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Eczema is a common, inflammatory skin condition. In most cases, the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis begin in early childhood, with peak prevalence between two and six years. In its mildest form, it produces redness and dry skin. In more severe conditions, it can have swelling, crusting, oozing open sores called “weals,” intense itching (“pruritus”), and thickened or darkened skin (lichenification). Because the affected areas become very dry, scratching can make them bleed or leave scars. For many people with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, the disease becomes chronic as they get older, with flares often precipitated by exposure to irritants, food allergens, and emotional stress.
What are the types of eczema?
There are different types of eczema, including:
- Exogenous (Environmental) Eczema: This is the most common type of eczema, and it occurs as a result of contact with an external irritant. Exogenous (environmental) eczema is
often caused by overuse of cosmetics or soaps, prolonged wetting of the hands, and washing and cleaning without wearing gloves. Allergic reactions to certain materials such as latex
and exposure to dust mites, mold spores, ragweed pollen, pet dander, lint, or feather particles can also cause eczema. It can also be caused by topical medications that are applied too often or left on too long. This form of eczema is usually associated with dry skin rather than xerosis.
- Endogenous Eczema: This is the result of an endogenous, or internal, process. It can be associated with autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis ), liver disorder, kidney disease, or leukaemia.
- Atopic Eczema: This form is also known as “atopic dermatitis.” It usually begins in early childhood and persists throughout life if untreated. The face is often involved in this disorder because it comes into contact with irritants parents may be allergic, for example, cosmetics.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema: This form is characterized by small blisters on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet that break open and weep fluid followed by crusting over. The lesions are extremely itchy, and the patient often scrapes them until they bleed.
- Nummular Eczema: This form causes coin-shaped lesions on the background of chronic eczema. They are intensely itchy and circular or oval with a clear center and a raised border. The scales may be yellowish-brown but have no hairs growing from them, as occurs in psoriasis.
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This is also known as “contact dermatitis.” It is an inflammation of the skin that results from exposure to chemicals and other external irritants–for example, detergents or solvents.
What are the causes of eczema?
- Heredity: Hereditary factors play a role in the development of most cases of atopic dermatitis. A family history of asthma, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and eczema are common in people with this disorder.
- Psychological State: Emotional or psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety, have been reported to play a role in triggering eczema flares in some people.
- Infection: Some cases of atopic dermatitis are associated with viral infections, such as herpes simplex, varicella-zoster (shingles), and the molluscum contagiosum virus. In addition, staphylococcal bacteria can cause impetigo, a type of skin infection characterized by pustules.
- Food Allergies: A small percentage–about 5%–of adults and children with atopic dermatitis have true food allergies, which can trigger a flare. Milk, eggs, and peanuts may be frequent culprits.
- Chemicals or Irritants: Many cases of eczema are caused by overuse of skin care products such as soaps, shampoos, and detergents; use of topical medications; prolonged wetting of the hands; handwashing and cleaning without wearing gloves; allergic reactions to certain materials such as latex (found in dishwashing or rubber gloves); and exposure to dust mites, mould spores, ragweed pollen, pet dander, lint or feather particles. This type is frequently associated with xerosis.
- Drugs: Certain drugs may also cause flares–for example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin.
- Sunlight: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can aggravate eczema in susceptible people.
- Heat: Many patients with atopic dermatitis avoid warm weather because it causes lesions to become more widespread and severe.
- Other Factors: These include emotional stress, infections, changes in temperature and humidity, boiling water, wool clothing, or fabrics containing certain chemicals.
Eczema symptoms include
- Itchy, red bumps that can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the front of the arms and back of the knees; around sleep-wake areas (e.g., eyes/eyelids, nostrils, and mouth); and other rough spots such as the hands, feet or behind your ears. You may also experience:
- Small fluid-filled blisters ( vesicles ), especially on the backs of your arms and legs; deep cracks in your skin; crusted sores; scaly patches that may bleed or weep serum; open areas surrounded by redness ( rings ).
- Crusty scales at times containing pus ( pustules ) in the center that can fall off and leave a raw area ( ulcers ); patches of skin that thicken; shiny, pale areas; places where there is no pigment in your skin (hyperpigmentation) or dark pigment in your skin (hyperpigmentation).
- Areas of your body with thickened, leathery, and cracked skin such as the hands, feet, and elbows.
- Rashes on other parts of your body, such as the trunk, scalp, neck, face, ears, tiny fingers, genitals, and buttocks.
- Flaking or scaling of the scalp or eyebrows may be accompanied by red eyes and feeling like something is in your eye(s); itchy lips and stuffy nose; blurred vision.
- Skin infections that may cause fever, chills, body aches and pains, swollen glands or lymph nodes, mouth sores or painful cracks at the corners of your mouth; signs of food allergies such as hives, itching, swelling of the face/tongue/throat, difficulty breathing or swallowing; light-headedness or fainting spells.
Who is at risk of having eczema?
Anyone can have eczema, but it most often occurs in children, especially before their first birthday. However, about 20% of adult cases of atopic dermatitis are diagnosed before age ten, and up to 30% appear after age 18. It is also more prevalent in adults with a family history of allergies or asthma. Women tend to have more cases during pregnancy. Epidemics among infants may occur during periods when mothers are highly stressed, severely depressed, or both–the baby picks up the mother’s antibodies from the placenta while still developing its immune system. In some families, an inherited tendency toward allergies accounts for many episodes of very severe eczema starting in infancy and persisting into adulthood.
What triggers eczema?
Eczema may be triggered by a combination of several factors that affect the immune system and skin barrier function, including age, genetic background, irritants, allergens, infections, or stress. Although the causes are not well understood, their complex interaction contributes to an individual’s likelihood of developing atopic dermatitis.
How is eczema diagnosed?
- A discussion of your symptoms with your physician. If you know that certain things (such as soaps and detergents) trigger flares and discuss this with your doctor, he can determine which type you have and recommend appropriate treatment options.
- Examination: Your doctor will physically examine affected areas of the skin.
- Laboratory tests: Skin samples may be taken to help identify what’s causing your itching, if an infection is present or how sensitive you are to allergens. Sometimes, a small blood sample (a prick) will be taken and analyzed for food allergies, though this test has limited accuracy.
What are the eczema treatments available?
- Emollients (moisturizers): These should be applied as often as needed, especially after bathing, to trap water in the skin, which helps keep it flexible.
- Antibiotics or antifungal ointment: If there is inflammation caused by bacteria or fungi (yeast ), your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic/antifungal medication that works on the skin.
- Topical corticosteroids: These reduce inflammation and can be used for a few to several weeks until flares subside.
- Oral steroids: These are taken occasionally in pill form when other medications have not been effective or when a severe flare has occurred. Your doctor must monitor these prescriptions to avoid possible side effects.
- Phototherapy: This treatment uses ultraviolet light from the sun, a drug called psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), or artificial UVB light to suppress your immune system. This treatment is valid only in certain cases of moderate to severe eczema.
- T-cell inhibitors: These drugs affect your body’s immune system and may be used when other medications have not worked to control eczema symptoms. Possible side effects include an increased risk of infection, worsening of skin conditions, and possible cancer development. Your doctor will monitor this closely if you are taking these medications.
- Biological response modifiers (BRMs): These drugs also affect the immune system, usually by suppressing it somewhat; however, they can also stimulate it in some cases, which allows them to work very quickly with the most intense itchiness within hours, but they need to be supplemented by regular use of corticosteroids for weeks or months after treatment is stopped to control flare-ups.
These are the recommended eczema treatment provided by skin doctors (dermatologists) for eczema. The cure of eczema is possible with proper treatment. There are numerous natural treatments available for eczema, but it’s best to consult a skin doctor first:
- Get an accurate diagnosis of your eczema and find out what kind you have. A skin doctor can help you with this.
- Take your treatment as prescribed by the skin doctor and follow all instructions carefully.
- Monitor any side effects and report them to the dermatologist immediately if they do not go away or become worse.
- Be sure to discuss these matters beforehand with the skin specialist at each visit. Hence, you know what symptoms might develop after taking certain medications that can be safely managed with them early during the appointment process for more effective results.
- Make healthy lifestyle changes such as getting sufficient rest, cutting down on stress, giving your body proper nutrition, exercising regularly, and maintaining good hygiene.
- Most importantly, you can consider an alternative mode of treatment like homeopathic treatment. Homeopathic treatment for eczema is widely practiced around the world. Here are the benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for eczema.
Benefits of homeopathic treatment of eczema:
- Safe to use, no side effects.
- Effective in the long-term management of eczema along with skin doctor prescribed medicines.
- Treats the root cause of the disease naturally.
- Boosts immunity and helps patients lead a healthy life ahead, free from any allergies.
- Reduces dependency on steroids and antibiotics, which have many serious adverse effects in the long run.
- Homeopathic treatment for eczema is customized treatment per the patient’s condition and is an entirely holistic treatment method.
- Cures eczema naturally with substantial improvement in skin texture, pigmentation, and thickness, which is impossible otherwise with other treatments available.
- Homeopathy treats eczema from within as it induces the immune system to fight autoimmune disorders resulting from wrong medications at the disease outbreak.
So, if you are wondering how to get rid of eczema fast, homeopathic treatment is for you! It can be difficult when you have this condition, but it becomes easy to treat eczema with homeopathy treatment. Eczema is not a life-threatening condition, but its symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing for most people. Successful eczema treatment depends on careful management of the patient’s individual needs according to their diagnosis type for faster healing outcome time. Timely medical care leads to better outcome results with less chance of recurrence. So consult a skin doctor near you through OHO Homeopathy now if you have any unresolved questions about your current treatments or concerns about the different types of eczema.