What Is Eczema?
Eczema is an allergy-related condition that affects your skin’s ability to retain moisture and protect you from bacteria, irritants, and allergens. Doctors have identified 4 types of eczema, all of these having similar symptoms. It is long-lasting with periodic flare-ups which may be accompanied by asthma or hay fever. Patients with eczema may experience dry skin, red or brownish-gray patches of skin on wrists, hands, feet, ankles, neck, upper chest, eyelids, elbow bends and the back of the knees. Some patients experience small, raised bumps that leak fluid and others experience thickened, cracked, and scaly skin. Because the most common complaint is itching, the skin often becomes sensitive and swollen from too much scratching.
How Can I Treat It?
If you feel you are experiencing eczema, there are several preventative steps that you can take.
- Moisturize your skin at least twice daily, especially after a bath or show while the skin is still damp.
- Keep your baths and showers short (10-15 minutes) using warm, not hot, water.
- Use mild soaps that do not have harsh perfumes or other chemicals.
- Pat your skin dry after bathing instead of vigorous rubbing motions.
- Identify triggers and avoid them as much as possible. (sweat, stress, soaps, perfumes, dust, pollen, or foods such as dairy, eggs, nuts, weeds, wheat, etc.)