What Is Atopic Dermatitis
Wait a minute, you might be thinking. Isnt eczema just that red, itchy stuff that flares up every once in a while? Not exactly, Boos says.
Many people use the term eczema when theyre actually talking about one specific type: atopic dermatitis. Thats because atopic dermatitis or AD, for short is the most common form of eczema, affecting around 18 million American adults.
AD isnt just the most common type of eczema, either. Its also one of the longest lasting forms of skin inflammation and can be the most severe.
Atopic dermatitis is a genetically predisposed condition characterized by red, scaly patches and an itch, Boos explains.
While mostly young children are affected by atopic dermatitis, studies show that adults can get it, too. How long you have it for and when you get it also varies.
Kids may end up only having AD when theyre young and then outgrow it, but the condition can also last their entire lives. Then there are those individuals who get it for the first time as adults, although this is far less common.
Between 10% to 30% of kids have it, Boos notes. In adults, its anywhere from 3% to 10%.
How old you are when you have AD may also change where and how that skin inflammation appears on your body.
Eczema Home Remedies For Infants And Children
Cool compresses and colloidal oatmeal baths can help many children who have eczema. Parents might also:
- Distract your child. Play a game, give your child a snack, or tell them a story. Donât just tell them to stop scratching. This usually makes things worse.
- Use eczema mittens or sleeves. These will keep babies from scratching and damaging skin.
- Give a gentle pinch near the irritated skin. A very soft pinch on unaffected skin can ease itching.
- Have older kids tap the skin around an itchy spot.
General Tips For Coping With Eczema
Other tips to manage your eczema include:
- Keep your fingernails short longer nails are more likely to injure your skin when you scratch.
- If the water in your area is hard or alkaline, consider installing a water-softening device.
- Swim in the sea in warm weather whenever you can seawater is known to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
- Use sun exposure for limited periods for example, when swimming at the beach. This can help relieve eczema symptoms. But be aware that ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. Also, if sun exposure causes overheating, this can also aggravate eczema.
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How To Get Rid Of Eczema Fast
The steps above can definitely help you to improve your skin and clear up dermatitis. However as you can see, eczema can be caused by many different things, so its important to find the root cause of your breakout.
Addressing the root cause is one of the best ways to get rid of eczema fast and forever!
Breakouts on the skin is often a signal that there is something around that may be making us breakout. If youre looking to get rid of the red itchy skin forever, then it can really help to look at whats around us.
I hope this guide helped you know more about eczema and find some easy ways to clear your skin. If it helped and inspired you, please let me know in the comments below! I always love hearing from you!
PS: Don’t know where to start? Sign up to my free series The Clear Skin Plan !
How To Get Rid Of Rash
Coconut oil also helps to repair damaged skin, so it wonât just get rid of the breast rash, but will help your skin to heal. There are many more reasons to use coconut oil for skin issues and you can read about them in my article on how to use coconut oil for eczema, Alternatively, you can use olive oil for healing itchy breast rash and you just substitute it for coconut oil.
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Opt For A Gentle Cleanser
If your skin is very dry, I recommend using a gentle, hydrating cleanser, says Dr. Katta. There are also soap-free cleansers available that cleanse without drying out the skin.
Look for fragrance-free, creamy formulas that tend to feel more like a silky moisturizer when youre washing your face. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides will offer an extra dose of hydration as you cleanse.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Why You Must Moisturize When Treating Eczema
Speaking of prioritizing products that hydrate and soothe, an eczema-friendly moisturizer can play a vital role in your skin-care routine, not only by helping relieve some of the itch of dry skin but also by helping your skin heal, according to the AAD. The organization also notes that it may even decrease your need for eczema medication and prevent eczema flare-ups from becoming difficult to treat.
An emollient-rich moisturizer can sometimes be effective alone, but when used in conjunction with a corticosteroid cream, the moisturizer makes the cream even more effective and may reduce the amount of time you need to use the steroid. Harvard Health Publishing notes that you should just avoid putting the steroid cream on at the same time as you apply your moisturizer. As for the order of which to apply, its up for debate, says Zeichner. I personally have people moisturize first to prime and hydrate the skin moisturizers are applied liberally, while steroids more sparingly. So applying the moisturizer over the steroids may also inadvertently spread it to places beyond where it was not originally intended to go, Zeichner adds.
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Showering Tips To Avoid Dry Skin:
- You should take a short bath or shower only once in a 24-hour period.
- Bathing should be in warm rather than hot water.
- Soap should be used minimally and where/when needed .
- Mild soaps should be used .
- After showering, quickly and gently pat the skin partially dry with a towel .
- Within three minutes of getting out, apply a moisturizer of cream or ointment to seal the water in the skin before it evaporates.
- Moisturizers should be reapplied liberally during the day and evening when possible, especially to those areas prone to dryness. If dry skin affects your hands, reapply moisturizers after handwashing.
Is A Cure Or Better Treatment For Eczema On The Horizon
Without a cure on the near horizon, we here at Johns Hopkins are creating an Eczema Day Treatment Unit to help our patients with moderate to severe eczema keep their symptoms under control and prevent flare-ups. We anticipate that this novel, multidisciplinary program will include experts from Child Life, behavioral psychology, allergy, dermatology and infectious diseases to provide the comprehensive care these children need care that cannot be provided in an average clinic visit.
A primary goal of the day treatment unit will be education children and their families will learn techniques such as wet-wrap therapy, to help deeply moisturize the skin. This therapy involves coating the skin with a topical ointment, followed by a greasy ointment like petroleum jelly, then dressing in wet pajamas, followed by dry pajamas, allowing the skin to soak in the moisture.
Also Check: Why Does My Eczema Flare Up In The Summer
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.
Eczema Risk Factors Causes & Symptoms
As a matter of fact, there is a wide range of causes and risk factors associated with eczema. And, eczema symptoms can manifest widely differently between those affected. While a singular cause of eczema has not been established, there are certain common causes leading to the onset and flares. In addition, a wide range of risk factors has been identified.
Risk Factors for Eczema
- Temperature changes
Symptoms of Eczema
While many will experience a lessening of symptoms and fewer flares as they age, some will continue to experience eczema symptomsthroughout adulthood, such as atopic eczema rashes. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and change from one outbreak to another. Common symptoms include:
- The appearance of small, raised bumps which may ooze liquid and develop a crust
- Thick, dry, scaly skin that cracks
- Red, brown or grayish patches of skin on hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, in skin folds, and on the face and scalp of infants
- Sensitive skin that is swollen and raw from scratching
- A recurring rash that causes intense itching, often disrupting sleep patterns
- Rashes due to atopic eczema
Also Check: What Helps Eczema On Hands
Incorporate Salicylic Acid But Only If Necessary
If you are dealing with seborrheic dermatitis, blackheads, or acne, Dr. Katta actually recommends using a stronger cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which gently works to break up skin cells and unclog pores. Go for a 1 or 2 percent formula, like this one from Neutrogena, and follow with a basic, fragrance-free moisturizer.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Reducing your stress is very important. Try these tips:
- Count to ten as you take a deep breath.
- Exercise daily.
- Try not to drink as much caffeine and alcohol.
- Sleep eight hours a night.
- Eat healthy.
- Try to have a positive attitude.
- Journal every day.
- Talk about your life with friends, family and a therapist.
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Prevent Flares Feel Better
Many things could set off an eczema flare. You may not have the same triggers as someone else. It pays to figure out what causes your skin to react.
Dry skin. If your skin gets too dry, it can become rough and itchy. It might even crack. That can let bacteria or allergens inside. Dry skin is a common eczema trigger for many people. Extreme changes in temperature can stress your skin, too.
Tips: Keep your skin moist — especially in winter, when the air can be very dry. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your bedroom when you sleep. Apply body lotion after you get out of a shower or bath. Soak in a warm bath with small amounts of bath oil, or add colloidal oatmeal to ease eczema itching and moisten your skin. See what’s the best lotion for eczema.
Irritants. Products you use every day may bother your skin. Soap, cleansers, body wash, laundry detergent, lotions, or even some foods you touch can trigger eczema rashes.
Tips: Talk to your doctor to pinpoint what may irritate your skin. They can test how your skin reacts to certain products. Keep track of anything you use that seems to trigger a flare after you touch it. Choose soaps, cleansers, and laundry detergents without added perfumes or dyes. These are common eczema triggers.
Clothing. Fabrics that are rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Clothes that are too warm or heavy can make you sweat and cause a flare, too.
How To Use Topical Corticosteroids
Do not be afraid to apply the treatment to affected areas to control your eczema.
Unless instructed otherwise by a doctor, follow the directions on the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
This will give details of how much to apply.
Most people only have to apply it once a day as there’s no evidence there’s any benefit to applying it more often.
When using a topical corticosteroid:
- apply your emollient first and ideally wait around 30 minutes until the emollient has soaked into your skin, or apply the corticosteroid at a different time of day
- apply the recommended amount of the topical corticosteroid to the affected area
- continue to use it until 48 hours after the flare-up has cleared so the inflammation under the skin surface is treated
Occasionally, your doctor may suggest using a topical corticosteroid less frequently, but over a longer period of time. This is designed to help prevent flare-ups.
This is sometimes called weekend treatment, where a person who has already gained control of their eczema uses the topical corticosteroid every weekend on the trouble sites to prevent them becoming active again.
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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.
Use A Moisturizer On Your Skin Every Day
Moisturizers help keep your skin soft and flexible. They prevent skin cracks. A plain moisturizer is best. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances and a lot of extra ingredients. A good, cheap moisturizer is plain petroleum jelly . Use moisturizers that are more greasy than creamy because creams usually have more preservatives in them.
Regular use of a moisturizer can help prevent the dry skin that is common in winter.
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Gentle Soaps And Detergents
Laundry detergent can contain harsh chemicals that aggravate eczema.
Many body washes and cleansers contain detergents, which help provide a soapy lather. Detergents and other lathering agents can dry out the skin, especially in people with eczema.
Bar soaps can also be harsh on the skin because of their alkalinity.
Try using a gentle, no-lather, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid products with rough particles for scrubbing or exfoliating, as these can further irritate the skin.
Many people with eczema also find that switching to a more gentle, fragrance- or color-free laundry detergent can help improve symptoms.
Additionally, try skipping fabric softener, which lingers on clothes and often contains fragrances and chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Sitting next to a fireplace or near a furnace may feel good, but it can worsen eczema symptoms. The hot, dry air can dehydrate the skin and aggravate the itchiness of eczema.
Use a humidifier during the dry winter months and avoid getting too close to heaters and fireplaces.
How Are Dry Skin Patches Diagnosed
If you have dry patches of skin, your doctor will probably conduct an exam and ask about your medical and family history.
Theyll likely refer you to a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin issues.
Depending on the possible condition, you might need lab tests or skin biopsies.
You may be able to help prevent dry, itchy skin by doing the following:
- Use moisturizers every day to keep skin hydrated.
- Limit baths and showers to no more than one a day.
- Limit the time you spend bathing.
- Avoid hot baths or showers. Instead, take showers and baths in warm or lukewarm water
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
- Use moisturizing body and hand soap.
- Cover up your skin, especially in cold or sunny weather.
- Avoid itching or rubbing your dry skin.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Rid It
The standard treatment for eczema are cortisone creams and you may see results within 5-10 days of using it. However it may take longer for your skin to clear depending on how severe the inflammation on the skin.
Studies suggest that a trigger identification and avoidance strategy can help most people see clear skin in 7-14 days. This involves actively avoiding the thing or trigger thats causing the breakout. Because you remove whats causing the red itchy skin, results can last a long time.
The good news about eczema is that it normally doesnt affect your everyday life, and most people wont even notice it.
If you have a flareup right now youre probably wondering how long it takes to get rid of it. The most common treatments , are cortisone or steroid creams.
However, recent studies suggest that topical steroid creams should only be used occasionally and not as long-term treatment.
Personally I found that while cortisone creams work in a couple of days, the effects dont last forever as promised. Once you stop using the cream, the eczema may come back. Did this ever happen to you?
Those of us who are looking for a more permanent solution to eczema, may benefit from doing a trigger identification and avoidance strategy. Basically, identifying what the thing is that is making you break-out, and then taking measures to avoid it .
In my video I talk about how I used this strategy!
Too Much Is Not A Good Thing When It Comes To Using Products To Treat Eczema
Wu warns that there is a limit to how many times you should apply over-the-counter cortisone products to relieve itching. Cortisone creams can cause thinning of the skin if used long term, according to the Mayo Clinic. Talk to your dermatologist about how often you should use a corticosteroid. For example, between flare-ups, you may be advised to use it only two days per week while just using moisturizer on the other days, a report from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care notes.
Also, you may be frustrated by the scaly flakes of eczema, but resist picking at them. Its best to moisturize rather than try to remove them, says Wu. Scrubbing or peeling off the flakes will likely irritate the skin and cause more itching, according to the National Eczema Society. Plus, you may end up removing new skin thats attached to the scaly flakes, causing bleeding and creating an opening that may allow bacteria to enter, Wu adds.