How To Treat Eczema And Winter Itch
As temperatures drop across the country it becomes the season for warm sweaters, snowmen, and roaring fires, but for some people the return of winter can also mean searching for a way to treat eczema as they experience the return of dry, itchy skin and irritating rashes.
These symptoms are common in people with sensitive skin and allergies, and are often aggravated by the cold, dry air and severe temperatures of the season. Symptoms can also be triggered or worsened by a personâs behavior and choices, such as what clothing they wear or even their morning routine. Thankfully, people who suffer from winter rashes can modify their behaviors and take steps to treat winter eczema and soothe a flare up.
What is eczema?
Eczema is a chronic skin disease in which patches of skin become irritated or inflamed, causing itching and the formation of rashes or blisters. Eczema can occur secondary to loss of skin moisture or even due to a reaction to an irritant or allergen, but oftentimes there is not a clear external cause. Atopic dermatitis is a common type of eczema often associated with a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen. Patients with atopic dermatitis may develop a skin reaction even without direct skin contact with an allergen such as with breathing in pollen or eating a potential food allergen. Furthermore, many people with eczema have a history of other allergies such as food allergies, allergic asthma and/or hay fever or seasonal allergies.
Eczema Coping Tips Beauty Products
Suggestions for using beauty products include:
- Remember that even hypoallergenic cosmetics can irritate your skin. Whenever possible, keep your face free of make-up.
- Avoid perfumes, fragranced skin lotions and strongly scented shampoos.
- When using a new cosmetic, try testing it first on a small, inconspicuous area of skin such as your forearm. If you experience a reaction, dont use the product again.
How To Treat Eczema
Emollients are medical creams and lotions that can start to heal the open, dry skin from eczema. A true emollient is moisturizing and never contains any fragrances or dyes. Another way you can control that constant itch is with oral medications. Taking an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, can bring down the itching and make you much more comfortable as your skin heals. Because these types of medications can cause fatigue, try taking it at bedtime to see how it affects you.
2. Prescription Eczema Creams
If your eczema continues to worsen and the emollient just isnt cutting it, try an over-the-counter-cream that contains hydrocortisone. Using cortisone for eczema will moisturize your skin while relieving the incessant itching. Failing that, your doctor will most likely prescribe an ointment that contains a steroid. These medications can quickly clear up the itching and inflammation, but you do need to be careful with them. Using them for too long can lead to skin discoloration or thinning. Make sure to wash your hands after applying it and always follow the directions.
Light therapy is an effective way to treat eczema when lotions and steroids alone cant control it. Exposing your skin to natural sunlight is the first step. If you live in a cold climate, natural sunlight may not be an option. Your doctor may then recommend phototherapy, a treatment where light is exposed to areas of the skin affected by eczema.
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Eczema Coping Tips Avoid Changes In Temperature
Abrupt temperature and humidity changes can sometimes irritate the skin for example, going in and out of air-conditioned buildings on hot days or heated buildings on cold days.Hard physical activity or exercise that makes you sweat heavily can also trigger the itch of eczema.Suggestions include:
- In winter, dont overheat your house. Dress warmly when going outdoors and remove the extra layers as soon as you return.
- In summer, dont over cool your house. Air conditioners can dry out the air and irritate your skin.
- Avoid hard physical activity in hot weather. For example, do your gardening first thing in the morning, or in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.
Avoid Trigger Foods The Cause Eczema
Its important to keep a food diary to try to identify any foods that aggravate your eczema symptoms and then eliminate them from your diet. You may also want to try the raw food diet as it was used to successfully get rid of eczema.
According to Dr. Tim Kenny on Patient.info, some of the most common trigger foods that make your eczema worse are cows milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, cheese, fish, chocolate, artificial food colors and tomatoes.
It might seem a long process if you go through every food, but the fact is that most people eat certain foods all the time. Start with those foods that you eat on a regular basis and by a process of elimination, try to find out which food triggers your itchy breakouts.
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Not To Be Confused With Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis can also appear on the torso, but with one critical difference: it is limited only to the middle region of the chest, between the breasts. In addition to the chest, it often appears on the face, in the folds on both sides of the nose and on the edge of the scalp, along with itchy dandruff . Seborrheic dermatitis is different from eczema.
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Neck And Exposed Chest Eczema
This rash appears on the neck and on the part of the chest that is exposed to sunlight. Usually, the rash is itchy. It can look pink on lighter skin on brown or black skin, eczema tends to look darker brown, purple, or gray. It can appear during or after the infection and typically lasts for an extended period. And according to Dr. Bataille, a patient doesn’t have to have a history of eczema for this type of rash to develop. Most patients included in the survey had no history of skin conditions.
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Muscle Injury Or Overuse
Sometimes chest and back pain may be due to injury or overuse of muscles. Injury can occur due to things like accidents or falls.
Overuse can also cause muscle pain. Repetitive motions that are used in day-to-day activities, work, or sports can also contribute to this. An example of a repetitive activity that may cause muscle pain in the chest and back is rowing.
Generally, pain from muscle injury or overuse may be worse when moving the affected area.
What Do The Ecz
Seborrheic dermatitis isnt contagious and is not an allergy, although some allergies can mimic it, said Dr. Peter Lio, clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine. A correct diagnosis, he added, requires careful evaluation by a dermatologist.
Seborrheic dermatitis can also overlap with atopic dermatitis, especially in infants. We see this overlap in young adults, as well, usually in those with more severe atopic dermatitis, Lio said. They can develop a condition that some call head and neck dermatitis that seems to be very closely related to seborrheic dermatitis and is treated similarly.
- National Eczema Association | 505 San Marin Drive, #B300 | Novato, CA 94945
- 415-499-3474 or 800-818-7546
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Medical Treatment For Eczema
Eczema cant be cured. But it can be managed by preventing and treating flare-ups as soon as they appear.
If your childs skin is inflamed and itchy, theyll probably need some corticosteroid ointment or cream. For mild eczema, you can buy mild corticosteroids over the counter at your pharmacy. The most common is hydrocortisone 1% cream. For more serious eczema or if the over-the-counter products arent working, youll need to see your GP to get a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid.
Other eczema treatments include pimecrolimus, a non-steroidal cream. Doctors might prescribe this cream for children with mild to moderate eczema on the face and in body folds.
If your child is scratching at a rash, you could ask your pharmacist or GP about using an antihistamine medication for a few days. Together with a corticosteroid cream, this might give your child some rest and help the flare-up to settle.
If your childs eczema rash gets infected, your doctor will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics.
Toxicity And Side Effect Management
It is crucial that the patient and parents understand that the use of topical steroids should only be used for active lesions. They can also be used prophylactically by applying the topical steroid a few times a week to prevent flare-ups. Topical steroids should not be routinely used daily. Long term use of topical steroids can cause atrophy , stretch marks , acne, telangiectasia and rebound dermatitis/rosacea. The strength and formulation of the topical steroid need to be carefully determined based on the location of the body affected. Less potent steroids should be used on the face and intertriginous regions.
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Eczema On Legs & Arms
While behind your knees and inside your elbows are the most likely areas to get red and itchy patches, the rest of your arms and legs might also experience eczema. The good news is that because sweat doesnt collect as much everywhere else, eczema on your limbs is often temporary and less severe if its outside of the creases.
Gently cleaning, steering clear of hot water and temperatures that could exacerbate skin irritation even further, and creams or ointments to relieve the area all apply to this type of eczema. As with other treatments, if they dont work or youre worried that you dont know how to specifically treat it, talk to a doctor and get their advice.
- Leaving sweat and other irritants on your skin
- Clothing materials that might aggravate your skin
Dermatitis Or Eczema Prevention
Most forms of dermatitis and eczema are chronic conditions. One exception is contact dermatitis. It can be prevented by finding and avoiding the irritant that caused the skin condition.
Its important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis, then try to avoid triggers for your type of eczema or dermatitis .
Other forms of dermatitis can usually be avoided or managed with proper self-care, which includes the following:
- Avoid long showers or baths, which can dry out the skin.
- Use moisturizers like oils, lotions, or creams.
- Avoid irritants that make your skin more susceptible to breakouts, like scented products.
- Dont scrub your skin too hard.
- Use topical steroids to help with itching.
- Keep your fingernails short if you have a habit of scratching.
- Avoid stressful situations that may cause a flare-up.
Establishing a skincare routine can help you manage your atopic dermatitis or eczema symptoms. A doctor can help you come up with a regimen that works for you. You should also take note of things that may have caused your breakouts.
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Pityriasis Rosea Rash On Chest And Back
Its the reddish pinkish and rough patch that appears on the chest or back. Usually, this patch is followed by extra pink or red patches.
Like other types, this rash has no clear causes. However, this rash looks like a specific viral disease, so there is an evidence that this disease results from viruses. Its worth to mention that this rash is not infectious and doesnt spread from one person to another.
Symptoms and signs
Initially, one may notice appearance of red and pink patches followed by additional red spots, which get itchier and more inflammatory by the time. Concerning the parts of body that get affected by this kind of rash are: the back, the chest, the neck, the abdomen, upper arms, and legs.
Normally, doctors ask people with Pityriasis Rosea rash to carry out blood tests, scrap the skin or skin biopsy, so that he can rule out any other skin conditions.
Patients with mild cases of Pityriasis Rosea rash dont necessarily need treatment, and sever cases also can overcome this rash without treatment prescribed. Yet, doctors may prescribe some medications that reduce itchiness, such as: antihistamines. In order to get rid of sores linked to this rash, exposure to sunlight is really recommended, but not too much.
Red Bumps On The Back
Red bumps on lower or upper back regardless of the symptoms accompanied rash on chest and back can be common if it is a rash. Small red spots or bumps can indicate a back rash. Viral rashes are common in both children and adults and do create the an-all-over-the-body effect.
Common causes of red bumps on the back include
- Inflamed acne pimples
- Celiac disease
Keep in mind that irritation can trigger or lead to redness especially by picking or scratching the pimples or conditions like acne.
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Final Thoughts On Bumps On The Chest
Bumps on the chest can be harmless in many cases, and they dont require treatment unless there is painful discomfort. Conditions like cherry angiomas, seborrheic keratosis, and keloids are not considered harmless, but treatment may be required to remove the cosmetic concern.
However, other times, bumps on the chest can arise from more serious issues, like chickenpox, warts, and MRSA infections. Also, skin lesions like actinic keratosis can lead to skin cancer.
It is a good idea to see a doctor if your bumps on the chest cause pain or discomfort, you dont know the cause of the bumps, the bumps change or worsen in appearance, or last for longs periods of time, or if you suspect an infection or skin cancer.
What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
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Pain During Or After Eating
Chest and back pain that occurs during or after eating may be a symptom of one of the following digestive conditions:
- gallbladder issues
If a person develops any signs or symptoms of one of the above conditions, they should make an appointment with their doctor.
The following conditions can also cause pain in the chest and back.
A panic attack is a sudden episode of overwhelming or debilitating fear and anxiety. This can lead to physical symptoms such as:
- chest pain
The symptoms of a panic attack come on suddenly and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. They rarely last for longer than an hour.
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash to develop on the body.
Often, a person who is about to develop shingles will feel a band of burning or tingling pain beneath the skin before the rash appears. The pain and subsequent rash most commonly occur on the chest and abdomen on one side of the body.
Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
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Symptoms Of Atopic Eczema
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body.
Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin, and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin. This can also be more difficult to see on darker skin.
Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.
People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe .
Pain While Breathing Or Coughing
Pain while breathing or coughing could be a symptom of one of the conditions below.
Issues with the ribs
The muscles between the ribs may become overstretched or partially torn as a result of overuse or injury. This may lead to chest pain and difficulty breathing.
A bruised or broken rib could also cause pain in the chest or mid-to-upper back, particularly when a person breathes in. Some other symptoms include:
- feeling or hearing a crack before the onset of rib pain
- swelling or tenderness around the affected rib
- bruising on the skin
Pneumothorax is a condition in which the lung partially collapses due to air or gas entering into the chest cavity and pressing over the lungs. This results in the following symptoms:
- chest pain in the side of the collapsed lung
- pain when breathing
- shortness of breath
Pneumothorax generally occurs as a result of injury to the chest or as a complication of a chronic lung condition.
Pleurisy refers to inflammation of the membrane that covers the lungs. The condition may cause a sharp pain in the chest that worsens when breathing deeply, coughing, sneezing, or moving around.
Other possible symptoms include:
- blue discoloration of the lips or nails
A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency. Without prompt treatment, the condition can be fatal.
Pericarditis refers to inflammation of the sac of tissue that surrounds the heart. The condition can occur as a result of an infection or an underlying heart condition.
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