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Many things can trigger eczema symptoms. For some people, stress can be a trigger. For others, it may be an allergen or irritant in the environment. Identifying what triggers your symptoms is one of the best ways to understand reducing or eliminating their impact on your life. Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, and inflamed. Identifying possible triggers for your eczema symptoms can help you reduce or even eliminate their impact on your life. Stress, allergens, and irritants in the environment are all common triggers of eczema symptoms. Let’s know about eczema and its motivations.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, and inflamed. It can appear on any body area but often appears on the face, hands, or feet. Symptoms include dryness, crusting, rashes, flaking, and thick patches of skin. Eczema symptoms are different for everyone. Some people experience mild symptoms that go away after an hour or two; others have severe symptoms that last all day long.
What are the leading causes of eczema?
There is no clear cause of eczema. It is likely caused by a combination of factors that include: –
- Skin barrier malfunction – Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, fabrics, chemicals (household cleaning products), molds, flowers, grasses, trees, and other substances.
- Hereditary factors: Eczema affects about 20 percent of children and 2 to 3 percent of adults. If you have a family member with eczema, your risk is higher than someone without a family history of the disease.
- Environmental irritants: Eczema symptoms can be worsened by exposure to certain environmental irritants such as smoke, pollution, and dry climates.
- Stress – Stress has worsened dermatitis symptoms, which is often a type of eczema. With many cases of eczema, it’s impossible to figure out exactly what triggered the condition.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
- Dry, flaky skin
- Crusty skin
- Thickened skin areas
What are the types of eczema?
Atopic dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It occurs in people who have a family history of allergies, such as asthma, hay fever, or hives.
Contact dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is caused by contact with an irritant or allergen. The most common type of contact dermatitis is poison ivy, oak, and sumac rash.
Seborrheic dermatitis: Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disorder that causes scaly patches on the scalp, face, and chest.
Nummular dermatitis: Nummular dermatitis is eczema that causes coin-shaped patches on the body.
Infantile eczema: This type of eczema usually appears for the first time during a baby’s first six months and is often triggered by food allergies, milk protein, or a virus. It can also be hereditary.
How is eczema diagnosed?
There is no definitive test for eczema. A doctor may diagnose based on a person’s medical history and a physical examination. The doctor may also order tests such as: –
- Skin prick test: This is a standard allergy test that involves pricking the skin with tiny amounts of suspected allergens to see if an allergic reaction occurs.
- Patch test: This test is used to determine if you’re allergic to a substance that comes into contact with your skin. A small amount of the suspected allergen is placed on your skin and then covered with a patch. You wear the patch for two days and return it to the doctor to be analysed.
- Blood tests: Blood tests can help identify food allergies, environmental allergies, and other types of allergies.
Eczema triggers: What are they?
The factors that may trigger eczema include:
- Harsh skincare products. Some soaps and detergents can irritate your skin, as can some moisturizers and cosmetics. If dry skin, use a mild soap or body washes without added dyes or perfumes. Avoid harsh scrubs, especially those with a gritty texture. Also, avoid using fabric softeners on your clothes – the detergents in these products can irritate sensitive skin.
- Stress People who have stress tend to experience flare-ups of their symptoms more often than usual. It is best to find ways such as yoga and meditation that will help release stress and promote serenity.
- Heat and humidity You may notice that your symptoms get worse when it’s hot or humid outside because sweat can irritate your skin and make your symptoms more pronounced. Try to avoid overly warm places where you’ll experience high humidity, such as saunas and steam rooms. Use a dehumidifier in your home and keep yourself cool during the day with the help of fans and spritzes of water on your face if needed.
- Dryness When you don’t have enough moisture in your body, your skin compensates by producing extra oil (sebum). These oils mix with dead skin cells (exfoliation) to create a buildup of thick flakes on the skin’s surface, which is similar to dandruff. Keeping your skin moisturized and exfoliating regularly can help control this type of eczema.
- Infections Germs, viruses, and bacteria can trigger an outbreak. If you have a recurring infection or are frequently exposed to infected people or animals, your dermatitis may flare up as well. Eating foods high in histamines has also been known to cause outbreaks of itching, so try avoiding red wine, cheese, soy sauce, etc.
What are the risk factors for eczema?
People who have certain conditions have a higher chance of getting eczema than others:
- Dry skin People with dry skin tend to be more susceptible to eczema because their skin cannot protect itself against irritants, and oily skin can.
- Allergies People who are allergic to certain things, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander, are more likely to develop eczema.
- A person with asthma is up to 4 times more likely to develop eczema than someone without asthma.
- Family history If you have a parent or sibling, you’re more likely to develop the condition yourself.
- Cold weather Some people find that their eczema symptoms worsen in cold weather.
How to reduce the impact of eczema?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, some general tips that may help include: –
- Avoiding triggers: Identifying and avoiding your triggers is vital for managing eczema symptoms. This may avoid skin contact with allergens, irritants, or other substances that cause a reaction.
- Moisturizing: Keeping your skin well-moisturized is an essential part of eczema treatment. Apply a moisturizer several times a day, especially after bathing and before bed. Look for a moisturizer that is fragrance-free, dye-free, and made for sensitive skin.
- Exfoliating:Exfoliating your skin regularly can help remove dead skin cells and prevent them from building up on the surface of your skin. This will help keep your skin clear and free from flakes. Choose an exfoliator that is gentle enough for daily use.
- Using a humidifier:A humidifier can help add moisture to the air and keep your skin hydrated. If you live in a dry climate or experience frequent bouts of cold or flu, you may find that running a humidifier at night helps improve your symptoms.
- Bathing:When you bathe, don’t take scalding showers and use only gentle cleansers without fragrances, perfume, dyes, etc. Apply moisturizer to damp skin after washing to lock in moisture.
- Applying over-the-counter topical treatments: Your dermatologist can help select prescription topicals that are right for you based on your symptoms, lifestyle, and preferences. Common topical ointments include corticosteroids (which reduce inflammation), tacrolimus ointment (which prevents the immune system from releasing certain chemicals that trigger inflammation), calcineurin inhibitors (which help control the immune system), and pimecrolimus cream (an anti-inflammatory).
- Taking antihistamines: If you have allergies, taking antihistamines may help reduce your symptoms and keep your eczema from flaring up. Talk to your doctor about whether this is a good option for you.
- Considering phototherapy: Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, may effectively treat some people with eczema. You expose your skin to ultraviolet A or B radiation from unique lamps during phototherapy. This helps decrease inflammation and itching.
How to reduce the impact of eczema through home remedies?
- Baking soda baths: Mix 1 cup of baking soda in your bathtub filled with warm water for relief from itching and dry skin.
- Use honey to moisturize the skin naturally: Honey is a natural humectant, which means it holds moisture on the skin’s surface. Mix honey in your favorite moisturizer to lock in moisture and relieve symptoms caused by eczema.
- Apply coconut oil throughout the day: Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that help protect against germs when applied to the skin repeatedly throughout the day. It also helps moisturize dry, tight, or flaky patches of skin that can become irritated due to eczema symptoms.
- Add vitamin E into your daily routine: Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that helps soothe skin inflammation and supports the healing process. You can take it as a supplement or apply it topically to areas of skin that are affected by eczema.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is key for overall health, including keeping your skin healthy. Drinking enough water every day will help keep your skin hydrated and may help reduce the symptoms of eczema.
- Take omega-3 supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for overall health, including the health of your skin. Taking an omega-3 supplement may help improve the symptoms of eczema.
- Consider using probiotics:Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in some foods and supplements. Taking them may help reduce inflammation and other symptoms of eczema by helping control the growth of good and bad bacteria in your gut.
- Use a cool compress: Applying a cold compress to itchy, irritated skin can help provide relief. Wrap some ice cubes in a washcloth and apply them to the affected area for a few minutes at a time.
- Avoid triggers: If you know your triggers, try to avoid them as much as possible. Triggers can vary from person to person, so it’s essential to determine what sets off your eczema flares. Common triggers include stress, sweat, wool clothing, and harsh chemicals or detergents.
- Take a break from the sun:If you’re experiencing a bad eczema flare-up, it’s best to avoid the sun. The UV rays from the sun can further irritate your skin and make your symptoms worse.
- Seek medical help if needed: If your eczema is severe or not respond to home remedies, seek medical help. A dermatologist can help you find the right treatment plan for you and prescribe prescription medications or other treatments.
Eczema is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. You can consider homeopathic treatment for eczema. Homeopathic treatment for eczema is a holistic approach to healing. It involves treating the person as a whole, not just the symptoms. There are many different homeopathic remedies for eczema, and your homeopath will work with you to find the best treatment for your individual case.
Some common homeopathic remedies for eczema include:
- Sulphur:This remedy is often used for people who have dry, itchy skin that flares up easily.
- Graphites: This remedy is often used for people with eczema that worsens in cold weather or during times of stress.
- Natrum muriaticum: This remedy is often used for people with eczema that is worsened by salty foods or sweat.
- Pulsatilla: This remedy is often used for people with eczema that is worsened by changes in the weather or humidity.
- Thuja occidentalis: This remedy is often used for people with eczema caused by a fungal infection.
- Rhus tox: This remedy is often used for people with eczema caused by contact with poison ivy or oak.
- Calcarea carbonic: This remedy is often used for people with eczema that is worse in cold weather or during times of stress.
- Silicea: This remedy is often used for eczema that does not improve with other treatments.
- Arsenicum album: This remedy is often used for people with eczema that is worse at night or in cold weather.
- Mezereum: This remedy is often used for people with eczema caused by an allergic reaction.
If you are interested in trying homeopathic treatment for your eczema, be sure to consult with a qualified homeopath. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy for more information.