What Causes Atopic Dermatitis
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known. It runs in families, which suggests a genetic link. Its also linked to asthma and allergies. There is likely an alteration of the proteins in the skin that leads to atopic dermatitis.
Certain triggers can make atopic dermatitis worse. For example, stress, hot or cold temperature, dry conditions, certain fabrics, or detergents can cause a flare-up.
How Do You Cope With An Eczema Flare Up
10/02/2012 by Ruth Holroyd
Over the years you learn to cope with eczema. You know youll never be quite free but once you can get a handle on keeping your skin moisturised and avoiding the things that trigger flare ups it gets easier.
Some people do grow out of it but sadly that is not the fate for all of us. Some people have cyclical flare ups which seems to be the route Im taking. I have no idea what happens to trigger the flare up. It isnt always bad diet, late nights and over indulging, as you might imagine. Sometimes its just time. Its time your skin gave you a good kicking.
It seems very hard to stay organised. Steriods are no longer left on your repeat prescription. You can only get them now if you visit your doctor or phone up to request them, and you need a good reason. It isnt good enough just to say youve run out and would like to stock up your first aid box in case of a flare up. Oh no! You must now wait until such time as you really need it, but perhaps not wait quite as long as I do.
Its not nice. Its painful, frustrating and stressful. I get by on a concoction of pain killers, antihistamines, vitamins and minerals and omega oil supplements in the vain hope that my skin will realise its getting some goodness. I drink plenty of water and try to get plenty of sleep, keep the eczema clean and moisturised but sometimes it decides its here to stay for longer than I planned for!
The Season Just Changed
Theres no off-season for eczema. Which, in some cases, comes back to our previous slide about allergies. In fall, when ragweed is raging, you might be scratching as youre sneezing. In winter, the cold air coupled with dry, indoor heat can lead to a breakdown of skins protective barrier, causing water loss and making skin more vulnerable to irritants and allergens. In spring, pollen and hay fever can irritate your nasal passages and your skin. And, finally, summer brings lots of sweat, swimming, and dry, air-conditioned air, all of which can make eczema symptoms appear.
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What Causes Eczema To Flare Up
Dealing with a condition that has such an ambiguous cause can be frustrating. But over time, and with help from your dermatologist, you can narrow down the type of eczema causing you trouble. And from there, it may be easier to identify and manage potential triggers.
No two people are alike. The same concept goes for triggers that can cause your eczema to flare up. But knowing what irritants affect your eczema can drastically affect how you approach treatment.
Some common triggers and irritants that can cause eczema to flare up include:
Chemicals in certain cleaning supplies
Perfumes, air fresheners, and scented candles
Other skin infections
Again, with so many possible trigger culprits, it may take time for you to truly identify whats causing your eczema to flare up. Just be patient, keep close records of your daily choices , and talk to your dermatologist. A proper diagnosis and process of elimination should help you identify and manage triggers and irritants.
Types Of Facial Eczema
Eczema is actually a term for a group of conditions that cause itchy, red, and inflamed skin rashes. The types of eczema that are most likely to appear on the face are:
- Atopic dermatitis: This is the most common type of eczema overall. It is very common on the cheeks and chin, especially in infants. It can also appear around the eyes, on the eyelids, and around the lips. It can, however, occur anywhere on the face or the rest of the body.
- Contact dermatitis: This is also a common type of eczema. It is a skin reaction to a specific irritant. On the face, it is usually found around the eyes, the hairline, and in areas that contact perfumes and jewelry, like the neck and earlobes. But, like atopic dermatitis, this type of eczema can occur anywhere.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This type most often occurs around the hairline, in the eyebrows, around the ears, and on the sides of the nose.
Read Also: Can Eczema Spread On The Body
Eczema Coping Tips Diet
In most cases, eczema isnt caused or made worse by diet. If you notice that your eczema seems to get worse after eating a particular food, you may be an exception to this. See your doctor or dietitian for proper allergy testing and dietary advice.Never self-diagnose or you risk depriving yourself of enjoyable and nutritious foods for no good reason. Unnecessarily avoiding certain foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
You Have Seasonal Allergies
Theres a large bag of diseases that are all related, including seasonal allergies, hay fever, food allergies, asthma, and eczema, says Dr. Guttman-Yassky. If you have one, then you may get another. Why? The same things that make your annoying seasonal allergies act up can make skin react, too. Once youre exposed to these allergens, your body has an immune response, triggering inflammation that plays out in the form of eczema patches.
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Probiotics Are A Great Addition For The Gut
Using a probiotic was like finding the secret sauce for the best tasting burger! Eczema is an immune system reaction so finding a probiotic can very much help! They can help by providing what is missing for healthy digestion to your gut. Because lets, face it, we all all not perfect eaters and these probiotics help with that. Other treatments in conjunction with probiotics can provide the BEST benefits for your eczema flare ups.
Where do you start when looking for a probiotic you ask? Rebecca Bonneteau N.D is a expert in this area and it is also where I found a wealth of information.
So by putting these tips in practice, it helped us determine what and how we could deal with a flare-up and or stop it from happening altogether! AND YOU CAN TOO when you have these 5 step by step tips for reducing your eczema flare-ups.
For more information on how to live the life you love visit me at The Jeeper Mom.
Atopic Eczema On The Face Or Neck
Atopic eczema affects these areas of the body most often in infants and adults.
In infants, it is usually the first area affected by eczema. It appears on the convexities, especially the cheeks .
In adults, eczema patches tend to appear on several areas: the hands, the crook of the arms, etc.
This type of eczema is caused by atopy rather than by an allergy. Atopy is a genetic hypersensitivity to the environment and can also manifest as asthma or rhinitis. In people with atopic skin, eczema appears in flare-ups alternating with periods of remission.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What treatment is best for me?
- Should I use a steroid cream or ointment?
- What are the side effects from the steroid cream or ointment?
- Do I need to take any other medicines?
- What is the best way to prevent flare-ups from eczema and atopic dermatitis?
- Is there a certain type of soap I should use?
- My child has eczema. What kind of moisturizer is best for him/her?
- How can I keep my child from scratching the rash?
- I have eczema. Will my children have it?
- How should I care for the rash if I have a flare-up?
Other Symptoms You May Have
Sometimes an eczema flare can become more serious.
- Superinfections occur when an open wound from an eczema flare becomes infected. Its usually a bacterial infection. The eczema becomes more painful, the bumps become crusted over, or start to drain.
- Severe or full-body eczema can develop into a condition called erythroderma. Erythroderma can cause severe distress and dehydration. It may require hospitalization.
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Change Out Of Wet Clothing As Soon As You Can
Staying dry should be your summertime mantra if youre struggling with eczema-prone skin. If you feel perspiration start to build and your T-shirt start to stick to your back, for instance, swap your wet clothes for dry ones as soon as you can. The BioMed Research International study found that changing clothes when they become wet with sweat is an effective way to manage sweat if you have eczema.
How Do You Determine The Cause Of The Allergy
You will first need to identify the trigger for the contact allergy in order to eliminate it from your daily routine. Although the cause may be obvious, it is still best to consult a doctor, as you may need to look back and explore your past activities to find the cause .
Your doctor will be able to identify more elusive triggers by asking detailed questions and conducting allergy tests. The allergologist will also be able to advise on what you should avoid, as an allergen can be found in several different products or objects.
What about a photoallergy?
Some contact allergies are triggered by the presence of a product in combination with sun exposure! More specifically, exposure to certain UV rays can cause an allergic reaction to a product in contact with the skin. Naturally, the face is exposed to the suns rays and is thus more susceptible.
In the case of photoallergic eczema, the most common causes are medicines and sunscreen.
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A Natural Methods To Cure Eczema
1. Aloe Vera Gel
This is one of the simplest and most effective natural treatments of eczema. Directly extracted gel from the aloe vera plant can be applied to the affected areas for immediate relief. Its intense hydrating ability moisturizes dry skin and cooling nature soothes skin affected by inflammation, erythema and itchiness.
Aloe vera may also assist in repairing the skin barrier while its antibacterial properties help prevent chances of infection.
2. Cold Compress
A cold compress can provide relief from many eczema symptoms such as inflammation, itch and redness. Frequent cold compresses may also keep infection at bay.
3. Oatmeal Bath
Colloidal oatmeal baths are often recommended for their skin healing properties. Regular application of oatmeal paste on the affected areas or adding it to your bath can improve skin affected by eczema. Oatmeal can gently exfoliate dry skin and remove dead cell layers, helping in the skin renewal process.
4. Coconut Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil
Both coconut oil and sunflower seed oil are excellent moisturizers for dry, damaged eczema-affected skin. While coconut oil exhibits amazing antibacterial properties, keeping infection away, sunflower oil helps build the damaged epidermal layer. Regular application of these oils can also benefit eczema symptoms such as itchiness, inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed What Tests Are Done
Your healthcare provider will take a close look at your skin. They will look for classic signs of eczema such as a redness and dryness. They will ask about the symptoms youre experiencing.
Usually your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose eczema based on examining your skin. However, when there is doubt, they may perform the following tests:
- An allergy skin test.
- Blood tests to check for causes of the rash that might be unrelated to dermatitis.
- A skin biopsy to distinguish one type of dermatitis from another.
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Causes Of Follicular Eczema
The cause of follicular eczema is not yet fully understood. Eczema is a skin condition that likely occurs when a genetic predisposition causes the immune system to react to certain environmental triggers, allergens, or irritants. Common triggers can include:
- Car exhaust
- Harsh fabrics such as wool
- Perfumes, lotions, sprays, and cosmetics
Follicular eczema, in particular, may be due to of the skin. This is common in people with eczema due to a lack of certain skin barrier proteins. Poor barrier function allows bacteria and other microbes to enter the skin and cause inflammation. Scratching the itchy skin can also lead to cracks and bleeding, further increasing the risk of bacterial or fungal infection. These skin infections can cause folliculitis , leading to the symptoms of follicular eczema.
Signs Of An Infection
Areas of skin affected by eczema can become infected. Signs of an infection can include:
- your eczema getting a lot worse
- fluid oozing from the skin
- a yellow crust on the skin surface or small yellowish-white spots appearing in the eczema
- the skin becoming swollen and sore
- a high temperature and generally feeling unwell
See your GP as soon as possible if you think your or your child’s skin may have become infected.
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Preventing The Spread Of Eczema
Preventing the spread of eczema depends on the type of eczema a person has. For example, contact dermatitis will stop spreading once a person removes the source of irritation. Eczema that has become infected may require topical or oral antibiotic treatment.
One of the main ways people can prevent eczema from becoming more inflamed and itchy is to avoid scratching. Treating flare-ups as quickly as possible can remove the temptation to scratch. It may also help if people keep fingernails trimmed or wear cotton gloves to bed.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
1. Impaired skin barrier leading to extreme dryness.
2. Itchy, erythematous lesions.
5. Sudden inflammations or flare ups.
6. Blisters that may bleed or weep fluid.
7. Skin prone to infections.
8. The plaques may harden eventually and lead to the formation of eczema scars.
Unlike popular belief, eczema is not contagious. It is usually hereditary and cannot be transferred to another person through contact.
Emollients For Washing And Bath/shower Equipment
Soaps, shower gels and bubble baths can dry out the skin. Its best to use an emollient wash product or a leave-on emollient as a soap substitute. The exception to this is washing the hands while Covid-19 remains a threat. The Covid-19 virus is not fat-soluble so it will not be removed by washing with emollients alone soap is needed. If you have hand eczema, any residual soap will aggravate the eczema, so wash your hands again with your emollient. Then pat them dry with a soft towel and re-apply emollient.
Your GP may refer you to the Community Occupational Therapy Service if you need special bath/shower equipment for safety or if you have difficulty getting in or out of the bath/shower. They can fit a bath seat, grab-rails, a seat in the shower or an alarm if you get into difficulties.
Emollient bath oils make the shower tray and bath more slippery. Use non-slip bath mats to help reduce the risk of slipping. Support bars fixed to the wall in the shower or by the bath will provide extra safety when showering/bathing. Pour bath emollient into the bath after you get in rather than before. As an extra precaution its a good idea to empty out bath water before getting out of the bath. Be careful not to knock your legs, as this could lead to ulcers.
See National Eczema Societys Emollients factsheet for more information.
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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.
Importance Of Eczema Treatment
There is growing evidence that allergens introduced into the body through the skin can lead to the later development of food allergy, asthma and hay fever. Aggressively treating eczema in children and taking steps to restore normal skin barrier function may lower the risk of future development of these conditions.
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Wear Gloves To Protect The Skin On Your Hands
Wear vinyl or plastic gloves for work that requires you to have your hands in water. Also, wear gloves when your hands are exposed to anything that can irritate your skin. Wear cotton gloves under plastic gloves to soak up sweat from your hands. Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves. This will prevent a buildup of sweat inside your gloves.
Wear gloves when you go outside during the winter. Cold air and low humidity can dry your skin. Dryness can make your eczema worse. Wear clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend. Wool and some synthetic fabrics can irritate your skin.