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Saturday, 9-Jul-2011 01:30 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Infant Eczema - Disease And Disorder Of The Skin

The word ‘eczema’ is derived from the Greek meaning to ‘boil over’, describing the bubbly and hot appearance of active eczema. The words eczema and dermatitis mean the same, referring to a particular type of skin inflammation, which has potentially multiple different causes.

More specifically, atopic eczema refers to a very characteristic itchy skin rash, which typically starts in infancy or childhood. It tends to affect different parts of the skin at different stages of the person’s development, but at some point usually involves the skin creases (flexures) of the arms and legs.

It is more common in those with a family history of atopic eczema, asthma or hay fever. Eczema is a complex disease and multiple factors contribute to its development. However, genetic factors play a big role and various environmental triggers (for example, the house dust mite, bacterial toxins, hard water, climatic factors, air-borne allergens and pollution) may aggravate it.

Eczema tends to follow a fluctuating course. You can expect the child’s eczema to flare at times when he/she is ‘stressed’, for example, by teething pain.

It may flare when they are unwell with viral or bacterial infections and after having vaccinations. Anything that tends to dry the skin, eg. soaps, shampoo, bubble baths, detergents or chlorine will aggravate eczema. Contact with wool, synthetic clothing and animal hair will also aggravate it. In teenagers eczema may flare at exam times.

Atopic eczema usually starts on the scalp or cheeks in infants. It may even start as cradle cap. It later spreads to the limbs and body and in some children may be widespread for a time. At the crawling stage it is usually worst on the backs of the elbows and the fronts of the knees.

When the child is a little older the eczema settles in its characteristic location at the skin creases of the arms and legs. In teenagers and adults it may be worst on the hands.

The first principle of eczema treatment is to avoid those things that make eczema worse. Irritants like soaps and bubble bath should be avoided and substituted with an oily or emollient alternative.

Allergens like dog dander must be minimised and measures taken to reduce the house dust mite in the child’s environment.

Clothing and bed covers should be 100% cotton if possible. Heat and perspiration may make the itch intolerable.

Therefore the child’s environment should be kept cool. In particular, the bedroom should be well ventilated.

Emollients are products that moisturise and soften the dry skin, which is the central problem in atopic eczema. This therapy is a crucial part of your treatment plan for your child. Emollients are safe and can be used frequently. There are many choices on the market at present.

In general, when the skin is very dry an oil-based emollient, for example emulsifying ointment or paraffin gel, will be the most efficient.

As the skin improves a cream like Silcock’s base may be used. Emollients should be considered in three situations.

Firstly, they should be used as a moisturiser applied twice or three times daily all over. Care should be taken to apply emollients gently in the direction of the hair (to avoid irritating the hair follicles).

Secondly, they should be used instead of soap. Finally, emollients should be used in the bath, ideally on a daily basis.

The aim of bathing is to both grease and cleanse the skin. An excellent emollient bath may be prepared by dissolving two spoonfuls (dessert spoonfuls for child, table spoonfuls for adult) of emulsifying ointment in very hot water, whisking it up and adding it to the bath water.

There are also very effective, liquid bath additives available which may be more convenient to use.

Some of these contain an antiseptic which will help reduce the
numbers of bugs on the skin. Regular bathing with emollients is essential to help reduce secondary bacterial infection, – a common problem in atopic eczema.

Natural Eczema Cures | Eczema Free Forever | Rachel Anderson

Friday, 1-Jul-2011 05:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Eczema – What Is It, What Causes It, and How to Treat It

Eczema, also known as Dermatitis, is a condition of the skin, which can affect people of any age. The severity of the disease can vary - in mild forms the skin is hot, dry and itchy, while in more severe cases the skin can become broken, raw and bleeding. Although Eczema can sometimes look unpleasant, it is fortunately not contagious. With treatment of the affected skin area, the inflammation of eczema can be reduced, though the skin will always be sensitive and will require extra care in order to avoid and control flare-ups.

Eczema comes in various forms, and can have several causes, depending on the particular type of eczema that a person has. One type of eczema is thought to be hereditary, while other types of eczema are caused by irritants coming in contact with the skin; for example detergents. Eczema can also be caused by blood circulatory problems in the legs, with older people.

Atopic Eczema: The most common form of eczema. It can be found in both children and adults and often runs in the family. Symptoms of Atopic Eczema include unbearable itchiness, overall dryness of the skin, redness and inflammation.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis: A form of Eczema which develops when the immune system reacts against a substance in contact with the skin. Such reactions may occur when the skin is in contact with substances like nickel in earrings, belt buckles, or buttons. Some people also suffer these symptoms when wearing certain perfumes. Once a substance irritation is discovered, contact with the offending substance should be avoided.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This is a type of eczema caused by regular contact with everyday substances, such as detergents or chemicals which are irritating to the skin. Irritant Contact Dermatitis is best avoided by keeping the irritant away from the skin, and keeping any sensitive skin areas well moisturized.

Infantile Seborrhoeic Eczema: An eczema which commonly affects babies under one year old, also known as Cradle Cap. It often starts on the scalp or nappy area and can quickly spread, although it is neither sore nor itchy. Creams and bath oils can assist the healing process.

Adult Seborrhoeic Eczema: A form of eczema which generally affects adults between the ages of 20 and 40. Often appearing as mild dandruff, it can spread to the face, ears and chest. The skin affected turns red and inflamed, and then starts to flake. Infected areas can be treated with anti-fungal cream.

Varicose Eczema: Caused by poor circulation, Varicose Eczema often affects middle-aged to older people, causing the skin to become speckled, itchy, and inflamed. The affected areas should be treated with emollients and steroid creams before the skin breaks down, often resulting in ulcers.

Discoid Eczema: An Eczema generally found in adults. It can suddenly appear as several coin-shaped patches of red skin, normally on the trunk or lower legs. These areas become itchy and can weep fluid. Discoid eczema is usually treated with emollients, and steroid creams if necessary.

SUMMARY: Pharmacies offer a wide range of products for the treatment of Eczema, yet eczema sufferers should also look for ways of minimizing environmental allergens commonly found in the home.

Natural Eczema Cures | Eczema Free Forever | Rachel Anderson


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