Truth be told, the exact cause of eczema and psoriasis have yet to be definitively established, but it is believed to be a difference in the way a person’s immune system reacts to things. Eczema is triggered by environmental allergens such as chemicals, certain foods, clothing, dust and changes in weather.
Symptoms may include:
- Moderate to severe itching skin
- A recurring rash (dry, red, patchy or cracked skin) which commonly it appears on the face, hands, neck, inner elbows, backs of the knees and ankles – though it can appear on any part of the body
- Skin that weeps a watery fluid
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
It’s estimated that more than six million Australians have suffered from eczema at some stage of their lives – and more than 90%of these people developed this condition before their fifth birthday.
ECZEMA OFTEN STARTS EARLY
More than half of all eczema cases present in the first 12 months of life, with another 20% of people developing eczema by age five. The majority of children do grow out of eczema as they get older, however some people will develop eczema in adulthood.
MANAGEMENT IS KEY
While there is no cure for eczema, managing symptoms and triggers makes a huge difference. Avoiding triggers and using topical, moisturising products free from ingredients such as fragrances and alcohol (such as our Premium Eczema Cream) regularly is recommended. The EAA also suggests:
Keeping fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin, and putting on cotton mitts or gloves at night
Avoiding rough, scratchy fibres and tight clothing – 100 percent cottons are a great choice for clothing and bedding
Sticking to lukewarm baths and showers, and gently patting skin dry with a soft towel and applying a moisturiser within three minutes after bathing to ‘lock in’ the moisture
Choosing hypoallergenic products and avoiding the use of perfumed products
Learning what your child’s eczema triggers are and avoiding them.
TRY ELIMINATING POSSIBLE TRIGGER FOODS
Research suggests that some foods may cause allergic reactions linked with eczema, These most commonly include dairy and wheat products, citrus fruits, eggs, nuts, seafood, chemical food additives, preservatives and colourings.
MANAGE ECZEMA EARLY TO HELP PREVENT ASTHMA
Eczema, hayfever and asthma are all inflammatory disorders of the tissues that separate the body from the outside world, and studies show 50-70 percent of children with severe eczema go on to develop childhood asthma. Managing eczema early could assist in preventing the development of asthma.
- Bath no more than once a day and keep water luke warm. Bath times should be less than 10 minutes because long, warm can baths dry out, irritate and tighten skin.
- Avoid using soaps. They are often not pH balanced and contain ingredients that strip natural oils from the skin and dehydrate (try our soap-free cleansing bar to cleanse without drying the skin).
- Once you have finished bathing, apply a lotion, creamor gel immediately to create a skin barrier that will protect the skin, moisturize and relieve itching.
- When clothing your bub, choose loose fitting cotton items.
It is important to try to keep your child’s skin moisturized regularly though-out the day (2 – 3 times) to avoid allowing the skin to dry out. Thicker lotions and creams are best to help break the itch-scratch cycle and lock in moisture.
- Eczema affects an estimated 6 million Australians.
- People living in dry, hot climates and cities appear to be more likely to develop eczema.
- Eczema occurs equally in both males and females.
- Eczema is likely related to conditions that adversely affect the skin’s barrier function (including genetic factors, nutrient deficiencies, bacterial infection, and dry, irritated skin).
- Stress and other emotional factors do not cause atopic dermatitis, but they can make the condition worse.
- Certain foods such as nuts and dairy can trigger the symptoms.
- Eczema can also be triggered by environmental factors such as smoke and pollen.
- Atopic dermatitis has strong connections with other atopic diseases, such as asthma and hayfever.
- Treatment focuses on healing damaged skin and alleviating the symptoms.
- There is no single test that can be used to diagnose eczema.
- For some eczema will disappear completely, but for others it remains a lifelong condition.