October 3, 2018
October is Eczema awareness month, so we thought we would raise awareness with some little-known facts about the condition and some options for eczema treatment. If you or someone you know struggles with Eczema, read on to learn more about the condition and how we can help treat it.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is the general name for multiple skin conditions that cause skin to become red or discolored, excessively dry, inflamed, and/or itchy. You might call it a rash, but eczema often persists longer or occurs more frequently than a typical rash.
Common places for eczema flare-ups include the insides of elbows, the backs of knees, the sides or back of the neck, and the backs of hands in adults, and children most frequently develop eczema on their cheeks and chin. However, eczema can appear anywhere on the body.
In extreme cases, eczema can cause scaly skin, cracks, swelling, and weeping in the affected areas.
Little known facts about eczema:
1.) Eczema is a common condition.
Eczema affects an estimated 30 million Americans, ranging from infants to seniors. The condition does not discriminate against age, gender, or race.
Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, is a chronic disease, so those affected live with it for a long time. If you or someone you know is affected by eczema, you are anything but alone.
2.) There are multiple kinds of eczema.
Not only is eczema common, it takes many forms. Although the definition of eczema calls it a general "medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed," it can be broken into these eight common forms:
- Atopic dermatitis - Most common form; red, scaly patches of skin.
- Hand eczema - Eczema on the hands.
- Contact dermatitis - Rash where skin was irritated.
- Dyshidrotic eczema - Fluid-filled blisters mostly found on the hands.
- Nummular eczema - Coin-shaped patches of inflamed skin.
- Stasis dermatitis - Skin inflammation in lower legs.
- Seborrheic dermatitis - Red, itchy rash on scalp.
- Neurodermatitis/Lichen simplex chronicus - Extremely itchy, leathery patches.
3. Many things can trigger eczema flare-ups
Eczema is not an allergic reaction, so triggers for eczema do not cause the rash, they just cause the eczema to flare up. It is often difficult to pinpoint one or even multiple triggers for a patient as every patient is different and triggers vary from person to person.
What are common eczema triggers?
- Food allergens.
- Chemicals found in certain cleaning products.
- Insect bites.
- Environmental irritants such as dust and dirt.
- Irritating materials such as latex or wool.
- Changes in climate.
- Excessive stress.
For a more comprehensive list of common triggers, visit this resource on eczema triggers from the National Eczema Association.
4.) Eczema goes deeper than the skin
Although eczema manifests on the surface of the skin, the condition has much deeper effects. Even though eczema is not caused by allergies, those who suffer from eczema have a higher susceptibility to conditions such as food sensitivities, allergies, and asthma. Those affected can also experience restricted movement in the inflamed areas.
Perhaps the most surprising effect is the negative impact this chronic condition can have on one's quality of life. Those with chronic atopic dermatitis live in fear of triggers and flare-ups, and suffer from embarrassment of the appearance of their skin or their constant desire to itch inflamed areas.
5.) No two eczema patients are the same
There are many options for treating eczema, including topical drugs, heavy-duty moisturizers, and immunotherapy. You can also try to avoid triggers in order to discourage flare-ups.
Unfortunately, there is not one cure-all for eczema. Since there are so many kinds of eczema, so many triggers, so many available treatment options, and so many who suffer from the condition, one treatment plan will not help everyone affected by eczema.
At Helendale, we want to meet with you to determine what treatment will be best to treat your eczema. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our dermatological doctors.
6.) Recognizing eczema and seeking treatment early is crucial
Sometimes, patients don't recognize their "rash" is actually eczema and sometimes they think that it isn't bad enough to require a doctor's visit. But catching eczema in it's earlier stages makes treatment more effective and quicker.
If you suspect you are developing eczema or are prone to eczema flare-ups, now is the time to seek treatment. During the month of October 2018, Helendale is offering 20% off eczema treatment products from the boutique. Shop now for eczema treatments.
Some studies show that these might make eczema worse -- especially for babies and children. Peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, fish, and eggs are the most common culprits. Because kids need a well-rounded diet, don't stop giving them foods you think might cause eczema flares. Talk to a pediatrician or dermatologist first.