problems.
Soaps and cosmetics: Using soaps and cosmetics on your face when you have eczema can irritate the skin further, thus making it itchy, red, and irritated. You need to be more careful when using any soap or cosmetic products in such conditions.
Cigarette smoking: Smoking cigarettes damages your skin and causes different skin problems such as eczema, acne, etc. Those who smoke regularly or are passive smokers will generally have more skin problems than those who don’t smoke.
Stress: If you’re stressed out, then there is a chance that you develop psoriasis on the face, which is a type of skin disorder characterized by dry, itchy, and red patches all over the body, including forehead and chin areas. Stress can worsen any skin condition, so if you want to keep your skin healthy, try to reduce stress as much as possible, either with meditation or yoga or simply by going for a walk in the park.
Maintain good hygiene: It is essential to maintain good hygiene when you have eczema on your face. This means that you should wash your face at least twice a day with lukewarm water and mild soap or cleansing milk. You also need to apply soothing balm or moisturizers after cleaning up the skin, especially dry and healed out.
When should I consult a doctor?
Specific symptoms like severe itching, burning sensation, rashes that worsen over time, etc., indicate the worsening of eczema, which calls for immediate medical attention. Symptoms include-
- Rashes cover larger than 10% of your body
- Skin rashes accompanied by fever
- If your nails become pale due to lack of blood supply
- If the bleeding rashes on your skin fail to heal for more than three weeks or keep coming back
If you feel that some of these symptoms are present, then you must consult a doctor. A dermatologist will diagnose your eczema and prescribe treatment accordingly, which can speed up the healing process. All in all, it is essential to keep the affected areas clean and moisturized at all times. If proper care is taken, then eczema on the face may not come back that quickly; instead, it becomes easier to control outbreaks using the medicine, etc.
Thirteen effective ways to treat severe eczema:
- Keep the affected area clean and moisturized
Well, it is one of the most important remedies to treat eczema on the face and different parts of your body. Keeping these areas clean and moisturized prevents them from itching, burning sensation, etc. There are some great products available in the market which can be used to keep your skin hydrated such as-
- Petroleum jelly or Vaseline
- Creams containing glycerin
- Aloe vera gel or juice
- Waxed milk
- Take a spoonful of flaxseed oil daily before going to bed
Flaxseed contains omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties which reduce inflammation and help soothe sensitive skin. You will get pure flaxseed oil in any health store. All you need to do is take one spoon of this oil daily before going to bed every night.
- Vitamin supplements for eczema treatment
If you’re not able to increase your vitamin intake through different types of foods, it is best to take multivitamin supplements. These supplements are excellent in fighting eczema and can be obtained from any health store or even over the counter in specific drugstores.
- Avoid harsh soaps
It is best to use mild cleansers when you have eczema on your face or other parts of your body. Harsh soaps can further irritate the skin, which causes more itching, burning sensation, etc.
- Use moisturizers for dry skin conditions
Moisturizers are plentiful in the treatment of eczema as they prevent dryness and itching that often cause worsening of eczema symptoms. However, it is essential to note that before using moisturizers on affected areas, you should always check them out in an allergy test first. If the examination reveals no allergies, then go ahead with applying them before going to bed every night or whenever required. Choose a moisturizer that does not contain any fragrance and preservatives.
- Soothe the skin with oatmeal soap bars
Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can prove to be great when it comes to suppressing eczema. You can take a bar of oatmeal soap, add shea butter or olive oil to it and use it on your affected areas for relief from itching. But make sure you don’t get any oatmeal soap in contact with your eyes as they may turn harsh on your sensitive eyes.
- Use coconut oil
Besides being used for cooking purposes, coconut oil is also beneficial when eczema on the face or other parts of the body. It has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an antioxidant to reduce swelling and redness of the rashes. You can apply some coconut oil to your affected areas before going to bed every night for quick relief from itching.
- Use aloe vera
Aloe vera contains enzymes that have great healing qualities that help soothe eczema on the face and other parts of the body by reducing inflammation, burning sensation, etc. All you need to do is cut a piece of fresh aloe leaf and apply its gel on your affected areas several times a day. But make sure you don’t get it in contact with your eyes or mouth as aloe vera may not be safe for these body parts too.
- Use natural remedies
There are some natural remedies that you can use to treat eczema on the face and other parts of your body. For example, suppose your skin is severely sensitive. In that case, it is best to use herbal tea bags or cucumber slices on affected areas for reducing inflammation, itching and burning sensation, etc. You can also apply lemon juice mixed with olive oil several times a day to reduce redness, dryness, etc.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day
Water is excellent for overall health. There is no doubt in saying that when it comes to treating eczema too; drinking a sufficient amount of water daily keeps the body hydrated and moisturized, which later helps suppress eczema.
- Regulate your diet
You should eat food rich in zinc, B-complex vitamins, and omega fatty acids because they are great for suppressing eczema. In addition to this, you should also eat a balanced diet that consists of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat.
- Go for homeopathic treatment
Homeopathic treatment for eczema is known for its excellent results in treating it. It is a natural treatment that consists of herbal remedies that do not have any side effects on the body. Besides being safe, it has no contra-indications and can be easily availed by visiting your nearest homeopathic doctor/homeopath. You can visit a homeopathy doctor by booking an appointment through OHO Homeopathy.