Here are the top interesting facts about eczema:
#1 Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry, red, and cracked. The most frequent type is atopic eczema. In this type, there is a typical pattern of skin inflammation that causes the symptoms.
#2 The word “atopic” describes conditions that occur when someone is overly sensitive to allergens in the environment. These allergens include molds, pollens, animal dander, dust, and some foods (especially dairy products). Approximately 20 percent of children develop atopic dermatitis, usually by age 5.
#3 Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects an estimated 30 percent of people in the United States and happens equally in females and males. In the US, about 31.6 million have this condition. In the United Kingdom, there is an estimation that up to 15 million people could be living with it.
#4 In Australia, about 1 in 3 infants suffer from this condition, and almost 15% of the population. In the EU, it affects up to 25 percent of the population.
- skin dryness;
- lesions which may become infected by viruses or pathogenic bacteria;
- watery fluid weeping from affected skin;
- red and scaly areas on the back of the knees and the elbows.
#6 In children and babies, this condition is seen in differing different places on the body and severity. Also, about 50% of people with AD develop other allergic symptoms within their first year of the diagnosis.
#7 The precise cause of this skin condition is unknown, however, it is clear that it is not down to one single thing, plus, it cannot be passed from one person to another. Factors that may cause this skin condition include:
- low immune function (due to autoimmune disorders, drugs, nutrient deficiencies, untreated infections, or poor gut bacteria) leads to inflammation in response to things like bacteria and yeasts which live on the skin;
- sensitivity to certain foods, especially eggs, dairy products, or food additives (compounds used to enhance the flavor of food as well as to prolong its shelf life);
- in babies, being formula-fed may raise the risk for this condition;
- emotional stress – it can make it worse;
- temperature changes;
- inhaling allergens;
- sitting directly on grass;
- playing in the sand;
- swimming in chlorinated swimming pools.
#8 Contact dermatitis is caused by skin contact with cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, jewelry, deodorants, medicines, fragrances, and plants. Also, photocontact dermatitis occurs when certain chemicals are applied to the skin and results in irritation.
#9 Seborrheic dermatitis is the most frequent of all rashes in adults. The rash appears on the forehead, scalp, ears, middle of the chest, brows, the folds which extend from the nose to the lips, and middle of the back.
#10 If this skin condition is suspected, the healthcare professional asks the patient about her or his family and personal history. Then, he will perform an examination of the entire skin. In addition, environmental allergy tests may be conducted.
#11 Depending on the severity and age, treatment may include topical prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, immunosuppressants, phototherapy, and biologic drugs. For babies, oral antihistamines are occasionally prescribed, especially if the condition is disturbing their sleep.
#12 Tea Tree Essential Oil – it contains antiseptic characteristics which help to soothe the itch and heal the skin. Also, its potent anti-inflammatory attributes reduce inflammation. Moreover, this essential oil can be used to treat minor abrasions and cuts by killing S. aureus bacteria which can cause infection in open wounds.
#13 Spend time outside – adding 20 minutes per day of sun exposure can provide relief and potentially speed healing. Also, phototherapy helps to reduce itching, calms inflammation, helps fight bacteria on the skin, and increases vitamin D (also referred as sunshine vitamin) production, according to the NEA.
#14 Horsetail (botanical name – Equisetum arvense) is an amazing medicinal herb when it comes to skin problems as it offers potent anti-inflammatory attributes which can ease the itching and pain of the rash. In addition, horsetail is used to stop bleeding as well as to treat kidney problems and tuberculosis.
#15 Reduce your stress levels – although it is not known exactly why stress plays a role in developing inflammation, relaxation methods may help reduce the symptoms of this skin condition. These methods include:
- music therapy;
- tai chi;
- pranic healing;
- reciting mantras;
- deep breathing exercises;
- cognitive behavioral therapy.
#16 Use a humidifier – dry air in your home can considerably exacerbate many skin conditions, including AD, causing the skin to become flaky and dehydrated. Also, humidifiers can ease some of the symptoms caused by the common cold or flu.
#17 Chamomile – it is a calming medicinal herb. It is best consumed as a tea, before going to bed. Also, after steeping the tea, the moist tea bag can be applied topically to patches of eczema. Moreover, Commission E has approved the use of chamomile on the skin to fight bacteria and reduce swelling.
#18 Probiotics – the good bacteria in the gut help us to digest food correctly, detoxify harmful compounds, strengthen our immune system, and even produce nutrients and vitamins. Digestive diseases can lead to mental health disorders, weakened immune systems, and neurological diseases. More importantly, probiotics reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, as per a 2016 study.
#19 Colloidal oatmeal – it is made from finely-ground oats. When combined with water, essential oils, or other liquids, it disperses evenly, which allows it to be absorbed much more easily by the skin. Colloidal oatmeal helps soften and calm inflamed skin.
#20 Coconut Oil – it can be a remarkable moisturizer, but it also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. To use it, simply apply two tablespoons daily, particularly on the affected area.
#21 Foods high in magnesium – magnesium supports histamine regulation, which may be helpful in skin conditions since histamine plays an active role in an inflammatory response.
Magnesium is also called the ”anti-stress” mineral, which may also be helpful if you are under a lot of stress. Foods rich in magnesium include – lima beans, rice bran, mung beans, spirulina, flax seeds, chia seeds, peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, quinoa, pine nuts, or oat bran.
Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty
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References https://www.niaid.nih.gov/clinical-trials/eczema-atopic-dermatitis-studies https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/3076/study-reveals-major-shift-in https://www.nationaljewish.org/clinical-trials/atopic-dermatitis-(eczema)-study https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mount-sinai-health-system/eczema-studies-for