Is There A Cure For Eczema?

Cure Eczema Immediately

Simply enter “cure for eczema” into any search engine and you will get more returns than you could view in a lifetime.  Many of these “hits” will take you to websites promoting lotions, potions and “all natural remedies”, promising to put an end to the misery of eczema sufferers.  For those experiencing the temporary form of eczema (yes, there is more than one type), these products may actually help “cure” the condition.  Temporary eczemas are short lived, developing when the skin is exposed to an irritant, and resolving as the exposure ends. But for 1 in 18 Americans who suffer with chronic eczemas, there is currently no cure.

The most common form of chronic eczema (atopic dermatitis) generally makes its first appearance in infancy or childhood.  It is this form that is widely referred to by the lone word “eczema”, as the terms are often used interchangeably.  This form of eczema is known for an intensely itchy, scaling rash that, as with the temporary form of eczema,   appears in response to an irritant.  Chemicals, rough surfaces, temperature extremes, humidity, certain foods and emotions bring on symptom outbreaks known as “flare-ups”.  And while we now know more about curbing these outbreaks, we still do not know why some people react so strongly to irritants while others do not.

Eczema to be cured

Doctors once thought eczema was a manifestation of mental illness.   While stress does contribute to flare-ups, psychiatric conditions do not cause the disease.  Recent research suggests that, in people with eczema, there is a malfunction of the immune system, affecting the outer layer of skin.  This outer layer of skin normally protects the layers beneath and prevents them from drying out.  In the eczema sufferer, however, “inflammation producing cells” in this outer layer overreact, releasing chemicals that result in the symptoms of a flare-up.  And though it does not directly point to a cure for eczema, there is great promise in the discovery that the disease is hereditary.  In families where allergies and asthma are prevalent, there is a high incidence of eczema.  Researchers continue to study this genetic link which may lead us closer to a cure for eczema.

Stop being irritated with Eczema

Although the symptoms of atopic dermatitis can be difficult and uncomfortable, the disease can be successfully managed.  Doctors work with sufferers to help them identify triggers and form a plan to avoid or limit them.  Daily skin care with creams and lotions help to retain moisture, prevent flare-ups, reduce itching and promote healing of affected areas. Oral medications help reduce inflammation and itching.  Daily adherence to a treatment plan allows people with eczema to lead healthy, productive lives until a cure for eczema can be found.

Can Eczema Be Treated Without Medication?

Treating Eczema

Use of eczema creams for prevention and treatment of symptoms is growing in popularity among patients with eczema.  The desire to become more informed and involved in our healthcare has led to patients with chronic conditions seeking out safer, more effective treatment options.  So it is with eczema sufferers.

Where physicians were once 100% in charge of diagnosing and treating the condition, we now see patients bringing their own ideas and options to the table.  Second opinions and conversations about statistics and risk vs. benefits have become common in exams rooms.  Where once the acceptable treatment for eczema consisted of prescription medications to treat flare ups, we now see patients (and parents of infants with eczema) looking for ways to not only treat the symptoms more safely, but to prevent flare ups from happening in the first place.

Treat Eczema Immediately

Research has supported the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to eczema management.  Just as an asthma sufferer strives to limit exposure to triggers that may cause a distressful and potentially serious attack, patients with eczema now work with their doctors to identify triggers to flare ups and develop a plan to prevent contact with them.  We are now learning the value of daily skin care in prevention of outbreaks.  Application of a non-prescription eczema cream after bathing locks in moisture and provides a barrier to triggers and bacteria.

When weighed against the side effects of corticosteroid ointments, (once the standard for treatment of flare ups) the value of daily skin care is obvious. Ongoing or repeated use of these medications can cause thinning of the skin, infections, stretch marks, and growth suppression in children.  Systemic (oral form) corticosteroids can cause weakening of the bones and has been associated with hypertension, elevated blood sugars, infections and cataracts.  More recent use of medications that lower the immune system have been known to cause high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, kidney failure, increased rate of infection and cancer.  Many times symptoms return once the drug is stopped.

Eczema Cream for Intense itching

Because of the dangerous side effects, use of corticosteroids and immune system altering drugs should be reserved for stubborn cases and used for a limited time. When weighing risks with benefits, eczema sufferers overwhelmingly prefer use of eczema cream as their treatment of choice.

Not only is daily skin care important to prevent flare ups, daily application of an eczema cream can help decrease intense itching, prevent skin damage and infection, and promote healing.   Other non-medication treatment methods include phototherapy (exposure to UV light) for patients over 12 years of age who have moderate symptoms.  Control of stress through imagery, relaxation techniques and participation in leisure activities can help prevent flare ups and reduce the severity. As hope for a cure continues, patients and physicians working together provide the best hope for keeping the patient safe and comfortable. Eczema must be treated properly.

Identifying Eczema Triggers

 

Are your products a cure for nummular eczema?

Are your products a cure for nummular eczema?

The cause of nummular eczema is not known, treatment is more directed at finding relief of the major symptoms of itching and burning. Treatment should be a regular application of products that keep the skin from becoming excessively dry. There are many prescribed medications that can help with treatment for nummular eczema. In severe cases the eczema is resistant to these forms of treatment.

Continue reading “Are your products a cure for nummular eczema?”

Will My Child Out Grow His Eczema?

Will My Child Out Grow His Eczema?
Child Eczema

When the most common type of chronic eczema first appears in infancy it is often referred to as baby or child eczema.

Of new cases of child eczema each year, 65% are diagnosed in babies less than one year of age.

It is this age group of child eczema suffers that are the most difficult to treat, and for which the risks are the most serious.

Like other diseases of childhood such as asthma and allergies, it is possible for infants to outgrow child eczema.

 

With child eczema, symptoms typically first begin at 2-4 months of age.  For reasons we’re not yet sure of, common items such as soaps, detergents, and rough clothing bring on an exaggerated reaction and distressful symptoms known as  a “flare up”.  Known for periods of symptoms, alternating with periods of remission, child eczema outbreaks most often begin with intense itching and a dry rash.

 

 

Without swift treatment, aggressive scratching leads to redness, swelling, and scaling of the affected areas, the skin becomes thickened and begins to crack.  The cracked skin then begins to weep, causing further inflammation and more itching.  This cycle is an endless one, and the broken, moist skin soon becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.  Breakouts may be widespread, affecting large areas of the body or smaller areas of the face, hands, feet, bends of the arms, and backs of the knees.  It is often the crankiness of the infant, along with the cracked, oozing skin that sends parents to the pediatrician for answers.

Child Eczema could be outgrown?

For some infants with child eczema, the condition continues into adulthood.  According to the National Institute of Health, 60% of children diagnosed with child eczema will struggle with flare ups throughout life.  The child eczema disease sometimes disappears with age, though the patient may always have drier, more sensitive skin.  The child who continues to exhibit the symptoms of child eczema have a higher incidence of allergies and hay fever. Some children experience a period of symptom free years, only to have a relapse in teenage years when stress levels are high and hormones are in full gear. The symptoms often reappear in response to a new makeup or skin care cream.

Child Eczema Symptoms

Although the symptoms of child eczema can be difficult and uncomfortable, the disease can be successfully managed.  Doctors work with parents to help them identify triggers and form a plan to avoid or limit them.  Daily skin care with creams or ointments specifically formulated for treatment of child eczema help to retain moisture, prevent flare ups, reduce itching and promote healing of affected areas. Oral medications can help reduce inflammation and persistent itching. Adherence to a treatment plan allows babies to live, grow, and develop normally. Hence child eczema must not be taken for granted.

Should I Care For My Skin Differently In Summer Than In Winter If I have Eczema?

Should I Care For My Skin Differently
In Summer Than In Winter
If I have Eczema?

No one knows what causes an eczema rash.  Known for periods of distressful symptoms (called “flare ups”) alternating with periods of remission, eczema almost always begins as a dry skin rash with intense itching.  Breakouts may be widespread, covering large areas of the body, or may be limited to small areas such as the face, hands, feet, bends of the arms, and backs of the knees.  When a long-time eczema sufferer is asked the question “what is eczema?” he or she will usually respond with strong references to the most distressful of all symptoms: agonizing itching.  Without proper treatment this itching is often so severe that the eczema sufferer is helpless to avoid scratching.

Eczema looks like:

Scratching leads to redness, swelling, and scaling of the affected areas, the skin becomes thickened and begins to crack.  The cracked skin then begins to weep, causing further inflammation and more itching.  This cycle is an endless one, and the broken, moist skin soon becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Eczema treatment

While we do not yet have a cure, we have made great progress in the world of eczema treatment.  We have discovered that the skin of the eczema sufferer overreacts to certain substance.  These “triggers” vary person to person, but some irritants such as temperature and moisture extremes are common.  By reducing exposure to triggers, outbreaks of the eczema rash can be controlled, and complications avoided.

One of the most important components of eczema treatment is diligent daily skin care.  Keeping the skin moist to prevent cracking becomes more difficult in winter when the air inside and out is much drier.  Alcohol free creams and ointments should be applied not only after bathing, but several times during the day.  Drier air indoors caused from forced air heating should be humidified to further prevent drying out of the skin, and gloves should be worn outdoors to prevent exposure of the hands to cold, dry air.  Particular attention should be paid to fabrics that may cause flare ups.  Wool and other rough fabrics should be avoided.   Because dry air increases static cling, there is a higher tendency to use fabric softeners in winter.  This introduces an additional potential irritant for some.
In summer, the major threat to the eczema sufferer is overheating and sweating.  Whereas the treatment plan for winter skin care calls for increasing moisture to prevent an outbreak of the eczema rash, the goal for summertime skin care is preventing constant moisture.  Skin care should be adapted in summer when humidity and temperatures are high.  Newer fabrics that wick away moisture can be helpful, as well as focusing on use of breathable cotton.  Daily skin care with creams or ointments specially designed for the eczema sufferer should continue in summer months.  This helps lock moisture into the rash and restore the protective barrier that is lost when inflammation occurs. Eczema must not be taken for granted.

What Risks Are Associated With Eczema?

Risks Associated with Eczema

“Baby eczema” is a term sometimes used to describe the most common chronic type of eczema when it appears first in infancy.  Of new cases of eczema, 65% are diagnosed in babies less than one year of age. It is this age group of eczema suffers that are the most difficult to treat, and for which the risks are the most serious.

Though there are many different forms of eczema, the term is commonly used in reference to the most common chronic form: atopic dermatitis.  Known for periods of distressful symptoms (called “flare ups”) alternating with periods of remission, this form of eczema begins in response to an irritant.  With baby eczema, symptoms typically first begin at 2-4 months of age.  For reasons we’re not yet sure of, common items such as soaps, detergents, and rough clothing bring on an exaggerated reaction in these infants, leading to a scaly, intensely itchy rash.  Breakouts may be widespread, affecting large areas of the body or smaller areas on the face, hands, feet, bends of the arms, and backs of the knees.  It is often the crankiness of the infant, along with the cracked, oozing skin that sends parents to the pediatrician for answers.

Risks to Eczema

The highest risk to eczema suffers of all ages is the risk of infection.  The itching caused by eczema is extreme, and it is particularly challenging to prevent an infant from scratching.  Continuous scratching can break the skin’s surface and provide a portal of entry for germs.  Moisture from drool and wet diapers provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, and the result may be a serious skin infection.  Left untreated, the infection can cause skin damage or a potentially life threatening blood infection (sepsis).

It can be difficult to prevent flare ups and control distressful symptoms, particularly in babies who cannot voice discomfort.  Strategies such as limiting exposure to extremes in temperature, reducing bathing to every 2-3 days, and identifying and controlling exposure to triggers can help control outbreaks.  Irritation can be reduced by washing the infants clothing and bedding in a mild detergent and by double rinsing.  Covering the infants hands can prevent scratching, and daily applications of a non-irritating lotion, cream or ointment can reduce itching and prevent cracking.  Frequent washing of the hands of both infant and caregiver can help prevent infection.

Eczema Medications needed

In some cases, medications may be recommended or prescribed to help reduce inflammation, and to provide relief from itching and scratching.   As with all medication, “over the counter” and prescription medications for eczema require special precautions when administered to infants.   Many infants will outgrow baby eczema.  Some do not.  A qualified pediatrician or dermatologist can help parents in forming a treatment for eczema plan to reduce risks and promote comfort.