Spotting Eczema Symptoms
Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. It affects about 10% to 20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Regardless of the medical terms and the statistics, the reality is having eczema is a pain. The symptoms and severity of eczema are different for each person. The rash can be mild, moderate or severe. The most maddening symptom of Eczema is its intense itch. The itch can get so bad that you scratch yourself until you bleed, which makes the rash worse, which then causes more inflammation and itching. This is called the itch-scratch cycle and if you have ever experienced it, you know you will do anything to make it quit.
- Dry, sensitive skin
- Intense itching
- Red, inflamed skin
- Recurring rash
- Scaly areas on the skin
- Rough, leathery patches
- Oozing, crusting, scabbing
- Areas of swelling
- Dark colored patches of skin
There are many things that can set off a flare of eczema or make it worse. Some people may experience “flare-ups” of eczema in response to certain irritants, environmental toxins or physiological and/or emotionally charged situations. For some people just coming into contact with rough scratchy materials may cause them to start itching. For other folks suffering from eczema, feeling too hot or too cold, exposure to everyday household products like soap or detergent, or being around pet dander may cause an outbreak. Just having a cold may be a trigger. Stress often causes the condition to worsen.
Dodging Eczema Triggers
Irritants: Including cleaning supplies, soaps and detergents, shampoos, dish-washing liquids, bubble bath, disinfectants containing chlorine or bleach, air fresheners, dryer sheets
Allergens: Dust mites, Cat or Dog Dander, Pollens, Molds, Dandruff
Microbes: Bacteria, Viruses, Certain Fungi
Temperature Extremes: Hot weather, High or low humidity, Sweating
Foods: Peanuts, Nuts and seeds, Dairy, Soy and Wheat
Stress: Intense emotions, overwhelming schedules, job or home related stress, pressure (self-imposed or career)
Hormones: Hormone imbalances that are behind so many changes in your body can also contribute to skin conditions.
Obviously individuals with eczema can’t live in a bubble to avoid exposure to these possible triggers. You have to see what seems to be the trigger for your own skin sensitivities and act accordingly. However, reading labels and using products that are all natural and eating healthy real food will help tremendously.
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