Eczema or dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. Although there are different types of eczema, all of them exhibit typical patterns of skin inflammation caused by different irritants. One of the most common types of eczema is atopic eczema. Atopic eczema is triggered by an allergic reaction. People suffering from atopic eczema may have a higher risk of developing atopic conditions such as hay fever and asthma.
There is no known cause for eczema. Some scientists believe that certain chemicals under our skin could cause inflammation to cells, triggering the immune system to fight the source of irritant; this causes inflamed skin. Genetic factors could play a part in these types of skin conditions. In one study, out of 10 children whose parents have eczema, 6 suffered the same condition. While genetics could play a role in acquiring the condition, the exact cause of it remained unclear.
Before treating eczema, it’s important to know what triggers the inflammation to begin with. Dust mites or food allergies cause some eczema flare-ups. To control eczema, it’s important to care for the skin, develop the right skin care routine, modify the diet to remove irritants, and in severe cases, take medication to control the symptoms.
Non-Drug Eczema Treatment
Use Mild Bath Products and Skin Care Products
If you are suffering from mild eczema, use light, unscented, and hypoallergenic soaps and moisturizers. Rich, heavily scented bath products and skin care products could aggravate the condition. Choose gentle soaps called syndets to treat the irritated skin. Syndets are available in the local drugstore. On the other hand, a great moisturizer will help hydrate irritated skin to soothe inflammation and avoid flakiness.
Avoid Hot Showers
Don’t take a hot shower when your skin is having a flare-up; it could aggravate the condition! We recommend short, warm showers instead to avoid drying your skin and causing even more inflammation. Dry out your skin completely after each bath.
Did you know eczema could also be caused by stress? If your eczema is stress-related, take steps to release tension from the body. Regular exercise helps! Set time to unwind each day, take short walks to the local park, or take a coffee break to avoid another flare-up.
Determine the Triggers
If your condition is triggered by the food you eat, the clothes you wear, or the bed covers, make the necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle to avoid aggravating the inflammation. Find the eczema triggers in and around your home and remove them promptly. You may have to consult your physician to determine what causes the eczema flare-ups.
Medicated Treatment for Eczema
Mild eczema can be treated with over-the-counter ointments or creams. One of the most common eczema treatments for mild eczema is hydrocortisone cream or ointment. On the other hand, prescription steroid cream is the common treatment for severe eczema.
Some physicians will also recommend oral antihistamines, like Benadryl, to relieve eczema symptoms. If other treatments no longer work, corticosteroids may be prescribed to minimize the skin inflammation.
In extremely severe cases, people with eczema go through ultraviolet light therapy. Ultraviolet light therapy helps relieve itching and skin rash, as well as suppress overactive skin immune system cells to soothe inflammation.