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- Skin Diseases & Conditions
What is Eczema?
You might ask what is eczema. It is a chronic skin disorder that involves inflamed, scaly and itchy rashes. It looks different on every individual, but it’s usually recognized by its redness, dryness and the itchy patches on the skin. For some, there might be darker patches on their skin, which is due to itching too much at that particular spot.
Eczema can occur in almost everyone, children and adults. In children, it’s usually common around their scalp areas, neck, hands, legs, cheeks, elbows, behind the knees, etc. My daughter has eczema too. And she has most of the symptoms mentioned here. There is no exact cure for eczema but it’s not known to be contagious.
- Family---Eczema can run in the family. If someone in the family has had it before, then the child or grandchild might have it. In my case, my sister has eczema and my husband also has dry and sensitive skin.
- Allergies---It can deteriorate more in those with asthma or any allergies of any kind like food or animal or dust allergies. The skin is usually very sensitive and dry. It seems that peanuts and eggs are some foods that children are allergic to.
- Temperature---Temperature plays a part as well. Hot and humid weather can make the skin sweaty and thus aggravate eczema. If the weather is too cold though, it might cause the skin to be too dry as well. My daughter's eczema tends to flare up when it's too hot but I noticed that she didn't itch as much during the cold weather when I was on holiday.
- Dust---Dust in carpets, dust mites and even dust on beds might affect those with eczema. It tends to cause children to itch.
For my daughter, it seems that it’s mostly due to the hot weather here, the dust and her sensitive skin. It can be very hard caring for her. I have to use different shampoos, shower baths , give her so much anti-itch medicine.
How to Minimise
We can ensure that the carpets, beds, quilts are cleaned and dried so as not to accumulate dust. It’s good to moisturize the skin often as the skin tends to be too dry and scaly. When that happens, our children and even we tend to itch more often, thus making it worse. It helps to take notice of which foods or materials cause allergies and to stay away from them and harsh solvents as well. If it’s too itchy, we can apply cold compressors. This reduces our urge to itch. It’s also said that if it’s salt water, it’s even better but I was told by the doctor that the concentration must be just right and not too much or little. Too much would be concentrated and it might at times infect the wound and too little is the same as basically not adding any salt as well. Some ointments, steroids are also given if the area affected is quite bad but they might cause the skin to thin so the cream should not be applied too frequently at the same area.
My daughter is much better than before now. She still itches and there are dark patches on her skin due to itching too much, but now, I know better how to prevent as well and although she still itches and it fluctuates, I know that it’s common and I don’t have to worry too much and just keep doing what I am doing. That is to moisturize her body when it becomes dry and apply cold compress when she itches too much, especially at night. It might take long for her to recover or she can recover fast, it all depends on the skin and individual so don’t worry too much. And also, this is said by the doctor. This works not only for the children but us adults as well.