During winter, most of us have to deal with dry, irritated skin, but for those with eczema, it isn’t just a seasonal disorder. The dry skin rashes can spring up at any time and bring with them painful inflammation and intense itching. Not sure if you have eczema? Read on to learn the symptoms and the most effective eczema remedies.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that produces scaly patches on the skin. These skin patches can appear as thick and leathery, crusty and oozing, red bumps, raw and inflamed, or even blistered. The lesions can occur anywhere on the body, including the scalp and ears.
If you are unsure if you have eczema, visit a dermatologist to make sure you get a correct diagnosis and aren’t suffering from a different skin disorder.
What Causes Eczema?
Eczema is a hypersensitivity skin condition, similar to an allergic reaction, yet it lasts long-term and can flare up at any time. It is usually hereditary and usually goes hand in hand with those who have allergies and asthma.
How to Treat Eczema
Although there is no cure for eczema, there are ways to control the symptoms. First, it’s important to avoid the following triggers: dry skin, environmental irritants, skin care irritants, excessive water exposure, stress and temperature changes.
Next, once you have an outbreak, it’s important to use the appropriate treatment for the type of lesion you have. If your skin is broken and weeping, use only mild soap to clean the area and cover with a gentle eczema moisturizer, like Cetaphil. If your skin is scaly and flaking, use anti-inflammatory topical eczema creams with hydrocortisone, like Aquanil HC Lotion. If your skin is thick and rough, use tar-based creams like Elta MD Elta Tar to relieve itching and soften the skin.
There are also a variety of natural eczema treatments that some people find effective, like natural oils and herbal supplements.
If you can’t get your eczema under control using topical or natural treatments, you may need to visit the dermatologist for stronger medication.