Treating Eczema Rashes After Trigger Exposure
Anyone can get eczema, from newborn babies to elderly adults. While eczema may go away periodically, it is a chronic condition that can come back.
If you or a loved one has eczema, talk to your doctor. There is no cure for the condition, but as the AAAAI notes, there are over-the-counter and prescription treatments that may ease the symptoms, including:
How To Modify The Diet
You still need to eat healthy and dont go too extreme into the highly restricted diet.
Because if you go highly restricted, in order to remain eczema-free, youll have to maintain that highly restricted standard for the rest of the time being.
The solution is to let yourself heal from eczema slower with a lighter restricted diet, with cheating sessions every once in a while.
This doesnt mean you cram yourself 100% junk food in those sessions. It means letting yourself blend in with social conventions. This way, your body will adjust to your habits .
Slowing down your eczema recovery on purpose is for the long-term benefit of not being constrained to a highly restricted diet.
But if you tell me, hey Harrison! Im highly dedicated and I will exactly follow the highly restricted diet forever!, then sure thing, you can optimize your recovery to its greatest speed and thats fine!
Why Im Modifying My Diet And Why You Should Too
Lets face the truth. The diet is actually quite boring unless you are great at and have the time to make good food using only food choices available from the restricted diet.
Plus, the constraints the diet puts you in social conventions is immense. Who wants to miss out on parties? Or hanging out with friends and family? No Christmas dinner? Who wants to be so extreme and sacrifice all these elements of a happy life just to be eczema-free?
This doesnt mean you cant adjust your body to be able to tolerate less restricted food options.
But I need to not repeat the same mistake from last year.
In fact, I know that if I go into my highly restricted diet like I did last year right now, my eczema would probably be gone in 20 days. But I dont want this because I need to adjust for the long-term.
If I dove in the highly restricted diet for the entire summer, sure-fire Ill be super healthy but Ill get eczema again like last year when school starts. I need to modify my current diet so my body adjusts and itll be more tolerable to the less restricted food I will eat when school begins.
Of course, this doesnt mean if you eat Oreos every day you can adjust your body to function on Oreos. Theres a limit.
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Is It Really Eczema
Its worth repeating that other skin conditionssuch as yeast and fungal infections, psoriasis, and herpesand certain ingredient allergies can sometimes look like eczema, so you want to make sure what you have is truly eczema.
Dr. Fusco recommends patch testing at a dermatologists office to identify anything that you could be allergic or hyper-sensitized to. If your physician finds that you do have an allergy to a specific ingredient, she can provide a comprehensive list of products that dont contain it.
How Discoid Eczema Is Treated
Discoid eczema is usually a long-term problem, but medications are available to help relieve the symptoms and keep the condition under control.
Treatments used include:
- emollients moisturisers applied to the skin to stop it becoming dry
- topical corticosteroids ointments and creams applied to the skin that can help relieve severe symptoms
- antihistamines medications that can reduce itching and help you sleep better
There are also things you can do yourself to help, such as avoiding all the irritating chemicals in soaps, detergents, bubble baths and shower gels.
Additional medication can be prescribed if your eczema is infected or particularly severe.
The face and scalp are not normally affected.
The first sign of discoid eczema is usually a group of small red spots or bumps on the skin. These then quickly join up to form larger pink, red or brown patches that can range from a few millimetres to several centimetres in size.
Initially, these patches are often swollen, blistered and ooze fluid. They also tend to be very itchy, particularly at night.
Over time, the patches may become dry, crusty, cracked and flaky. The centre of the patch also sometimes clears, leaving a ring of discoloured skin that can be mistaken for ringworm.
You may just have one patch of discoid eczema, but most people have several patches. The skin between the patches is often dry.
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Be Gentle On Your Skin While Bathing
A long, hot bath might be relaxing at the end of the day, but avoid the temptation of this potential atopic dermatitis trigger. Keep showers or baths as short as possible and use only lukewarm water, advises the NEA. Hot water can dry the skin and cause atopic dermatitis to flare, notes the Cleveland Clinic.
Be gentle on your skin when bathing dont scrub or rub with a washcloth or loofah, and pat skin with a towel after bathing. While your skin is still damp, apply a rich moisturizer to trap moisture in the skin an essential part of treatment for eczema, the NEA notes.
What Foods Should I Eat Or Avoid To Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
The connection between eczema and food allergies is unclear. If you have food allergies, then one of the reasons why you must avoid that food is that it may cause or worsen dermatitis. Examples of common allergies include peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugar, alcohol and gluten. Pay attention to what you eat. If your eczema flares up after you eat a certain food, then you might have an allergy to it.
If you dont have a food allergy then there are no foods, including chicken, that will cause or worsen your eczema.
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What Is It Like Living With Eczema
Many people live with eczema . As many as 15 million Americans may have this skin condition. Living with it can be challenging.
There may be times when your eczema disappears. This is known as a remission period. Other times you may have a flare-up, which is when it gets worse. The goal of treatment is to prevent such flare-ups, preventing your symptoms from getting worse. Be sure to avoid triggers, moisturize, take your medicine and do anything else your healthcare provider recommends.
What Causes Eczema During Pregnancy
Eczema can worsen or even erupt for the very first time during pregnancy, though the most common variety, atopic dermatitis, is often hereditary. If you have atopic eczema, there’s a good chance that you or someone in your family probably suffers from asthma, hay fever, allergies and/or food allergies as well.
Atopic dermatitis and other eczema types like contact dermatitis are impacted by irritants such as chemicals, fragrances, detergents, cosmetics, dust mites and viral infections. Where you live and what youre exposed to can also affect eczema, including cold damp weather, stress, pollution, tobacco smoke and even metals .
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Topical Steroids To Reduce Inflammation
A topical steroid is a steroid cream or ointment that is applied to your skin. In discoid eczema, topical steroids are applied to the skin patches to reduce inflammation. Ointments tend to be better than creams because they tend to hold water in your skin better and form a better protective barrier for your skin.
Do not use the steroid cream or ointment on normal skin. Also, steroids should only be used when discoid eczema has flared up. They should not be used in between times to keep discoid eczema away. This is because long-term steroid cream use can have some effects on your skin, including thinning of your skin. See the separate leaflet called Topical Steroids for Eczema for more details.
Sometimes wet wrap treatments are used with a topical steroid to treat discoid eczema. Your skin is made wet first with lukewarm water so that it is well hydrated. Then, a steroid ointment is applied to the affected areas of skin. Next, damp pyjamas or bandaging are used to seal in the steroid ointment for around one hour. However, do not try such treatments unless advised by your doctor.
In severe cases, steroid tablets taken by mouth or given by injection may be needed to treat discoid eczema.
Note: when using both an emollient and a topical steroid, you should apply the emollient first. Wait 10-15 minutes after applying an emollient before applying a topical steroid. That is, the emollient should be allowed to absorb before a steroid is applied.
Why Did I Suddenly Develop Eczema This Year
Anyone whos spent four seasons in Utah knows our winter air is unforgiving. Specialists see a spike in dry skin visits every winter. But have you ever wondered why your skin can react differently one year to the next? Last year, it was just dry knuckles and chapped lips, but this year youre dealing with an irritated rash. How come? Makinzee Kemp, Dermatology PA-C, has answers about why you may have developed eczema for the first time this year.
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What Is Discoid Eczema And What Are The Symptoms
Eczema is also called dermatitis. Dermatitis is a general term which means inflammation of the skin. There are a number of different types of eczema. Discoid eczema is one of these.
Discoid eczema causes round or oval-shaped, red patches of skin on your body. So discoid refers to the disc shape of the eczema patches. Discoid eczema is also called nummular dermatitis. Nummular literally means coin-shaped, another way of describing the shape of the patches of eczema.
Discoid eczema can start as a small group of little blisters or red spots but then develops into a pinky-red, dry and scaly patch of skin. The skin patches are usually very itchy. The itching is often worse at night and can affect your sleep. Some people complain that the skin patches burn or sting.
The skin between the discoid eczema patches looks normal except that, in general, people with discoid eczema have dry skin.
Trigger : Physical Wear And Tear
Minor hand trauma from tasks like digging in the garden with bare hands can cause hand eczema or make it worse, as can friction from activities like handling large quantities of paper.
How to dodge it: Wear task-appropriate gloves. Cotton and fabric gloves can keep hands clean and protect against abrasions, but they may not be adequate for work with rough or sharp materials. Working with thorny plants, palm fronds or brambles may require leather gloves with longer cuffs.
Avoiding eczema triggers often goes a long way toward managing the condition. The key is to be diligent. It can take a massive amount of effort if you have severe hand dermatitis, and people often want a quick fix, but putting in that effort to take care of your skin really pays off in keeping eczema from coming back, said Dr. OBrien.
Dont get discouraged: Hand eczema can be stubborn, and it may take a few months for the patches of red, scaly and inflamed skin to fully heal. After that, your eczema is less likely to return.
Medical Review By: Ted Schiff, MD
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Diagnosis And When To See A Doctor
People who experience symptoms of eczema should see a doctor or dermatologist. Eczema can indicate a new allergy, so it is important to determine what is causing the reaction.
There is no specific test to diagnose most types of eczema. The doctor will want to know the individualâs personal and family medical history. They will also ask about recent exposures to potential allergens and irritants. It is essential that people let the doctor know if they have hay fever or asthma.
The doctor may also ask about:
- sleep patterns
- any previous treatments for skin conditions
- any use of steroids
A physical examination of the rash will help the doctor to diagnose which type of eczema it is.
The doctor may also perform a patch test, which involves pricking a personâs skin with a needle that contains potential irritants and allergens. A patch test can determine whether or not someone has contact dermatitis.
There is no cure for eczema, so treatment involves managing the symptoms and trying to prevent further flare-ups.
Some treatment options for eczema include:
Some general tips that may help to prevent eczema flare-ups include:
When To Speak With A Doctor
A person should see their doctor if they suspect they have a skin infection. This is particularly true when the infection develops in an area where their eczema tends to flare up.
If a person has noticed their eczema has worsened or is no longer responding to their usual treatment, they may benefit from speaking with a doctor or dermatologist.
A dermatologist can help a person identify the type of eczema they have and prescribe treatments that may be more effective. They can also refer someone for diagnostic tests, such as allergy testing, if necessary.
If a rash appears suddenly, spreads quickly, or shows signs of infection, see a doctor as soon as possible.
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Dealing With Eczema Flares
Eczema is a condition of the skin that erupts in the different parts of the body. As true as the phrase, “Prevention is better than cure” holds, once you have acquired the condition, dealing with it becomes the prime matter of concern. Sometimes, it is the little things in life that help us overcome an ailment. To begin with, you can prevent the flares from doubling up by avoiding friction or rough contact with the area. Try not to scratch or rub the patch of skin in and around the lesions. Avoid wearing clothes that prevent your skin from breathing. Instead, choose light and skin-friendly materials. Observe your cosmetic products and toiletries for a while. If you have recently switched to a new brand or is allergic to a particular skin care product or lotion, identify them and remove them from your cupboard immediately. This method rules out the first cause of most skin irritations.
Eczema is a relatively chronic skin condition that stays for a while until the visible symptoms subside. You may experience flare-ups at different points in time, but it takes a while to leave the body completely. Proper treatment using prescribed medications can help in curbing the ailment. Overall, a good approach to hygiene, skin care routine and a healthy diet can keep eczema at bay.
Hence, once you feel that you have this condition, medical attention is required to have a proper diagnosis.
What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
The conversation with your healthcare provider will need to cover a lot of information. Be sure to be specific about your symptoms.
- Where is your eczema located?
- What have you used to try to treat your eczema?
- What medical conditions do you have? Allergies? Asthma?
- Is there a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms of eczema?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed that something triggers or worsens your eczema? Soaps? Detergents? Cigarette smoke?
- Is there so much itchiness that you have trouble sleeping? Working? Living your normal life?
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Keeping Eczema At Bay
There are a number of ways in which you can cut down the possibility of triggering or aggravating the eczema. Here is a quick checklist:
- Wear cotton next to your skin. Synthetic or woollen clothes and bedding can cause over-heating. Some people can get away with putting woollens over cotton clothes.
- Use soap-substitutes and mild shampoos.
- People with atopic eczema may be allergic to dust, dust mites, grass seeds, pollens, feathers, animal fur and dander.
- Use non-biological soap powders and detergents.
- Use cotton mitts at night to stop you scratching and take antihistamines to curtail the itchiness and to help you sleep.
- Dietary factors are not commonly associated with adult atopic eczema so do not embark on a diet without consultation with your doctor or dietitian. Food additives are the most likely to cause problems, particularly artificial colourings and preservatives .
- Over-heating, frosty weather, low humidity, dry air, central heating, air conditioning and car heaters can all aggravate a dry skin and eczema.
- Get to know your own triggers. What sparks off one persons eczema doesnt necessarily trigger anothers.
S Of The Body Commonly Affected By Eczema
The parts of the body that are commonly affected by eczema usually depend on the patient’s age. In children with eczema, the commonly affected areas may vary as well as in adults. In babies and children, the disease usually attacks parts of the head such as the face, cheeks, and scalp. Scientists contend that the condition reflects the parts of the body where the child is able to easily scratch. In adults, the disease will most often attack the knees and elbows, which similarly reflect the parts of the body where the adult can easily scratch.
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Soothe Atopic Dermatitis All Over
Little-known fact: Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can occur wherever you have skin. So: anywhere. While you may typically think of it as a condition that affects your elbows, knees, back of the neck, and hands, it can pop up from scalp to tush. But dont start scratching : We have simple solutions for every sensitive area.