Defining Eczema: What it is and How to Treat it

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a condition of the skin which can be triggered by anything that the person touches, or vice-versa. It is skin reaction to an unidentified object that may cause extreme itchiness on the site. Treatment has to be the identification of the source to be able to prescribe the necessary medications. 

Eczema appears anywhere in the body. It gives a feeling of insatiable itchiness, and the only recourse is to scratch. When that happens, the condition might worsen, since the scratching may cause wounds to occur. The skin surfaces may appear cracked, crusted, with blisters, reddened, dry or patchy. 

This condition is an excessive reaction of the immune system of the body. A simple allergen can produce a full-blown response to get rid of it. This overreaction manifests as a very uncomfortable rash and irritation of the nearby skin due to the severe scratching. The skin will become inflamed. 

To prevent episodes of overreactions, you must take care of your immune system. Consult with your dermatologist as to what is the best way to control eczema, as well as prescribe medicines to control them. 

You can strengthen and help to boost your immune system by using the following supplements and foods: 

  • Take a general mineral and mineral product, for supplementation. 
  • Buy EFA’s at a local health food store and take at least 2 tablespoons of essential fatty acids a day, by either EFA oil or fish oil tablets. If you suffer from highly troublesome eczema, you can double the amount to 4 tablespoons. 
  • Try a dietary supplement such as a glyconutrient or beta glucan. 
  • Try to take plenty of vitamin B. Liquid vitamin B is always recommended to assure complete absorption. The liquid B is not digested by the stomach. It is absorbed by the mucous membranes of the mouth. This is very important when you skin is highly stressed. 
  • It often helps to drink green teas, twice a day. The reason for green tea is that often eczema reactions are acidic. 
  • Get into the habit of drinking green or black tea two to three times a day. This contains antioxidants and can soothe the nerves. 

Be sure to wear a sun block in the morning every day. Sun blocks contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Ingredients such as avobenzone, can trigger new flareups. These are often used in chemical sunscreens and should be avoided. 

Use topical ointments and moisturizers that contain essential fatty acids. Some of the ingredients that have EFA’s are triglycerides, coconut oil, oleic acid, linoleic acid, borage oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil and primrose oil. There are others not mentioned here. 

Secrets of Caring for Eczema

Things to Do; Things to Avoid

Avoid perfumes, colorings and preservatives

Take care in what products you apply to your child’s skin. Your child’s skin is sensitive and needs to protected from harmful additives that may cause irritation. Generally speaking products containing perfumes, colorings and preservatives will be more likely to irritate the skin and trigger an eczema flare up.

Avoid soaps

Normal soaps are very drying and damaging to sensitive skin. A young child who has no signs of actual dirt on their skin will often only need to be washed with water. However if a cleaner is required choose a non-soap product that has been designed for sensitive skin.

Talk to your child

Having eczema can often make a child feel outcast from other children, especially as they get older. Talking to your child, explaining their condition to them and encouraging them to take an active part in the care of their skin will often help them to cope with their eczema and feel more comfortable being around other children.

When your child starts school it is also advisable to discuss the condition with your child’s teacher. Chances are the teacher will already be familiar with eczema and will be only too happy to help with your child’s care at school and to discuss the condition with the other children.

Diet

Eczema is often triggered by different foods. When introducing new foods to young children it is always advisable to go slowly and monitor the skin as you go to ensure that a new food introduced to the diet does not trigger the eczema.

When older a food diary is often helpful to identify foods that are already in the diet that may be causing a problem. A food that triggers eczema in a young child will not always be a problem forever. It is worth trying the food again several months later to see if the sensitivity is still present.

Supplements

Sometimes it is necessary to add supplements to your child’s diet to help control their symptoms. The most common supplement to be used is an omega 3 supplement that will help to reduce the inflammation as well as the itching and redness.

Treatment Options for Childhood Eczema

It’s all Trial-and-Error

First and foremost when treating a child with eczema you should moisturise the skin. Children with eczema always have very dry skin and applying a moisturizer daily or more often will help to control the symptoms and reduce the risk of the skin becoming cracked and an infection developing.

Add bath oil to the bath

The skin can be moisturized by adding a bath oil to the bath water or applying a moisturizing emollient directly to the skin immediately after bathing and during the day.

In conjunction with moisturizers a specially formulated cream designed to control the symptoms of eczema should be used. There are many such creams available ranging from the traditional steroid creams to the new prescription non-steroid creams and the natural creams.

Most natural creams can be bought over the counter and used for as long as the eczema is present. Unlike the steroid and prescription non-steroid creams, which are designed for short-term use only.

Take the Time to Experiment

Due to the individual nature of child eczema creams to treat the condition will have a varying effect on each individual. What works well for one person may be of no benefit to another. This means several creams may need to be tried before a suitable one is found for a particular individual.

The only way to completely control a child’s eczema symptoms is to identify and remove all triggers. Unfortunately, this is not always possible however identifying and removing as many triggers as possible will significantly reduce the symptoms and make the overall condition easier to control.