Eczema dermatitis is a common skin condition where the skin gets red and patches of inflammation to show up, combined with the symptoms of itchiness and dryness.
Young children and babies under the age of 5 years are more commonly affected by eczema or atopic dermatitis. But that doesn’t restrict eczema from affecting young teenagers and adults. And hence, we have curated this guide to educate and provide knowledge about the condition.
If you want to know what eczema dermatitis is or are suffering from this skin disorder, keep reading for a quick look at its causes, symptoms, and treatment methods.
Causes of Eczema
The accurate causes for eczema or atopic dermatitis have not been found yet. But doctors determine that genetics play a huge role.
People with a family history of eczema can be at high risk of developing the skin condition -although the precise genetic cause remains unclear to this day. People in the family with eczema are at an increased chance of developing certain allergic conditions like asthma or hay fever. Thus, when eczema is passed on to other family members, they might be at high risk of developing these diseases, too.
Some experts also determine that climate change, increasing population, pollution, house dust, and pollen allergies can be a combined cause for people who are already genetically prone to eczema. This could further cause skin dryness and get them at high risk of developing the skin condition.
But one should not worry about eczema being contagious because it isn’t. It cannot be transferred from one person to another person.
Symptoms of Eczema
Most people develop their first signs of eczema during their infancy period, or below 5 years of age. The affected area of the skin in children may look red, crusted, and scaly. Children and adults will experience red and inflamed skin, and the most commonly affected areas include the front of the elbow, wrist, back of the knees, or around the neck area. But in babies, the most affected part is the face.
As eczema causes itchiness, patients tend to scratch the place, which can lead to thickening of the affected area. It can also get dark and scarred. Excessive scratching can also lead to bacterial infection where the flared-up skin becomes bumpy and is filled with pus. You might need to consider visiting a dermatologist if the condition seems to worsen.
Other symptoms can be:
- Extremely dry skin that looks scaly
- Rashes that are red and itchy
- Skin creasing
Psychological Effects of Eczema
Eczema dermatitis is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases among people, and as the statistics lay it down, it has a major impact on the quality of lives people lead.
According to a survey conducted in 2019, 30% of adult eczema patients were found to have had a significant impact from eczema, and 21% of them had a high impact in their life due to their eczema condition. Another survey showed that 79% of people suffered from itchiness caused by eczema. Surprisingly, 11% of the people suffered from anxiety, and 9% of people were known to have suffered from depression.
Understandably, dealing with bad flare-ups from eczema can be stressful, humiliating, and exhausting. Luckily, there are some treatments for eczema that might work for you.
Although it is better that you consult a doctor to diagnose the situation better, here are some of the best treatments to ease your eczema
- People with eczema are not advised to take a bath with extreme scented soaps or chemical soaps. Instead, use emollients – they are bath shower additives that keep the oil and moisture in the skin and keep irritants at bay. Doctors recommend day-to-day use of emollients to ease the itching and flare-ups caused by eczema.
- Using strong chemical-based detergents for washing clothes can also cause skin dryness, which will increase the symptoms of eczema. So, it is best to avoid such types of harsh detergents or soap bars.
- Wearing loose and cotton clothes can keep the skin from itching.
- Also, take care that your or your baby’s nails are kept short so that the scratching from the nails will not lead to serious conditions. Make your baby wear gloves at night to prevent them from scratching eczema infected skin area.
- A useful skincare tip for eczema patients is to use lotions and creams that retain the skin’s moisture. Avoid thick creams that are highly chemical-based – they will further irritate the skin and worsen the condition.
- Avoid extreme cold temperatures or long baths in hot water.
Atopic dermatitis can be avoided by identifying the triggering factors that make your skin more prone to eczema or cause it to flare up.
- The first and most common trigger could be certain soaps that are high in chemicals, causing your skin to go dry and devoid of moisture. Certain fabrics like synthetic and wool can cause more itchiness and redness, so avoid using them.
- The second common form of trigger can be house dust, animal dandruff, or pollen dust. To avoid this, vacuum clean your home often and wash your bedsheets, pillow covers, and doormats every other day or two, which will reduce the accumulation of dust.
- Food sensitivity is a rare trigger of eczema and often seen in young children with severe eczema dermatitis. Some foods that cause allergy are milk products, eggs, fish, soy, meat, and peanuts. It is recommended to consult a doctor if you believe that a food allergy is triggering your child’s eczema.
- Stress is also a trigger, which is odd to hear but is true and is more commonly seen nowadays. Avoid stress, take breaks from work, and meditate to keep the condition in check.
- Always take short baths because long baths can also lead to eczema worsening. Lukewarm water is recommended. Never use a rough towel to wipe the wet off of the body. Be mild and gentle – and moisturize your skin immediately after the bath.
If the symptoms of eczema are not too worse, you can try out some of the remedies and prevention methods to keep the condition in check. But if the condition is extreme or moderate, it is always recommended to see a dermatologist and get the best solution.