Eczema (Atopic dermatitis): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It is common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long-lasting (chronic) and flares up periodically. This can happen with asthma or hay fever.
No cure has been found for atopic dermatitis. But treatment and self-care measures can relieve itching and prevent new outbreaks. For example, it helps to avoid harsh soaps, moisturize your skin regularly, and apply medicated creams or ointments.
What is eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition marked by itchy and inflamed patches of skin.
It is often seen in infants and young children, appearing on the faces of infants. But eczema can be of many types in children, adolescents, and adults. Read on to learn what causes the skin condition and how to treat its symptoms.
Researchers do not know the exact cause of eczema, but many health professionals believe that it develops from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Children are more likely to develop eczema if either parent has it or has another atopic condition. The risk is even greater if both parents have the atopic condition.
Certain environmental factors can also trigger eczema symptoms. Contains:
Irritants: These include soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, fresh fruit juices, meat, and vegetables.
Allergens: Dust mites, pets, pollen, and mold can all cause eczema. This is known as allergic eczema.
Microorganisms: These include bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, viruses, and some fungi.
Hot and cold temperatures: Very hot and very cold weather, high and low humidity, and sweating from exercise can trigger eczema.
Foods: Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat can trigger eczema flare-ups.
Stress: This is not a direct cause of eczema, but it can make symptoms worse.
Hormones: Women may experience an increase in eczema symptoms when their hormone levels are changing, such as during pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle.
Symptoms of eczema (atopic dermatitis) include:
bumps on the skin.
scaly, leathery patches of skin.
If you have eczema, you may also have another condition that doesn’t cause it, but is often found along with:
lack of sleep.
Note that diabetes is not included in this list.
Eczema Prevention :
Moisturize your skin at least twice a day. Creams, ointments, and lotions seal in moisture. Choose a product or products that work well for you. Using petroleum jelly on your child’s skin may help prevent the development of atopic dermatitis.
Try to identify and avoid triggers that worsen the condition. Things that can worsen skin reactions include sweating, stress, obesity, soap, detergents, dust, and pollen. Reduce your exposure to your triggers.
Infants and toddlers may experience flares from eating certain foods, including eggs, milk, soy, and wheat. Talk to your child’s doctor about identifying potential food allergies.
Take short baths or showers. Limit your bath and shower to 10 to 15 minutes. And use hot water instead of hot water.
Take a bleach bath. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends considering bleach baths to help prevent flares. A diluted-bleach bath reduces bacteria on the skin and associated infections. Mix 1/2 cup (118 milliliters) of household bleach, not concentrated bleach, in a 40-gallon (151-liter) bathtub filled with hot water. The measures are for a U.S.-standard-sized tub filled with overflow drainage holes.
Soak under the neck or affected areas of skin for about 10 minutes. Don’t dip your head Do not take bleach baths more than twice a week.
Use only mild soap. Choose mild soap. Deodorant soap and antibacterial soap can strip off excess natural oils and dry out your skin.
Dry yourself carefully. After bathing, pat your skin dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer when your skin is still damp.
Treatment of acute eczema where there is significant weeping and oozing requires repeated cycles of application of a dilute solution of vinegar or tap water, often followed by evaporation in the form of a compress. This is often easily done by placing the affected body part in front of a fan after compression. Once the intense crying has subsided, topical steroid (such as triamcinolone cream) application may be an effective treatment. In widespread diseases, systemic steroids may need to be used orally or by injection (shot).