What can you do to lessen symptoms?
Itchy, red and dry. These three words best describes the rash that is known as eczema. It is a common problem in Utah. It can occur in infants, children, and adults. The cause of eczema is not completely understood, although hereditary factors and breakdown of the outermost skin layer (the epidermis) appear to be play a role. The epidermis is the first line of defense between the body and the environment. When the epidermis is intact, it keeps environmental irritants, allergens and microbes from entering the body. When there is a disruption of this barrier, then these factors can worsen eczema. In children, it is also frequently linked to food allergies. Identifying triggers and learning management techniques are vital to controlling the symptoms.
Eczema may be likened to a flame of fire that one is trying to extinguish with water, sand, or a fire extinguisher (eczema treatment). Those methods may be effective, but if there is a gas line (triggers for eczema) going directly to the flame, putting the fire out will only be marginally effective and likely temporary. The flame will relentlessly return. Once the gas lines are identified and shut off, the other treatment measures become much more effective and complete in extinguishing the fire (symptoms become more manageable).
Symptoms: The Flame
Intense itching of the dry skin, redness, small bumps and skin flaking are common. Scratching can cause additional skin inflammation, which can further worsen the itching. The itchiness may be more noticeable at nighttime. It is a vicious cycle.
The diagnosis is usually based upon a person’s medical history and physical examination. Factors that suggest eczema include long-standing and recurrent itching, a personal or family history of allergic conditions, and an early age when symptoms began. Other factors include worsened symptoms after exposure to certain triggers or any of the skin findings noted above.
Treatment: Fire Extinguishers
Identify and eliminate triggers: the gas lines