Eczema is a problematic skin condition that troubles many people, including men, women and children. What is eczema and what can we do about it?
I get more questions about eczema than any other skin condition. It’s tricky because doctors really don’t know for sure what causes it. And the causes of this skin condition can change from person to person, making it difficult to diagnose.
The word eczema comes from ancient Greek, meaning ‘break out.’ Many people use the term eczema to refer to different types of skin irritations. Today we are going to talk about Atopic Dermatitis, which is the most common form of eczema, and one that is often confused with an allergic reaction.
The physical appearance of eczema varies, based on the exact type of eczema one suffers from. However, there are some symptoms that seem to be consistent.
The latest research suggests that eczema is caused by a combination of different things.
Trying to pinpoint the unique cause of eczema can be like finding a needle in a haystack. People tend to have their own individual “trigger factors” that can affect their flare-ups. There are many different factors which include the environment in which we live, genetics/heredity, abnormal functioning of the immune system and even some lifestyle choices can lead skin to become more sensitive.
Children who live in an area that has high levels of pollution, or those who live in colder climates, are more susceptible to developing eczema.
First, get a professional opinion. Visit your doctor or dermatologist to determine if it is eczema that you are suffering from. Once you know for sure, one of the most important things you can do is to determine “trigger factor(s).” A trigger is not something that can cause its appearance, rather, it’s something that may lead to a flare-up or worsen a current flare-up. An eczema flare-up trigger might be easy to identify and avoid, such as spicy foods or alcohol.
Eczema triggers are unique to each individual, so don’t give up if yours aren’t easy to identify. You may wish to keep a food journal to help pinpoint food-related triggers. By keeping a food journal, you will be able to identify the cause of your eczema flare-ups so you can avoid them whenever possible.
Well known skin irritants tend to be the most common triggers.
Flare-ups can also be triggered by conditions that have a direct link to our immune system, such as:
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While eczema is an unfortunate and uncomfortable skin condition, we can do our very best to help alleviate the symptoms whenever possible. It may take a bit of time to identify just what is affecting you personally, but it can be done.