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Skin Focus: Eczema

eczema

Source: flickr.com user Care SMC

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.

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3 Comments

  1. Bev
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    There is a product called “Renew” that is made exclusively by Melaleuca (www.melaleuca.com) that has helped SO many people with eczema, psoriasis, and plain old awful dry skin. I tried Renew for my painful, cracked heels and dry hands, and within 2 weeks my feet were “tushy soft”! They also make a Renew Hand Wash and Renew Body Wash that are absolutely miraculous! Many doctors are recommending Renew lotion for their patients and it truly is amazing!

  2. Joe Merkle
    Posted August 5, 2010 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    You have a very attractive and informative site regarding eczema and cures for this disease. The most effective cures I have been personally involved with were homeopathic remedies. Just by using simple cell salts you can eliminate eczema for good.

  3. Kay
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    This is the answer I’ve been looking for. Having had allergies since childhood, the skin eczema usually breaks out during winter and continues long into summer when my skin is not treated correctly when it first breaks out (and I tend to scratch a lot due to the itch). I resolved to see dermatologists and got steroid-based cream to tame the itch. The dark spots won’t go away but at least the lesion is no longer weepy. I still have to be extra careful the next winter though.

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