Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is characterized by a chronic inflammation of skin. It causes the symptoms like skin rashes, dry skin conditions, redness and edema in the areas like inside of the elbow, behind the knees, on the side of neck and around the ears and eyes. In infants, eczema symptoms appear on cheeks, forehead, scalp, neck forearms and legs. Eczema mainly affects infants and young children. Major types of eczema are atopic dermatitis, contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, neurodermatitis, stasis dermatitis and dyshidrotic eczema.
Causes of Eczema
The exact causes of eczema are unknown. Defected skin barrier function along with weakened immune system is considered to cause eczema. Some types of eczema are triggered by the allergens like cosmetics, soap, detergents, jewelry or clothing. Extreme changes in temperature or humidity can cause outbreaks of eczema. Some of the common causes of eczema are heredity, environmental factors like allergens such as pollen, pet fur and house dust mites and food allergens like cow milk, nuts, eggs, wheat and soya. Some of the triggers that can worsen atopic eczema are hormonal changes in women during menstrual cycle or pregnancy, stress, vigorous exercise, irritants like harsh soaps and detergents, clothing like nylon and wool, dust and dry, cold weather.
Symptoms of Eczema
Eczema is a chronic disease causing the symptoms like skin rashes, dryness, edema, redness, itching, blistering and flaking. These symptoms persist for long time. During eczema flare-up, the symptoms may worsen such as sore, cracked, bleeding skin. Some of the common symptoms of eczema are broken, cracked skin, extremely dry skin, itching that generally worsens at night, scratching in the thickened skin areas, red and inflamed skin, formation of blisters and weep, brownish patches and small, raised bumps on some areas of the skin. Mental stress, hormonal changes, hard water and allergens like dust mites, pollen and pet fur can worsen the symptoms.
How to Treat Eczema Naturally
Self care is very important when dealing with eczema. You need to bring out certain modifications in your lifestyle to manage the symptoms of eczema.
– Since itchiness is the most common symptom of eczema, you should avoid scratching to prevent aggravation of the skin and minimize the risk of infection. To control scratching, apply a good quality moisturizer on the affected areas to keep the skin well-hydrated. Also avoid using scratchy material like wool. Instead, opt for natural fibers like cotton. Avoid skin contact with harsh, soap, solvents and detergents as they act as triggers to worsen the symptoms. Try to avoid extreme changes in temperature or humidity.
– It is very important what your diet includes, when treating eczema. Since there are certain foods that can trigger the symptoms of eczema, you need to identify and avoid them. Common food allergens are cow milk, nuts, eggs, soya and wheat; hence they should be excluded from your diet.
– Emotional stress is one of the major triggers for eczema. So try to reduce stress with certain meditation techniques.
– Control dust mites in your home. Keep the pillows and mattresses clean regularly. Stay away from the pet fur or feathers.
- Organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil can help to relive dryness and itching of the skin. Use of vitamin E oil is also beneficial.
- Prepare a strong chamomile tea by boiling fresh dried herbs in water for about 15 minutes. It can be taken once in a day to get rid of acute symptoms.
- Another effective home remedy is aloe vera gel. Mix aloe vera gel with vitamin E oil and apply over the affected areas, which can help to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized.
- Dissolve about 50 grams of ground horsetail herb in a liter of water and simmer it for about 10 minutes. Let it cool down and then filter. Add this solution to your bath water.
- Prepare a tea with marigold flower, calendula and five drops of lavender essential oil. Apply this mixture on the affected area twice daily to relieve inflammation and irritation.
- Apply a smooth paste of boiled carrots on the affected areas. Keep it for about 15 minutes and rinse with cool water.
- Virgin olive oil combined with aloe vera makes the best tonic for skin to keep it well-hydrated. It prevents dryness and itchiness of the skin and relieves the symptoms.
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The skin is a protective covering of our body as well as it is the first line defense mechanism. Also, the skin contributes a lot in your cosmetic appearance. A healthy skin is a sign of overall well-being. Therefore, when you suffer from any skin problem like eczema, you should immediately get good treatment. Going with natural remedies, get rid of eczema permanently and boast of your clear, beautiful skin.