Eczema is an umbrella term for several different types of skin inflammation further characterized by dry, itchy, bumpy, oozing, and scaly rashes. It's a common yet chronic skin condition that primarily causes skin inflammation, termed as “dermatitis”. Eczema can be triggered by multiple factors, and are of several types. It is a rather more common occurrence in infants but can also affect adults.
If left untreated, it may lead to further complications and infections. Once diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner, it can be managed and prevented well by the topical application of emollients and moisturizers, like an Oats Cream and lotions for dry skin, that provide the soothing effect and relief from dry and irritating skin condition.
Eczema has a genetic component attached to it according to several research studies. The gene responsible for the formation of Corneocytes undergoes mutation and thereby causes improper organization of skin cells thus leading to a compromised skin barrier. Such impaired skin barrier causes a “leaky” skin barrier, allowing water loss and causing a dry, dehydrated skin barrier. It also is more susceptible to harmful infections and microbial attacks.
Triggers of Eczema Aka Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema can be triggered by multiple factors such as:
- Low humidity
- Irritating Fabrics
- Harsh detergents and soaps
- Environmental factors such as few allergens, dry weather, pet furs, and dust
- Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or periods.
- Certain infections of the skin
- Asthma patients may experience a higher incidence of eczema
Types of Eczema
Atopic Dermatitis is used synonymously for Eczema. Which implies that the prevalence of Atopic Dermatitis as the most common form of Eczema. But there are many other forms of Eczema which is discussed in brief in the following sections. Let’s start with Atopic Dermatitis first.
Atopic Dermatitis is the most common type of Eczema, characterized by itchy, scaly, flakey rashes. It is more common in children starting from their infancy and may persist till their adolescence. Atopic dermatitis may also effect adults and several factors like genetics, irritants and weaker immune system may further cause it.
Contact dermatitis is self-explanatory, a dermatitis (derma = skin; itis = inflammation) that is caused by coming in contact with any irritant or allergen. Anyone can be affected by it anytime given the triggers are different for different individuals.
Characterized by the advent of blisters prominently on the palms, fingers, soles of the feet. Triggers could be allergens, or irritants of varied nature such as tobacco, metal toxicity, and damp hands and feet. It is aggravated by sweat and humidity. Women are more prone to Dyshidrotic Eczema.
Seborrheic Dermatitis has its prevalence in the areas rich in sebaceous glands such as scalp, face, and body folds. It effects both infants and adults. It usually subsides in case of infant seborrheic dermatitis and is sporadic when the affected population composes of adults.
As the name suggests, nummular eczema pertains to one or two coin-sized patches of rash that apart from itching, may also ooze, and have a crusty appearance.
Stasis dermatitis is caused by compromised blood circulation, people with obesity are on higher risk of developing this type of dermatitis. Area of occurrence is usually lower limbs.
Quick Tips To Manage Eczema Effectively
The approach to treat Eczema is varied. Age, sex, type, and severity levels of it are kept in consideration while doing so by the healthcare provider.
Apart from the medical supervision these are few tips one can follow to help prevent and manage eczema, mainly atopic dermatitis as it is the most common and prevalent type of Eczema.
- Moisturization is paramount when it comes to manage eczema as the root cause of eczematous skin is dryness and impaired skin barrier, including a ceramide moisturizer or Lotion For Dry Skin in your personal care routine consistently may help with managing it to a great extent.
- Avoiding harsh chemicals and toxins in any form, be it detergent, hard water, and various allergens may help minimize the contact with eczema triggers.
- Avoid hot showers and choose luke warm water for shower, to prevent further dryness of skin thus minimizing further eczema flare ups.
- Choosing breathable, soft, and non-irritable fabrics as the first layer on skin may also help prevent eczema of several kinds, including contact dermatitis.
- Oats have been traditionally used as a soothing agent as it is a reservoir of prebiotics that boost the microbiome of the skin and thus support skin and skin’s barrier health and help give relief in the cases of pruritic rashes like in the case of eczema.
- Managing stress in the cases of anxiety triggered eczema also helps in keeping eczema at bay.
- Identifying the allergens that may trigger eczema such as nuts, fruits, preservative ingredients etc is paramount to prevent allergy associated eczema.
- Using a humidifier during dry seasons, like winters, to ensure prevention of further ripping off of skin’s natural oils, may also help in managing eczema to a greater extent.
- Ample hydration keeps the skin well hydrated and dodges dryness and is helpful in managing active eczema and preventing any possible flare ups. Regular bathing with a mild cleanser and moisturizing afterwards is also recommended. Avoidance of triggers such as stress, allergens and irritants is essential to controlling eczema.
Hopefully, this blog helped in getting an insight about the causes, types, and ways to manage eczema, and prevent it from compromising the quality of life.