Only in the USA 15 million people have some form of eczema. About 10 percent to 20 percent of all infants have eczema, more of that in almost the half of these children, the disease will improve by the time they are between five and fifteen years old.
Eczema is a form of inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. This is the skin rash that is characterized by redness, itching and dryness that may involve flaking of the skin, oozing and even bleeding.
There are different types of eczema. Most common of them are:
Atopic eczema - often runs in families whose members have eczema or even asthma. Itchy rash is practically noticeable on face and scalp, neck, inside of elbows, behind knees, and buttocks.
Contact dermatitis - resulting from some allergen and resulting from direct reaction to some irritant.
Xerotic eczema – this is just dry skin that in some conditions (such as dry winter weather) turns into eczema.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis - causes dry or greasy scaling of the scalp and eyebrows.
Eczema may look different from person to person, it has one characteristic in common – it has the itch that rashes. Eczema can occur on any part of the body. In some people eczema may ooze very much, in others – just appear red and dry. And what appear first also differs from person to person.
It is also very difficult to avoid all the triggers, or irritants, that may cause or worsen eczema.
Eczema may be trigged by some allergen, the duration of the contact is eventually not important and the skin becomes inflamed. Interesting fact is that eczema after this contact may appear (develop) either in some days or in some years. You can never tell.
But the common reasons of eczema, or it is better to say, common things that triggers of eczema are the following:
· Using of soaps and detergents
· Weather (hot, cold, humid, or dry)
· Things that you wear: jewelry, clothing, gloves
· Creams, food handling
· Environmental allergens, bacteria
· Environmental allergen
Once your health care provider is sure you have eczema ( and not other types of skin disorder) he or she proscribes medications that give relief from the itching and inflammatory ones. The usual treatment is steroid cream and antihistamine medication. It allows you to to carry on with your normal activities (at least relieves the symptoms), and allows you to sleep after the restless day. If the rash is severe – corticosteroids can be proscribed, but only for short period of time because of the side effects. If your health care provider is concerned about infection he or she would probably proscribe you antibiotic pills or antifungal cream. For severe cases some alternate treatments may be used, such as coal tar, PUVA (psoralen + ultraviolet A light), and chemotherapy agents. In cases where eczema is resistant to therapy, your physician may prescribe the drug cyclosporine A, it modifies immune response.
The most common treatment is connected with the very problem of eczema – itching. That is why first of all – to get rid of the constant scratching, this is to moistthe skin as often as possible with different lotions or creams. Especially after the bath (within three minutes). Also cold compresses can help relieve itching, when applied directly to itchy skin.
Numerous other methods of treating eczema were used from the ancient times. Herbs creams, lotions, ointments and baths proved to be the effective tool against eczema (and especially in giving the relief to the person living with eczema).
When used topically witch hazel cream is very effective (often with phosphatidyl choline). Other wonderful ointments for topical usage are from calendula, chamomile and chickweed.
In traditional herbal books burdock root is often used for the treatment of eczema. But if you are sensitive to daises, chrysanthemums, or ragweed, you may experience an allergic reaction to burdock. Avoid using it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Sarsaparillamay be excellent as an anti-inflammatory. Tincture is used in the amount of 3 ml three times per day.
Red clover is beneficial for all manner of chronic conditions, including eczema. Traditionally, red clover ointments have been applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, and other rashes. Usual topical treatment is following: an infusion, liquid extract, or ointment containing 10 - 15% flowerheads; apply as needed unless irritation develops. Do not apply to an open wound without a doctor's supervision. Red clover has no severe side effects, mile effects are headache, nausea, and rash. Do not use it if you are pregnant orbreastfeeding.
White oat can also be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including eczema.
Avena Sativa– another herbal benefit. Oats are sometimes added to the bath as a topical treatment for the skin condition eczema (1 pound of shredded straw is boiled in 2 quarts of water for half an hour, the liquid is strained and added to the bath, or the cooked rolled oats may be put into a muslin bag and used to bath with). It has no side effects, only use oats with caution in case you are suffering from gluten sensitivity.
Aloe Vera is known for its healing and soothing effect on the skin. It contains lignins (help it penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver its therapeutic effects), gibberlin and polysaccharides (decrease inflammation and promote wound healing), salicylic acid (so it is an effective pain reliever) and polysaccharides (an excellent natural moisturizer, that relievs the dryness often associated with itching). You may have an allergic reactions to aloe if you have allergy to garlic, onions, tulips, or other plants of the Liliaceae family.
Marshmallow root tea (Althea officinalis) may soothe and promote healing of gastrointestinal inflammation that is often found with eczema.
Oak bark is a great herbal remedy because of its main therapeutic component – tannins. Tannins bind liquids, absorb toxins, and soothe inflamed tissues. It is applied topically after cooling (boiling 1–2 U.S. tablespoons (15-30 grams) of the bark for fifteen minutes in 2 cups of water) – just right to the rash several times a day.
Also would be useful to remember that some nutritional tips would help in fighting eczema: fish oil and vitamin E. Remember also several things:
· Forget about water (about too much exposure to water )
· Moisturize! The whole day long, especially after the bath)
· Start wearing cotton clothes
· Do not worry or it changes your body temperature and gets you sweating. Relax!
· Stop scratching. It won’t help.
With such an arsenal of tools you are sure to succeed in getting your skin back to normal again.
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