What Is An Eczema Flare
Eczema is a general term used to describe a variety of conditions that cause redness, dryness, and itchiness of the skin.
Atopic dermatitis, the technical term for eczema, is a common condition affecting over 30 million people each year.
While eczema symptoms can be uncomfortable, they can be managed.
A variety of factors can cause what is described as an eczema flare-up, or a return of the symptoms of eczema that may affect one or more parts of the body.
There are a number of common causes which may prompt an eczema flare-up, but the good news is there are many ways to manage eczema if youre aware of your triggers, and you may even be able to prevent potential flare-ups.
This article will review causes, symptoms, and treatment for flare-ups of this skin condition.
How To Use Emollients
Use your emollient all the time, even if you are not experiencing symptoms as they can help limit the return of your condition. Many people find it helpful to keep separate supplies of emollients at work or school.
To apply the emollient:
- use a large amount
- don’t rub it in, smooth it into the skin in the same direction that the hair grows instead
- for very dry skin, apply the emollient every two to three hours
- after a bath or shower, gently dry the skin and then immediately apply the emollient while the skin is still moist
If you are exposed to irritants at work, make sure you apply emollients regularly during and after work.
Don’t share emollients with other people.
Does Eczema Go Away
Theres no known cure for eczema, and the rashes wont simply go away if left untreated. For most people, eczema is a chronic condition that requires careful avoidance of triggers to help prevent flare-ups.
Age is also thought to play a role: About 60 percent of people who have eczema developing it as infants. If you develop eczema as a child, then you may experience improved symptoms as you get older.
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Give Your Little One An Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal baths arent reserved for folk tales about soothing chickenpox they really work!
Colloidal oatmeal is a naturally soothing, emollient product that adds moisture to the skin and soothes itchy irritation. It can provide immense relief to your child during those nights when their inflamed skin is getting the best of them.
To use colloidal oatmeal, add it underneath a running faucet or to warm water. Allow your child to relax and play in the oatmeal bath for at least 15 minutes so their skin has time to be soothed and absorb the oatmeals beneficial properties.
Colloidal oatmeal is safe to apply to the face as well, though you should be careful not to let the oatmeal enter your childs mouth or eyes. You can crank up the fun by hopping in the bath with them, as its great for your skin, too!
Once they exit the bath, your child may be a little slippery. Gently pat their skin just dry enough that they still feel damp without dripping. Then, apply your favorite emollient cream to lock in their skins new nourished, soothed state.
The Outlook For Infected Eczema
The outlook for infected eczema depends on the severity and type of infection. You should notice an improvement in your symptoms several days after starting treatment.
Treating the infection doesnt mean you wont be at risk for future bouts of infected eczema.
Take preventive measures so you can stop eczema flares from getting infected. Managing eczema flare-ups can also go a long way in preventing related infections.
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Ways To Prevent Baby Eczema
Eczema itself cannot be prevented, but knowing and avoiding triggers can help prevent flare-ups of the condition.
Some ways to reduce triggers include:
- Keep your child out of cold, dry air.
- If they are 6 months or older, make sure your child gets an annual flu shot.
- Read labels on products to help your family avoid common irritants.
- Double-rinse your laundry to remove detergent residue.
How Long Does Eczema Last In Babies
Eczema is a common skin condition that often occurs in babies before the reach the age of one.Babies tend to start showing symptoms of eczema at around 2-3 months, which can continue for several years and sometimes even into adulthood.It can be a stressful time for both babies and parents when a child develops eczema, so its normal to want it to go away as quickly as possible.However, eczema tends to be a chronic condition that varies from person to person.
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The Progression Of Eczema
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema almost always begins with red, itchy skin. It can show up anywhere, but most often breaks out around the eyes or on the hands, neck, elbows, knees, ankles, or feet.
For reasons scientists don’t completely understand, eczema is more common among people who have a family history of asthma, environmental allergies, or food allergies. The good news is, about half of all people outgrow eczema as they get older.
Eczema’s progression through the three stages isn’t always linear. For example, a rash may start at the acute stage and then move to the subacute and chronic stages. Or, it may start at the subacute stage and either stay there or move back to the acute stage.
The same rash may cycle through the stages many times. A rash may also start and stop at nearly any stage.
It’s not clear why eczema rashes progress from one stage to another. It may have something to do with someone coming into contact with certain triggers, undergoing hormonal changes, or possibly experiencing changes in the skin’s microbiome, which is supposed to keep your skin healthy.
Does Eczema Go Away On Its Own
Eczema can start at any time during your life and can range from moderate to severe, notes the NEA. Although the skin condition is common, learning you have it can be truly upsetting. There are several types of eczema, ranging from atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis to contact dermatitis and more.
When it comes to atopic dermatitis, the disease is chronic. Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, an associate professor of dermatology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, notes that a chronic disease means that symptoms stick around for six months or more but they can also last a lifetime. Diagnosing a patient with eczema is a difficult conversation to have, he says.
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How Often Should I Bathe My Baby If They Have Eczema
The National Eczema Association recommends taking a short bath every day to help minimize eczema symptoms. But, as mentioned earlier, hot water and extended soaks can worsen this condition. Make sure to keep your babys baths lukewarm and watch the clock while bathing them. Try to keep their time in the tub under 10 minutes. Afterward, apply a quality moisturizer, such as our Stelatopia Emollient Cream, within three minutes of getting out. This timeframe will help prevent further drying.
The Difference Between Child And Adult Eczema
There is very little difference between child eczema and adult eczema. The main difference is the frequency with which flare-ups occur. As your child grows older, their skin becomes thicker and less sensitive. And with the right ongoing treatment, the occurrence of eczema flare-ups can be reduced.
So now that you know a bit about eczema, what causes flare-ups, and the difference between baby, child, and adult eczema, lets turn our attention to treatment and prevention.
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What Makes Eczema Worsen Or Flare
When attemptingto determine the triggers that may have caused your eczema, it is important toremember that a flare-up can occur within days or weeks of exposure. Althoughtriggers often vary from person to person, here are some of the more commontriggers of atopic dermatitis.
1. Dry Skin Brittle, scaly, tight, and rough skin can often trigger eczema outbreaks.
2. ChemicalIrritation There are many daily substances or products such as dish soap andlaundry detergent that can cause an outbreak. These chemicals usually cause apersons skin to become itchy, irritated, or red.
3. Stress andAnxiety Stress can take a significant toll on an individuals health. Atopicdermatitis can worsen when a person is too anxious.
4. Cold or HotTemperatures Excessive sweating could cause itchy and dry skin. The sameissues can result from very cold weather.
5. Infections There are many forms of bacteria and viruses that can cause an eczema flare-up.
6. Allergies Individuals with many allergies are more likely to experience symptoms ofatopic dermatitis. Pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites can all contributeto outbreaks.
7. Hormones Natural processes within the body involving hormones can cause flare-ups aswell. These usually occur when a hormone goes through a rapid decrease orincrease.
A Final Word On Managing Eczema In The Long Term
While some people, especially children, may grow out of eczema as they age, its more important to look at this as a chronic skin condition that has no cure. That is not a pessimistic view, rather one that can help you take control, manage flare-ups, and stick to a healthy, gentle skin routine that benefits your overall wellness.
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How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
After treatment, it could take several weeks before your skin clears up completely. Topical medications or oral medications prescribed by your healthcare provider help your symptoms go away faster. If your symptoms get worse after treatment, or if they dont clear up after a few weeks, contact your provider.
Trigger Management Can Help Prevent Flare
A trigger is anything that aggravates your skin, causing new AD to appear or existing AD to worsen.
Many things can trigger AD, including dry air, sweat, and stress. What triggers your AD may not trigger someone elses AD. Its also possible for your triggers to change.
Knowing your triggers and avoiding them can help prevent AD from flaring. A board-certified dermatologist can help you find your triggers and offer tips for avoiding them.
Youll find information about common triggers at: Triggers can cause eczema to flare.
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Some Basic Things You Can Do At Work To Help Control Your Hand Eczema:
- Avoid allergens or irritating substances in products you use on the job like industrial hand cleansers or waterless, antibacterial cleansers that may trigger your hand eczema, or make it worse. These often contain ingredients like alcohol and solvents, that are very hard on your hands, especially during flare-ups.
- Protect your hands at work with a combination of heavy-duty vinyl or neoprene gloves and cotton glove liners. Regularly wash cotton liners and vinyl gloves if they arent disposable.
- Always carry your own hand cleanser, moisturizer and medication with you, wherever you go.
- Keep your clothes, protective gear, tools and work surfaces clean and free of residue from irritating substances.
- Treat wounds on your hands and bandage them in order to avoid irritation from allergens or chemical substances.
- Your doctor may also prescribe a barrier repair cream ortopical steroid to help speed up healing.
Is There A Cure For Eczema
There is no cure for eczema, but there are treatments. Every treatment plan should be tailored to your individual eczema symptoms. Depending on your age and the severity of your eczema, these treatments might include: medical grade moisturizing creams, prescription topical medications including topical corticosteroids, over-the-counter home remedies, phototherapy , immunosuppressants and injectable biologics.
Many people with eczema also find success with specific natural and alternative treatments, including bleach baths, cryotherapy, medical-grade honey, meditation and acupuncture. With these natural and alternative treatments, you want to be careful and also consult a healthcare professional before starting. Some natural treatments, like meditation, work amazingly with over-the-counter or prescription medications or ointments.
For most types of eczema, managing flares comes down to these basics:
- Know your triggers so that you can avoid exposure
- Implement a daily bathing and moisturizing routine
- Use OTC creams and prescription medication consistently and as prescribed.
Symptoms may be different from one child to the next. More often than not, eczema goes away as a child grows older, though some children will continue to experience eczema into adulthood. Adults can develop eczema, too, even if they never had it as a child. Read more for additional information about managing itch.
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Living Well With Eczema
While eczema wont go away on its own, with some know-how and the appropriate care, its possible to live well with eczema. Having an eczema specialist on your side is invaluable. To learn more about managing eczema and to schedule a visit with Dr. Kage, call 860-288-1160 or send your appointment request online using our booking form.
Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Food allergies are a factor in 30% of young children with severe eczema. This factor is mainly seen in babies.
- The main allergic foods are cow’s milk and eggs.
- The main symptoms are increased skin redness and itching. Some parents report these symptoms start during or soon after the feeding.
- The eczema becomes easier to control if you avoid the allergic food.
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What Does The Research Say
Eczema can have several root causes. In some people, eczema stems from a genetic mutation that affects your bodys ability to make a skin protein called filaggrin. Without enough of this protein, your skin can get dry easily. This makes you more susceptible to skin irritation and outbreaks. You can also get eczema from allergic reactions.
Outbreaks of eczema, as is the case with other skin conditions, can be triggered by stress. Stress causes a spike in the hormone cortisol . When your body produces high amounts of cortisol because of stress, your skin can become abnormally oily. This can then trigger an eczema outbreak. One study also suggests that stress makes it harder for your skin to recover from irritation and skin damage. Not only does stress cause eczema, it can make eczema outbreaks last longer and make you feel more stressed as a result. This can lead to a seemingly endless cycle.
Another study showed that stress during pregnancy can cause infants to be at risk for eczema outbreaks. This study looked at the pregnancies of nearly 900 mothers and their children and found that women with higher levels of anxiety during their pregnancies increased their childrens chances of having eczema when they were between 6 and 8 months old.
What Is The Best Treatment For Eczema
The best treatment option for eczema depends on the individuals preferences, the severity of your case, the age of the person with eczema and what type of eczema they have. To find the best treatment for you or a loved one, consult with a dermatologist. Usually a dermatologist will create a treatment plan consisting of a skin care routine, natural treatments, over-the-counter products and/or prescribed medications.
Its important to note that it could take some time, as well as trial and error, to find the best treatment for you or your child. Thats ok and completely normal! Focus on finding a treatment which works to manage your symptoms, not the best objective treatment out there.
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Is There A Cure For Childhood Eczema
Eczema is a genetic condition, much like dust or food allergies. That means there is no cure. You can treat the symptoms , but the condition will never go away completely. As your child gets older, though, their skin will mature and their hydrolipidic layer will thicken, thus reducing the likelihood that a flare-up will occur.
Does Breast Milk Help Eczema
Breast milk is amazing!
For generations, moms have used their milk to treat various skin problems. However, the scientific community has recently been studying the powers of breast milk a bit more closely, and theyve discovered some promising results using breast milk on eczema.
In fact, preliminary studies suggest that breast milk may help improve eczema symptoms. If you want to try this natural remedy, apply some of your milk to a cotton ball. Then, apply it to the eczema patches on your babys skin.
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What Type Of Moisturizer Treats Eczema
There are several options of moisturizer available to treat eczema. Choose skin care products that:
- Are hypoallergenic, fragrance- and dye-free.
- Are gentle or for sensitive skin.
- Contain petroleum jelly or mineral oil.
- Dont include preservatives or stabilizers.
- Have lipids and ceramides to improve your skins barrier.
It may take several different products through trial and error before you find one that works for you. If you need help choosing a moisturizer, talk to your healthcare provider.
Living With Eczema And Next Steps
As you might imagine, this is only the type of the eczema iceberg! If you or a loved one experiences eczema, theres still a lot to learn, from researching your specific type to deciding which treatment option is best for you. Many in the eczema community often feel overwhelmed trying to figure out the cause of their case and the best way to manage symptoms.
While its normal to feel overwhelmed, its also important to know youre not alone. The National Eczema Association and the wider eczema community can be a place to find support, solidarity and resources which might help with the physical or mental health impacts of this condition.
- National Eczema Association | 505 San Marin Drive, #B300 | Novato, CA 94945
- 415-499-3474 or 800-818-7546
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