Over 30 million Americans currently have some form of eczema. This painful skin condition is very common among children, and often develops on their cheeks and chin at a very young age. But, adults can develop eczema, too, even if they never had it as a child. Eczema causes a great deal of discomfort on its own, but when left untreated, it can often accelerate and cause other skin conditions as well.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is described as an inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, itching, oozing, crusting, and often scaling, however the symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people experience such extreme itchiness that they scratch their skin until it begins to bleed, while others only experience light itchiness.
There are a number of different types of eczema, the most common being dermatitis, which occurs when the skin makes contact with a foreign substance that irritates the skin.
What Causes Eczema?
Doctors have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of eczema, although they believe it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Once you have eczema, it’s important to steer clear of anything that will cause it to become more inflamed and uncomfortable. These environmental factors are known as “triggers,” and may include soaps, detergents, allergens, extreme temperatures, stress, and dairy products.
Women may also experience flare-ups in their eczema when they are having hormone fluctuations, such as during pregnancy and at certain times during their monthly menstrual cycle.
The Importance of Managing Eczema
Why is it so important to keep your eczema in check? Besides making you feel more comfortable, it’s imperative that you treat eczema to prevent it from accelerating into other skin conditions.
Staph infections, which are dangerous bacterial infections, are often associated with eczema. About 90% of people who have eczema have this bacteria on their skin and within their noses. Furuncles, which are infected boils may begin to develop on your skin and ooze pus if left untreated. People with eczema may also develop impetigo, which is a highly contagious staph infection that is characterized by red, crusty skin. Far worse than impetigo is cellulitis, which is another form of staph infection that may lead to hospitalization. People with cellulitis will be in intense pain and may develop a high fever and rash that spreads quickly throughout the entire body.
How to Manage Eczema
Eczema can be very uncomfortable, but unfortunately, there is no cure for this skin condition. However, there are ways you can relieve the pain associated with eczema. Taking regular, warm baths will help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. You may need to test different soaps to find one that doesn’t bother your skin. After you get out of the bath, apply a thick layer of moisturizer to your skin, such as the Skintrium Esthetic Blend Suntan Removal UV Damage & Tone Restoring Cream. Pat yourself dry with a towel instead of rubbing your skin to remove moisture, which may trigger a flare-up of your eczema.
Throughout the day, wear soft, cotton clothing that won’t rub against your skin and cause irritation. Some medications can be used to relieve eczema symptoms, including topical corticosteroid creams and antihistamines. But, you should never use any medication to treat your eczema until you have discussed it with your doctor.
By following these tips, you can keep your skin clean and reduce your discomfort caused by eczema.