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Eczema, Explained

Eczema is a condition that can cause dry, itchy skin. It is often described as "a rash that won't go away." This condition can be caused by a variety of things, including allergies, stress, and climate. Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include redness, swelling, cracking, and scaliness of the skin. In this blog post, we will discuss what eczema is, what causes it, and how to treat it!

Symptoms

It can be mild to severe. They may include:
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Scaling
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Rashes can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the face, hands, feet, ankles, wrists, and in bendy areas such as the inside of the elbows and behind the knees. Rashes can be itchy and uncomfortable.

What Causes Eczema?

There isn't a definitive answer to what causes it. However, it is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People who have certain medical conditions (like allergies, asthma, or hay fever) are more likely to develop it. Additionally, exposure to certain irritants (such as soap, detergent, or dust) can also trigger flare-ups.
Common triggers could be:
  • Climatic changes like cold, dry weather.
  • Excessive sweating or overheating.
  • Certain fabrics and clothing materials.
  • Stress.

Climatic Changes

Climatic changes are one of the most common triggers of eczema rashes. This is because changes in temperature and humidity can cause the skin to become dry, irritated, and cracked.
When the weather is cold, windy, or dry, the skin loses moisture more quickly than it can be replaced.

Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating can also lead to eczema dermatitis. This is because when sweat mixes with bacteria on the skin, it can cause irritation and inflammation.
People who have this condition often find that their symptoms get worse during hot weather or after exercise.
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Fabric or Clothing Materials

People with this skin condition should avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes made from these materials. They should also avoid using harsh detergents or fabric softeners when washing their clothes.

Stress

Stress is a very common factor that can also trigger eczema. This is because when a person is stressed, their immune system becomes weaker. This can make the skin more susceptible to irritation and inflammation.
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Complications

Eczema can cause a number of complications, some of which are serious. Here are some of the most common complications:
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Fungal skin infections
  • Skin thickening
  • Scarring
  • Eye problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
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It can also cause a person to feel anxious or depressed. This is because the condition can be very uncomfortable and make a person feel self-conscious about their appearance.

How Is It Treated?

Eczema is often treated with a combination of medical and home remedies. Medical treatments include:
Topical corticosteroids: These are creams or ointments that contain steroids. They are used to reduce inflammation and itching.
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Antihistamines: These are drugs that block the action of histamine. Histamine is a substance that your body produces in response to an allergen. Antihistamines can help reduce itching and swelling.
Immunomodulators: These are drugs that change the way your immune system works. They can help reduce inflammation.
Light Therapy: This involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. It can help reduce inflammation and itching.

Using Light Therapy

One treatment option that is becoming more popular is light therapy. There is some evidence that light therapy may be effective in treating eczema.
Light therapy, also called phototherapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. This can be done using special lamps, machines or at-home devices that emit UV light.
Light therapy is thought to work by reducing inflammation and helping the skin to heal.
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