You might have noticed an itchy, frustratingly, red patch on your little baby’s cheeks, chin, or chest that she or he scratched to the point that it became even more irritated. Sound familiar? Or maybe you yourself, experienced something quite similar on your own neck, inner elbows, or behind your knees?
That is probably when you made an appointment with your doctor, who looked at it, talked to you about your symptoms, asked you questions about your family history and the various types of products that you use on your skin and even in your home. Then your doctor must have told you it was eczema.
So what exactly is eczema? Who can get it and why? And what should you do, now that you or your child has been diagnosed?
Learning more about what particular type of eczema you have and what is the exact cause that may have triggered it, is the best starting point to treating it and managing it so that eczema does not get into the way of your everyday life.
Cause of Eczema:
The specific cause of eczema remains unknown, but it is believed to develop due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Eczema is not contagious.
Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has had the condition or another atopic disease.
Environmental factors are also known to bring out the symptoms of eczema, such as:
- Irritants: These include soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, juices from fresh fruits, meats, or vegetables.
- Allergens: Dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff can lead to eczema.
- Microbes: These include bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, viruses, and certain fungi.
- Hot and cold temperatures: Very hot or cold weather, high and low humidity, and perspiration from exercise can bring out eczema.
- Foods: Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat can cause eczema flare-ups.
- Stress: This isn’t a direct cause of eczema but it can definitely make its symptoms worse.
- Hormones: Women can experience increased eczema symptoms. This happens when their hormone levels are changing; an example of which can be, during the time of pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle.
Symptoms Of Eczema:
The symptom of allergic eczema is a relative concept. It occurs differently in different people. They may also change over time. Symptoms actually develop when contact with the allergen occurs. In rare cases, symptoms might tend to spread to the other areas of the body.
Common symptoms include:
- a burning sensation or pain
- Red bumps that may ooze, drain, or crust
- warm, tender skin
- scaly, raw, or thickened skin
- dry, red, or rough skin
Home Remedies of Eczema:
Want to know how to treat eczema naturally? Well, here are some effective natural remedies for eczema that may help prevent future flares and ease discomfort during an outbreak.
- COCONUT OIL :
Coconut oil is known to soothe skin infections and further reduce the effect of infections. It reduces irritation of the skin. It helps in keeping one’s skin hydrated and moisturized which reduces the risk of catching eczema.
How to apply :
- You can directly apply coconut oil to the area that is affected by eczema.
- Leave it on overnight for maximum effects.
- LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL FOR TREATING ECZEMA :
Apart from uplifting your mood, lavender oil is very essential in treating skin irritation and inflammation. As per a study, lavender essential oil reduces pain and discomfort caused by itching in the area affected by eczema.
How to apply :
- Add a few drops to your lavender oil to your bath water.
- Take a few drops of lavender essential oil on a cotton swab and dab it on the affected area.
- JOJOBA OIL :
Jojoba oil is best suited to treat any kind of skin condition – whether it is sunburn or eczema. This is because it is the only oil that closely resembles human sebum.
How to apply :
- You can directly apply jojoba oil to your skin.
- It is also an excellent carrier oil.
- You can mix essential oils in it and apply and blend it on the affected area.
- ALOE VERA :
Aloe vera is well known for its soothing effect on the skin. Aloe vera works well in soothing eczema as it rehydrates the skin and works wonders in controlling the dryness.
How to apply :
- Scoop out a generous dollop of aloe vera gel from the aloe leaf.
- Apply it on the affected area.
- OATMEAL FOR ECZEMA :
This is extensively used in dermatology to soothe itchy and irritated skin. It has
- anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation.
- antioxidants and phenols, which work together to cleanse and nourish the skin.
- BLEACH BATHS :
Considering bleach bath for eczema treatment is one of the effective methods. Although they will not cure your condition, they will definitely provide relief and reduce the severity of eczema. They help in:
- Improving the skin barrier.
- Maintaining the skin pH levels.
- Reducing the severity of the condition (from mild to severe eczema).
Prepare a bleach bath by mixing half a cup of bleach in a tub of warm water. Soak your entire body or affected area in this for at least 10 minutes.
While home-based treatments and medications will help in healing your condition, you also need to take care of your diet. Several foods help in diminishing the impact of eczema and promote healing.
- COD LIVER OIL (fish oil) :
Fish oil is considered beneficial for health because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. A study says that feeding fish or cod liver oil to kids during early childhood can prevent eczema. This is mainly because it contains n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a key role in preventing eczema.
Give your child a lot of fatty fish, such as herring and salmon. If they cannot eat fish, get cod liver oil or fish oil supplements from the medical store.