National Eczema Awareness Month
October is Eczema Awareness Month
There are several types of eczema, but atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis as it is also known is the most common.
Atopic eczema is an allergic inflammation of the skin which causes skin to become dry, red and itchy, causing skin to crack and flake. Although atopic eczema is most common in young children, it can also affect adults.
Eczema can flare up, then come and go, and can affect any part of the face or body although the most commonly affected areas are: hands, feet, arms ankles, wrists, face, neck, upper chest and behind the knees.
Left untreated, eczema can cause uncontrollable scratching which can lead to skin damage and scarring as well as open sores and infections.
Triggers – try to avoid the following
Many off the shelf skincare products contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, petrochemicals and methylisothiazolinone, which are known skin irritants.
Mineral oils and lanolin stop the skin from breathing and absorbing moisture. Therefore all these ingredients cause problems on people with sensitive skin making the problem worse. Unfortunately some products prescribed by dermatologists also contain some of the above ingredients.
Biological washing powders and fabric conditioners can also sometimes cause problems, so wash clothes with gentle non-bio detergents and rinse them well.
Avoid getting too hot or too cold as extremes of temperature can irritate the skin. Synthetic materials can irritate skin—go for natural fibres. Stress, dust and dust mites can also trigger eczema.
Symptoms of Eczema
• Dry, red skin
• Broken skin
• Cracked and flaky skin
• Itching that gets worse at night
• Blisters and weeping
• Small, raised lumps and bumps
• Thickened, leathery skin