Eczema is an inflammatory, non-contagious condition that affects the skin’s surface. The disease usually includes an acute phase (that is characterized by inflammation, erythema, edema and blistering), a sub-acute (with symptoms of inflammation, such as papules and vesicles) and a chronic phase (during which the thickness of the skin surface and stratum corneum are decreased, which leads to cracks). One symptom that is always present is the itching that causes the sufferer to scratch the blisters causing bleeding, which can lead to viral and bacterial infections.
The main types of the disease are the contact eczema, atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) and seborrheic eczema:
- Contact eczema is the most common type and is caused by a skin reaction to exogenous substances of various kinds (chemical or biological). Contact dermatitis causes the appearance of erythema, edema and blistering, with the subsequent formation of crusts. The initial lesions are located in the area of the skin that has been exposed to the substance, but can also spread to other areas. The substances that can cause this kind of disease are many: metals (cobalt, chromium, nickel), drugs (antibiotics, antihistamines), cosmetics (deodorants, nail polish, hair dyes), products used at home (soaps, detergents, etc…). Sometimes, there is a period of at least 6-10 days before the onset of symptoms.
- Atopic eczema is often related to a family history of allergic diseases. The causes of this disease are not known, but it may be triggered by substances breathed or ingested. There are probably several factors involved like genetic, immunological and environmental factors. It generally occurs during the first months of life, and is less frequent among adults.
- Seborrhoeic eczema is characterized by the appearance of large erythematous patches and mainly affects the scalp, face and chest. It is sometimes seen in people who suffer from dandruff. It may affect children, but is more common among adult males.
How to get rid of eczema:
- Avoid certain foods: some foods contain substances (like histamine and tyramine) that can make the situation worse: Strawberries, citrus fruits, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, avocado, melon, tomatoes, spinach, potato starch, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, eggs, fermented cheeses (parmesan, pecorino, cheddar, blue cheese), yogurt, brewer’s yeast, chocolate, sausages, canned foods, stock cubes, shellfish, seafood, preserved fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies).
- Always wear clothing made of cotton or linen and wash your laundry at 60 ° with a mild soap.
- At night, use cotton sheets, cotton pyjamas and light covers to avoid sweating.
- At home maintain a temperature of about 18-20 ° (too much heat can increase sweating, which irritates the skin and cause itching).
- Avoid the presence of dogs and cats in the house, if possible.
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