Eczema is an inflammation of the skin. There are various types but the most popular one is Atopic eczema. It starts from early childhood. Some people outgrow it but others don’t.
Factors which might be responsible for eczema include pollution, climate change, allergies to dust or pollen, diet, infections and stress, hormones and hereditary factors.
Eczema starts with itchy skin, followed by the appearance of rashes which affects the face, elbow, wrist, knees and could affect other parts of the body as well.
In babies, the face is usually affected with the rash.
The rashes can be light or dark in colour.
Inflamed skin can become dry and thick. It could also become blistered and infectious.
Flare ups of the itchy rash happens in some instances which can last for many weeks and cause great distress.
It is caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
Eczema can be diagnosed using the following methods:
1. Patch testing
2. Skin prick testing
Eczema has no overall cure, but it can be managed with medical treatment and avoiding irritants.
1. Have warm baths regularly
2. Use a non-soap cleanser or mild soap for bath
3. Gently pat your skin dry after bath, do not rub.
4. Moisturize your skin daily
5. Apply moisturizer immediately after your bath to lock in moisture.
6. Avoid scratchy and tight fitting clothes, wear cotton and soft fabrics.
7. Avoid extreme temperatures and activities that make you sweat as they can cause irritation to the skin.
Medications can also be prescribed by doctors for the treatment of eczema. They include:
1. Antibiotics to kill bacteria.
2. Corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce inflammation
3. Antihisthamines: this helps to reduce itchiness at night so you can sleep better.
4. Phototherapy which involves exposure to ultraviolet waves.