Eczema...what, why and the what next


Eczema...and why is my skin betraying me? The itching, the blisters, the rashes, restless nights...AND THE ITCHING!!! Aaaarrrrggghhh! What is going on?! Well first, let's understand EXACTLY what eczema is and then we'll see what we can do about it.

Eczema is produced by at least 11 types of skin conditions.


Derm-at-itis= Derm (Skin) /At (Of)/ It is (Inflammation)

  • Atopic dermatitis- Genetic. Tends to begin early in life and most likely does not have an allergy basis. Rashes occur on the cheeks, neck, elbow, knee creases and ankles.

  • Irritant dermatitis- This happens when skin is repeatedly exposed to washing too frequently or aggressively and/or toxic substances.

  • Allergic contact dermatitis- If you continue to expose your skin or body to a known allergen, your body's immune system kicks up to tries to push out the bad stuff...resulting in dermatitis.

  • Stasis dermatitis- Usually affects a person's lower legs who suffer from poor circulation in the veins.

  • Fungal infections- Can disguise itself as other forms of eczema but the fungus is visible under a microscope after a doctor examines a sample.

  • Scabies- Human mites cause this one (Eek!) and the rash can be similar to other forms of eczema.

  • Pompholyx-An itchy rash that affects the hands and feet. Tiny little blisters occur on the sides of fingers, toes, palms and/or soles.

  • Lichen simplex chronicus- Thickened plaques of skin commonly found on the shins or neck.

  • Nummular eczema- Coin-shaped plaques of skin usually on the lower legs of older people.

  • Xerotic eczema- Skin cracks and oozes if it gets too dry.

  • Seborrheic dermatitis- You can get a rash on the scalp, face. ears and chest(usually found in infants).

So, in essence...it is a dry, itchy rash that is super annoying. It can be cause by genetics, allergens or environmental intruders. Now that we know WHAT it is...WHAT do we do?

So in studying skin, we know that it needs to maintain a particular PH for the system to work properly. If we put something in our bodies that it wants to purge because of whatever reason...it will push it out in every way it knows how. So, first we should look at what we are eating and drinking. What are some of the top things that people are allergic to? Then, start eliminating these things and record the results. Cow's milk is a common irritant. Try substituting cow's milk for a week and see if that helps. Cut down on sugars. Caffeine. Replace with water. Certain nuts and berries may be an issue for you. Everyone is different but a simple substitution may help alleviate some itchy symptoms.

Next, what kind of detergent are you using? Try using fragrance free for awhile. Also, super important tip is to make sure ALL the detergent is washed out before throwing in the dryer. Lotions, body washes, etc. Same thing. Try using things that do not have fragrance in them for awhile. Organic or essential oils can be irritating too so don't just run to the store and buy a more expensive brand to just end up with the same issue. You want to find hypoallergenic options and give them a real trial. Like a month...not all answers are immediate.

NO SCRATCHING!

I can't stress enough how important it is to WASH correctly. You don't need to use a lot of detergent and make sure you rinse it well. Also wash your bedsheets and pillows every week. When you sleep, your body is repairing and restoring. Please allow it a clean workspace. Back to that PH thing. Use a good lotion that will keep you moisturized without clogging your pores aka non-comedogenic. Don't scrub to death. You'll actually be making matters worse. You may think your skin is rough because of the texture but in all reality, it's actually extremely sensitive and needs some more TLC. DRINK YOUR WATER. Plain water. Increase your intake. You need to moisturize from the inside and out. Lastly, don't be scared to visit your dermatologist. If all else fails, a visit to a healthcare professional won't be the end of the world. It may actually be exactly what you need. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of nature...AND SCIENCE. I know doctors get a bad wrap...but give 'em a chance. There are a lot of really good ones out there that can help get things under control when you have reached your wits end. Btw, I suggest getting a doctor's diagnosis anyway just to confirm your suspicions because certain forms of eczemas like scabies and fungal infections, need medicinal intervention sooner than later.

Okay my sweethearts. Until next time. Adieu.

XOXO


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