What is Eczema? Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a serious skin problem that can plague anyone from babies to matured adults. Eczema can last weeks or months depending on how soon the symptoms and causes of eczema is accurately diagnosed and treatment sought. Eczema usually occurs in people with a personal or family history of atopy such as allergic asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis or food allergies.
What are the symptoms of eczema? Most of the time, one of the first symptoms of eczema is your skin will itch before eczema starts to form. Typically, eczema shows itself as patches of itchy, dry, thickened skin on the hands, neck, face, and legs. However, eczema can also commonly occur elsewhere such as the inner creases of the knee and elbow joints. If scratched, the eczema may proceed to the stage wherein the sufferer develops a yellowish to light brown crust or pus-filled sores. This is an indication of infection.
What are the causes of Eczema? Some common triggers for eczema can be due to food, soap, detergent or the skin care products we use. Residual laundry detergent in clothes can also irritate the skin, so a second rinse cycle is recommended. Eczema can further be caused by allergic reaction to house dust mites, pet fur, pollen cows’ milk, eggs, nuts, soya or wheat. However, allergies are not always the cause of eczema. There are many other factors, including washing affected area too much and wearing rough clothing that rubs against the skin. If you live in a cold and dry climate or highly humid tropical climate like Singapore, the seasons and weather conditions can wreck havoc on sensitive skin and cause eczema flare ups as well.
One of the many ways and very important to consider to treat eczema is to eat healthy. Start eating fruits and vegetables. Your diet must contain foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts. You may also start taking supplements as you will not get all the needed nutrients from your daily diet. Supplements containing Vitamins A, D and E that help keeps skin hydrated and protect from free radicals. While avoiding processed foods, snacks containing no vital nutrients, milk and other dairy products produced from cows, nuts, soya and artificial sweeteners. Very important is to totally eliminate foods that you are allergic to. Keeping a journal must be practiced to list down foods that worsen eczema.