Itchy, flakey skin, and not sure what’s causing it? It could be eczema.
Eczema is a common skin condition that affects 31.6 million Americans. So common is the condition that research shows that one in 10 individuals will develop some form of eczema at one point in their life. It is common among children and can affect anyone regardless of their ethnicity. If you or your loved one has had a mild to severe itch or skin pain that won’t go away, eczema can be the cause. Read on to learn more about eczema and get answers to questions such as “is eczema itchy,” “does eczema itch,” “what causes eczema,” “how to treat eczema,” “does eczema spread,” and many more.
What is eczema
Despite being a common skin condition, eczema is one of the most commonly misspelled words. “Eczma,” “exczema,” and “exema,” are a few of the hilarious versions of the word. So, how do you spell eczema? The trick is to put the “c” before “z” and remember not to include an “x” no matter how tempting that is.
Spelling aside, eczema is a skin condition that causes inflammation and irritation of the skin leading to intense itching. It is also known as atopic dermatitis meaning it’s associated with hereditary or genetic factors. What causes eczema is still not clear though environmental and genetic factors may be the major triggers. It is most common in infants affecting about 20% of infants and only 3% of adults. Although most infants outgrow the condition by the end of their teenage years, the intense itching may affect most of their childhood.
Is eczema contagious, and does eczema spread?
If you know someone suffering from the condition, then “is eczema contagious” has to be one of the most commonly asked questions out there. Atopic eczema is the most common type of eczema. Since it is associated with genetic factors, it is not contagious. It can only spread from one part of the body to the other. However, different skin infections that may be triggered by eczema may be infectious. You should, therefore, be cautious with what your child or loved one is exposed to. Eczema symptoms are similar to other skin infections and can be confused for other skin conditions like psoriasis, Rosacea, and Scabies. You should contact your doctor if you or your child’s skin is inflamed and itchy.
What does eczema look like? (Signs & Symptoms of Eczema)
You may be asking, “what is eczema?” and does eczema itch or is eczema itchy? Eczema often starts with itching, which is then followed by a skin rash. The itching may be so intense that it makes your skin feel hot. Scratching the affected areas makes them itchier and can cause bleeding. Once eczema strikes, it causes red, purple, or brown patches on the skin, which are often dry and covered with white scales. The patches may also ooze and crust over. Eczema often affects the area behind the knee, hands, neck, or the inner elbow but can also affect any other part of the body. The symptoms mirror those of psoriasis, and you could be wondering what the difference between eczema and psoriasis is. The difference is sometimes very slim, and if not well diagnosed, eczema may be confused with psoriasis.
What is the difference between eczema and psoriasis?
Whereas both conditions may be described as autoimmune and genetically inherited and with almost similar symptoms, there are a few differences that will help you to tell which is which. The biggest difference is itching. Itching is prevalent in all eczema cases but may be absent in some psoriasis cases. The itching in eczema starts before the rash while itching in psoriasis comes after the rash. The rash in eczema is also accompanied by a discharge or may be said to be oozing, but the rash in psoriasis is dry. In eczema, the affected areas are crusty and flat, while those in psoriasis are raised, thick, and scaly.
Further, eczema is often found at the back of the knee, the inner elbow, the back of the neck and on the hands while psoriasis mostly affects the knee, legs, and the elbow. Your doctor will help with the diagnosis, but it’s good to be able to tell ‘what is the difference between eczema and psoriasis’ to know how to get rid of eczema. Being sure of the condition you or your child is suffering from will be very important since it helps you get the right home remedies before you get to your doctor. Below, you will learn how to treat eczema and how to subside its symptoms.
How to get rid of eczema
What causes eczema is still not known. However, there are several known eczema triggers that, if avoided, can help you manage or suppress the condition. Knowing your triggers will also help you to learn how to cure eczema fast. So how do you get eczema? Answering this question will help you to understand what triggers your eczema. it is atopic and is probably dormant in your system, waiting for a trigger to become active. People react differently to natural or everyday household items. One trigger of eczema may be different from what triggers it in another person.
The most common eczema triggers, however, are smoke from cigarettes, nickel metal, some soaps, and detergent, especially those containing formaldehyde as an ingredient, fabric materials like polyester and wool, and beauty products containing Cocamidopropyl betaine as an ingredient. Other chemicals such as paraphenylenediamine often found in tattoo dyes and neomycin, which is common in antibacterial soaps and ointments, also trigger eczema. Some baby wipes contain isothiazolinones that also trigger eczema in infants. Stress is another common trigger.
The first step in learning how to get rid of eczema or how to treat it is identifying your triggers. Once you know what triggers it, you will have answered the question, “how do you get eczema “and how to how to cure eczema fast. The answers to these questions will help you to manage your condition and live comfortably. Keeping a record of your triggers will also help you to know what causes eczema to flare up and how to avoid the flares.
What causes eczema to flare up?
Exposure to eczema triggers such is irritants, metals, and high protein foods may cause eczema symptoms to worsen or flare-up. Very hot showers or overexposing the skin to the sun may also cause eczema to flare up. Atopic eczema may, however, be caused by the misbehavior of the body’s immune system. Contact eczema flare-ups may be caused by touching nickel metal and using detergents and beauty products with formaldehyde. Avoiding the triggers will help reduce flares. It is also important to visit your doctor for a checkup if you suspect you have eczema. If you or your child is found to have eczema, your dermatologist will recommend solutions depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Can you cure eczema permanently?
There is no cure for eczema as of now. The absence of a permanent cure for eczema should, however not be a cause for you to worry. With proper management, it can be suppressed to the point that you have no visible symptoms or itching. Avoiding the triggers and taking a shower will help you control the condition. Some foods such as nuts, dairy products, eggs, citrus fruits, and other high protein diets should be avoided as they are known to cause eczema flares. Natural remedies such as Aloe Vera gel are recommended to help soothe and moisturize the skin and reduce the flares. Over the counter products such as 1% hydrocortisone will help you reduce the inflammation and flashes. Your doctor or dermatologist will also prescribe topical treatment depending on the severity of your condition.
How to get rid of eczema on the face?
Eczema is a common cause of irritation and red or dark patches on the face, especially in infants and adolescents. Learning how to get rid of eczema on the face will help clear the symptoms and smooth your face or that of your baby. Eczema on the face could be atopic or contact eczema. Contact eczema is easy to get rid of as it is caused by contact with a specific irritant, mostly nickel metal. Once the irritant is avoided, contact eczema will clear naturally. Atopic eczema, on the other hand, maybe a little difficult to control as it may be caused by a wide range of triggers. If you identify the trigger, you can avoid it and use an eczema skin care product such as 1% hydrocortisone cream to clear the flares. Although knowing how to cure eczema permanently may not be possible, the condition can be managed when you use the right approach.
For more information
If you suspect that you or your loved one is suffering from eczema and would like more information on what is eczema and how to get rid of eczema, take charge of your skin health and seek help. Contact the dermatology team at Dermcare through 781-431-0060 or request an appointment today, and let us help you restore your skin health.