The most common known Eczema is Atopic Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis. Atopic Eczema mainly affects children, but it can also affect adults too. Eczema is an unpleasant condition that causes the skin to become dry, red, itchy, flaky and cracked. Eczema is a long term condition in most people, ie. if you have suffered with Eczema as a child the likelihood of developing Eczema later in life is extremely high. Although, Eczema can improve over time, especially in children, but this may be due to learning in how to manage a particular skin condition, rather than curing it, ie. learning how to avoid well known triggers etc. Then the Eczema simply fades away, and stays away if you are lucky!
Atopic eczema affects any part of the body, but the most common areas to be affected by Eczema are typically the creases in the body, eg, the back of the knees, inside the elbows, underarm areas and the groin. Other parts may also be affected, especially more so if clothing rubs against a very dry skin area, this in turn adds to the itchy sensation. Unfortunately, once you are in a cycle of an Eczema flare up it can be very upsetting, especially if it is affecting a baby or child, the parents may feel helpless, and unable to provide comfort for their child. Then, as quickly as it started, it can disappear just as fast too!
What are the causes of Atopic Eczema? The cause of Atopic Eczema is unknown, but it is obvious that it isn't one thing in particular that causes Eczema. However, it is now known that Eczema can run alongside other allergy conditions, eg. Hay Fever and Asthma. Eczema can also run in families, so if one parent suffered with Eczema, then the likelihood of passing it on to their children is high. Other well known triggers are harsh wash soaps/detergents, perfumes, stress and the weather. Winter can be especially challenging as the cold can leach precious moisture from the skin, leading to further dry skin conditions.
There is no cure for Atopic Eczema, but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and many of those with Eczema improve over time. However, severe Eczema often has a chaotic impact on daily life and may be difficult to cope with physically and mentally. This is especially more so when our skin conditions interfere with everyday life, going to work, looking after our children, etc. Eczema can also lead to increased risks of skin infections. Using Organic and Natural moistuisers [emollients] on a daily basis for dry skin will help reduce the spread of Eczema.
If you have been diagnosed with Eczema, Topical corticosteroids will be prescribed by your Doctor. Steroids are used to reduce swelling, redness and itching during Eczema flare-ups. But their long term use is not ideal, as the steroids themselves actually thin the skin.
Who is affected by Eczema? The statistics today are that one in five children in the UK has Atopic Eczema. Eczema is usually experienced by a child before they reach 5 years of age. Many children develop Eczema before their 1st Birthday – this is fairly typical, as the baby’s skin does not have a fully formed protective Acid Mantle yet, so the skin can be upset by almost anything!
Atopic Eczema can improve significantly, or even disappear completely in some children as they get older.
Other types of eczema include: Varicose Eczema, Seborrhoeic Eczema, Dyshidrotic Eczema & Discoid Eczema.
If your Eczema symptoms persist, you must consult with your Doctor.
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