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The Basics of Eczema:
Causes, Treatment and Prevention Tips

Eczema is a skin irritation condition thousands and thousands of people suffer with each year, experiencing scaly and itchy skin. In fact, sometimes the condition can be quite painful and extremely bothersome. It's one of the most common skin conditions, however, many people still don't know much about it. Take a look at this helpful information to learn more about eczema causes, treatment and prevention.

What is Eczema?

Chances are, your dermatologist will diagnose you with eczema if you're experiencing any type of atopic dermatitis (inflammation condition of the skin). However, it's important to know true eczema consists of acute lesions that are often filled with fluid. When the dry, flaky, itchy lesions break open, the fluid can ooze out and cause the skin to weep. After this fluid dries up, there is often a thin, scaly crust on the skin.

This type of skin condition is very common in young infants and adults. Most people who experience eczema have their first outbreak before the age of five. While eczema is not typically viewed an allergic reaction rash, there are allergy contact dermatitis conditions you can get, which are often grouped right along with eczema. Often, sufferers will not experience eczema their entire life, but some do suffer with chronic eczema.

What is the Cause of Eczema?

Most experts believe eczema is hereditary and possibly due to genetic abnormal immunologic issues. In addition, it's believed it can be triggered by environmental factors. When you know exactly what you should steer clear of, you can reduce the number of eczema outbreaks you have. So, it's important to educate yourself on the possible triggers.

Here are a few things you should try to avoid, if you want to prevent eczema.

  • Harsh Soaps
  • Detergents
  • Solvents
  • Scented Moisturizer
  • Rough Wool Clothes
  • Low Humidity
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Sweating
  • Staphylococcal Bacteria
  • Excessive Hand Washing
  • Excessive Rubbing of Skin

Treating Eczema at Home

If you notice signs or symptoms of eczema, sometimes you can manage your irritating symptoms at home, without seeing a doctor. Many doctors recommend trying to treat eczema at home by applying a topical 1% hydrocortisone cream to the areas, twice a day. You can also take Benadryl medicine to help with any itching. In addition, it's important to try to remove any triggers, such as harsh detergents. You can soothe dry skin by taking warm baths and using a mild soap. In addition, use emollients to help the water in your skin stay put. If you don't notice your symptoms appear to improve, you should see your doctor.

Prescription Treatment for Eczema

Doctors are often willing to offer you prescription products to help with the treatment of eczema. Most dermatologists will offer steroid creams or corticosteroid medications. Most frequently, doctors use Protopic or Elidel. Sometimes an oral antibiotic is used if a secondary bacterial infection is detected.

If you've noticed you or your child has symptoms and signs of eczema, try at-home treatments first. Start with hydrocortisone cream and allergy medication. If you don't notice any relief, or if there are signs of infection present, it's important to see your doctor. A doctor can help relieve your suffering with prescription medication, getting you on your way toward clear skin!



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