Eczema can be identified as being an inflammation of the skin, usually characterised by itching, flakiness, redness, blistering and / or swelling. It can manifest in different areas of the body, depending on the type of rash. The exact causes of eczema are not known. However, it is mostly associated with changes in temperature, or a humid / not clean environment, as well as certain bacteria carried by dust particles.
Some of these skin conditions are mostly to be found in babies, such as, for example, nappy rash. Adolescents often suffer from certain skin conditions but these usually clear up once they go beyond the stage of hormonal growth. However, eczema can also be hereditary or a side effect of an allergy.
Doctors usually prescribe moisturising creams for light eczemas, as well as treatments consisting of anti-fungal creams. For more serious cases, oral treatments are often prescribed. If the cause is related to allergies, a change in diet is also recommended.
Allergic reactions can also be caused by substances which come into contact with a person’s skin, such as body lotions or soap. In these cases it is important to identify the source of the issue and stop its usage as quickly as possible.
A very common form of skin irritation and one which many people suffer from, is closely associated with dandruff. It is a type of eczema which produces a flakiness in the scalp. For this, a number of shampoos and specialised treatments are also available.
Eczema may spread to other parts of the body, or it may remain stable. It may transfer to another person by means of physical contact, as happens, for example, in the case of athlete’s foot (though this is not strictly speaking just an eczema), or remain particular to the carrier. Stress may cause the rash to worsen, as does contact with certain harsh fabrics or clothes.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Here are a number of tips which may help to prevent eczema:
- Bathe regularly.
- Keep out of dusty or humid environments.
- Prevent dry skin by using a good moisturiser at least twice a day.
- Make sure the skin products you use are right for your skin type.
- Use protective gloves when dealing with household chemicals or any kind of irritants.
- Avoid wearing itchy or scratchy clothing.
- Be aware of any food-related allergies which may trigger skin irritation.
- Try to control your levels of stress and take time to relax.