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Isn’t it annoying when you’re trying to sleep and feel like a thousand ants are crawling all over your body? It might not be the most pleasant feeling in the world, but what if that sensation is on your face or under your arms? You wouldn’t want anyone to see you; after all, who wants to look like they have bugs on them!
That’s why we need Eczema. It protects our skin from doing anything embarrassing like itching uncontrollably during a crucial meeting at work or while we’re out with friends. With Eczema, we can always say: “Oh, I’m so sorry I just got this weird rash yesterday.”
Well… now that my sarcasm has worn off, let me tell you:
Eczema is not itchy:
For someone who has never even heard of Eczema, and you say: “Isn’t eczema itchy?” I would probably laugh in your face and tell you that you’re an idiot because if anyone knows what Eczema feels like, they would see that it’s not itching! It doesn’t feel like anything at all (and I mean nothing). However, the honest answer to this question is: Yes, Eczema can be quite itchy. However, eighty percent of people with atopic dermatitis have a variation called nummular Eczema, which isn’t too bothersome. But the other twenty percent suffer from a more severe kind called inverse or dyshidrotic Eczema. It’s not just one itchy patch of skin, but rather multiple symmetrical patches that are intensely itchy! Imagine if you had hives all over your body that were itchy. You would want to scratch them until they bled or got covered in scabs. And even though you know the itch will only get worse with every scratch, sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop it because your brain doesn’t have enough control.
What is Eczema exactly?
Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become very dry and itchy (although there is a variation that doesn’t cause itchiness), which leads to red patches, swelling, cracking, and peeling. It could be located anywhere on your body but isn’t usually seen in areas with lots of hair, such as your hands, feet, and scalp. Eczema is caused by an inflammation in the skin, which can sometimes lead to infections; this is because our immune system’s white blood cells need moisture to get through our skin so they can fight off any infection-causing bacteria or viruses. So, when we have Eczema, just like any other wound: Our skin becomes tender and more prone to infections than usual. For this reason, you should avoid scratching the affected area because it could get infected and cause your Eczema to spread.
What are the possible causes of Eczema?
There are many causes of Eczema, and what causes it to appear on one person could be completely different from what causes it on another. Some common causes include:
Genetic makeup: If you have a family history of atopic dermatitis (the medical term for Eczema), there is a higher chance of developing the condition. However, this isn’t always true, especially if your parents had mild cases or had more than one child with the state.
Environmental factors: This includes anything from how often you use soap when washing up to whether or not you live in an area where allergies run high such as pollen and mold spores. There can even be environmental toxins on certain fabrics, making them intolerable to wear.
Internal factors: Our bodies can sometimes get confused and create antigens that attack themselves, like when our food allergies cause an allergic reaction in the body (which is why I’m not a fan of cutting out foods unless you know for sure that you’re allergic). The same thing occurs with Eczema; it could be caused by our antibodies or enzymes attacking our skin cells. For this reason, proper diagnosis is essential because everyone’s case of atopic dermatitis is different, so what works for one person may not work on another.
What triggers Eczema?
Many triggers can cause atopic dermatitis to flare up. Some of the more common ones include:
Stress: When we get stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, making us stronger and healthier; it heightens all of our senses and increases blood flow. But if we’re chronically stressed for extended periods (which can happen without you even realizing it), this hormone can become imbalanced and attack your skin cells, leading to Eczema. This is why those with chronic stress often develop this condition on their faces, especially around their eyes, because that’s where the thinnest layer of skin lies.
Food allergies: If you have Eczema, then there is a higher chance that you might be allergic to certain foods that you eat. The most common food allergies for those who have Eczema are Gluten, Dairy, Wheat Soy.
Physical contact with chemicals: If you’ve been working in a factory or using harsh cleaning products daily, you’ll want to take care of your skin as much as possible because it may not handle all of the stress. This is why one of the most common triggers for those with Eczema is anything that touches their skin, primarily if they work outside or can’t avoid touching particular objects. For example, I worked at a grocery store, and all of the produce was wrapped in plastic, this would be caused my fingers to swell up and which made it difficult to do my job and wear my gloves (which I refused to wear because of what they did to my skin). So even everyday things like plastic can be an irritant.
Foods that trigger Eczema: If you have Eczema, then it’s best to avoid foods that can cause inflammation or increase the release of histamines such as Dairy Wheat Soy Sugar Artificial sweeteners, Caffeine Alcohol
Dry weather: If you live in a place where it’s either too cold or too dry for most of the year, your skin will become dehydrated, making any rashes on your skin more severe. This is why those with atopic dermatitis often experience flare-ups during winter and early spring when humidity levels drop significantly, especially if they’re outside a lot.
What is the reason for itchiness in Eczema?
Probably the most common question I’ve received about Eczema is why it’s so itchy. Besides letting your skin breathe, not scratching yourself when you itch, use moisturizing creams that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. There are many other reasons people with atopic dermatitis feel an irresistible urge to rub their body until it starts bleeding.
Itching happens in Eczema because of a few different reasons. First, the skin cells on our body are meant to be replaced within just one or two weeks, but if they’re replaced too quickly, that can lead to them drying out faster than usual, which results in itchy dry skin. Second, if your Eczema is caused by an internal issue (like an autoimmune disease), then you may not even realize how much it’s affecting your skin until something irritates it and makes you itch.
Eczema is often defined as atopic dermatitis with dehydrated skin. It means the parts of your skin where eczema patches occur can become easily irritated, which leads to itching all day long. To help ease this irritation, people use creams that hydrate the skin and form a protective barrier that traps nutrients in and keeps irritants out, which can prevent your skin from getting too dry. Some people may scratch their body until it bleeds because they’re unaware of their condition; this is also known as pruritus sine material or “itch without rash” and can be very dangerous if left untreated.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
- Red itchy skin
Depending on the type of eczema you have, the symptoms may vary. However, some common signs can tell if you’re suffering from atopic dermatitis. For example, suppose your rough patchy skin is accompanied by scratches and red bumps with puss coming out sometimes. In that case, this could be caused by eczema herpeticum, which is a secondary infection brought upon by eczema. This secondary infection causes tremendous itchiness to your body and also happens because of stress -so decreasing stress levels can help prevent this even if you already have Eczema.
- Dry, scaly patches
If you tend to notice your dry patches are flaky and scaly, then you’re likely suffering from dry skin. This is because the outermost layer of your skin has either scaled off ultimately or else has gotten so thick that it can’t hold any moisture inside.
- Sores and blisters
Most people who have Eczema are also known to have oozing sores on their skin which can cause bleeding if scratched too much. These are called Urticarial Rashes, which are caused by an allergic reaction and itchiness -for some people, these rashes last for a long time even after the atopic dermatitis symptoms subside (indicating allergies triggered them).
What are the types of eczema?
Different types of Eczema may affect certain people in particular. However, it’s important to remember that no two patients with atopic dermatitis are entirely alike- so while one person might have a hand full of symptoms, the other person could have only one sign but be affected much worse.
Types of eczema include:
- Atopic Dermatitis- Also known as “Atopic Eczema” or “Atopic Dermatitis,” this type of Eczema has been known to last for long periods without treatment. It is triggered by allergy stress and dry skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is mostly occur on the inner part of your elbows/behind your knees.
- Nummular Eczema-Most of the time, this type of eczema can be found on your lower legs and is characterized by coin-shaped lesions that are irritated, red, dry, itchy, and scaly (also known as “moist eczema”). This type is caused by long-term exposure to irritants or allergens like household chemicals or soaps which causes your skin barrier to thin out and become easily irritated more than usual.
- Dyshidrotic Eczema-Most often found on hands rather than feet, this type is also called “Dyshidrosis” and causes bumps filled with fluid on your palms/soles/fingertips -this may cause itching and pain in some cases. Like nummular eczema, this is caused by a weakened skin barrier that is less resistant to allergens and irritants.
- Seborrheic Eczema-Another type of eczema that can be found on your skin in the form of scaly skin patches- it’s likely to happen in the scalp/skin folds in your body (behind your ears, underarms, groin area). It can also appear as redness and may cause mild itchiness.
When do you visit a doctor for eczema?
If you notice any signs of Eczema, take note and visit your doctor (preferably an allergist) as soon as possible. If it’s eczema herpeticum, you have to get emergency treatment at the nearest hospital or clinic since this type is highly contagious -it can lead to scarring if not treated quickly.
What is the best treatment for eczema?
The best way to treat eczema is by prescription from a skin doctor after being diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. You can treat your eczema with the help of conventional and homeopathic treatment.
It’s important to treat eczema before turning into a more severe skin disease that is not easy to cure. Conventional treatment includes using steroid creams and antibiotics, exposure to UV light, antihistamines, etc.
Homeopathic treatment for eczema uses natural ingredients that do not have side effects, unlike conventional medicine. A homeopathic doctor treats the root cause of your skin disease rather than suppressing the symptoms from worsening. Treatments include detoxification therapy, cleansing, oral medications, and more. An experienced homeopathy doctor may also prescribe a few changes in your daily lifestyle to help you lead a healthy life -this includes changing certain food habits and regular exercise and reducing stress levels to prevent flare-ups from occurring.
Treatment for eczema may last longer than expected, especially if it’s severe or chronic eczema- some patients require treatment once in three months to maintain their healthy skin, while others may undergo treatment up to two times a week for faster results. It always depends on the severity of your condition and how your doctor would like you to continue with your treatments (sessions). You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy for more information!