Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes blistering and rashes in patches along the skin’s surface. This condition affects roughly 334 million people worldwide and is more present among women than it is among men. Many people who have this condition struggle to find relief. Keep reading to learn about the causes of eczema as well as treatment options.
While most people contract eczema as young children, the majority of them outgrow this condition around the time they turn ten. For those who carry this ailment into adulthood, it tends to plague them with little relief throughout their lifetime. Knowing the causes of eczema can help patients better understand this disease and learn how to treat it.
The most common causes of eczema are as follows:
- Skin Defects
Allergic reactions caused by external irritants are one of the most prevalent reasons why eczema appears. Most doctors believe that patients with this condition have overactive immune systems that work too hard to counteract these irritants. Atopic dermatitis may increase when a person has been in contact with pet dander, extreme heat or cold, or even water and detergents.
It is believed that genetics play a role in eczema’s untimely presence. Genetic mutations in the immune system are believed to contribute to the cause of eczema. There is also believed to be a link between dermatitis and those who also suffer from celiac disease, a genetically predisposed autoimmune disease.
Defects in the skin’s moisture barrier can attribute to the arrival of the irritating rash. If the skin lets more moisture out than intended, there is an increased chance that it will also let germs in, which could, in turn, cause the immune system to work overtime. This often results in the blistering rash that causes itching and discomfort.
While there is no specific cure for eczema, outbreaks can be prevented by both self-treatment methods and prescription medications.
Here are the best known treatments for preventing or relieving eczema outbreaks:
- Avoid irritants
- Antihistamine and Antibiotics
- Ointments, Lotions and Creams
- Treatment Baths
Keeping a journal or other forms of documentation about when eczema appears and what lifestyle changes were made during that time can help to narrow down the irritants that cause outbreaks. Once a patient knows which factors double as irritants, they are more capable of avoiding them altogether.
Antihistamine and Antibiotics
Medical physicians will be able to help patients decide which treatment is right for them and provide prescriptions that can reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. This may include antihistamines to be used to relieve itching and irritation, or antibiotics that can treat any infections as well as open sores.
Ointments, Lotions and Creams
Since one factor of eczema is dry skin, soothing and healing lotions can be used to ease symptoms. If the use of lotions do not decrease the rash, over the counter or even prescription creams may be used to reduce the appearance of redness and irritation.
The most effective home remedies include the use of treatment baths, with the most popular being bleach and oatmeal. Bleach baths are used to kill any bacteria that may reside on the skin’s surface, while oatmeal baths are intended to help soothe the skin.
By increasing their education of the causes and symptoms of atopic dermatitis, sufferers are far more likely to be able to recognize, acknowledge, and treat the symptoms of eczema. Accepting the support of family members, friends, and fellow eczema sufferers is the best treatment that patients can find.