Eczema – Causes and management options
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a condition in which the skin gets itchy, with painful, red, swollen patches. It is observed that the illness commonly affects children and infants. However, it can develop at any age. It is common for a person to also have a history of asthma or hay fever along with skin rashes to diagnose eczema. Let us look at the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for this illness.
Causes and triggers
There is little understanding of what causes this condition. However, research suggests that this illness is accompanied by other infections like hay fever and asthma. It is observed that eczema could also be an immune reaction to fight off allergies that could get worse.
There are some triggers that could worsen the condition:
Allergens: Environmental factors or allergies can trigger the symptoms of the disease. This includes cold or dry weather, dampness that could lead to infection and itching, pet fur, pollen, molds, or even dust mites.
Irritants: These include everyday products like soaps, shampoos, laundry detergents, or cleaning supplies. Most of these products have harsh chemicals that leave the skin dry, which can cause inflammation and itching. Bubble baths using harsh soaps can also trigger symptoms.
Food allergies: Some foods like soya, cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, or even wheat can cause a reaction. It is best to know the foods to eat and avoid with the help of a health professional who makes a complete diagnosis to understand food allergies.
Fabrics: Certain cloth materials like wool or synthetic fibers can cause irritation and rash on the skin. Be sure to speak to a doctor to understand which type of cloth material can be worn.
Hormones: This is mainly for women during pregnancy or those close to their period cycle. The symptoms can worsen around this time, and strict management is needed to avoid complications.
The common symptoms are as follows:
Tiny blisters are formed, which have clear fluid
These blisters can even burst and turn into scabs over a period of time, making them painful
The skin gets dry, flaky, and itchy to the point that it is painful
There is no permanent cure for the disease, but some management options keep the symptoms at bay.
Applying repair moisturizers can be helpful as they keep the skin from getting dry, avoiding any scratching that can lead to painful scabs. One of the treatment options is using Opzelura as a topical cream for mild to moderate eczema. This is a short-term treatment plan for non-immunocompromised adults and children 12 years old or older.
Using vitamin D supplements and probiotics is also a way to manage the symptoms to a large extent.
Some patients need UV light therapy over the affected areas in case other treatment options are not working.
It is also advised to avoid the triggers mentioned above to ensure no flare-ups or irritation.