If you suffer from eczema, you know what exactly eczema is and how painful it is to live with it. If you had been trying all the things under the sun to get rid of eczema, let me share with you that you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from eczema and all of them are in the search of just an answer to this one question, how to treat eczema? Is it really possible to cure eczema completely? If yes, how and if no what is the remedy? The good news is that eczema is totally manageable and you can use home remedies for eczema to keep it in check. Before moving on to these natural remedies, let’s first try to get the answers for certain pertinent questions regarding eczema.
What is Eczema?
Dictionary says, eczema is that medical condition where patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters. This causes itching and bleeding. It can be mild, moderate or severe eczema where the itching may be so bad that you scratch your skin until it bleeds.
The medical term for eczema is Atopic Dermatitis.
The itchy, red rashes of eczema can appear anywhere on the body- elbows, behind the knees, scalp, chest, back, arms, legs, neck, wrists, ankles- practically almost anywhere. Baby eczema often occur on the face, particularly on the cheeks and chin.
What is the Cause of Eczema?
The real cause for eczema hasn’t been established yet. However, Atopic eczema runs in families and thus it can be said that it is a hereditary disease. In the medical world, the term ‘Atopic’ is used for such conditions that have genetic basis. So, it can be said that genetic make-up causes eczema. The skin of the people who have such genetic issue is not able to work as a proper barrier for the environmental irritants that enter the skin and cause dryness, inflammation and itching.
Some of the other causes of eczema include abnormal immune system, hostile environment, indulgence in such activities that make skin more sensitive, and the inability of the skin to hold moisture. These causes can be listed as follows:
- Defective immune system
- Environmental issues (triggers that flare up eczema)
- Activities that make skin sensitive
- Dryness of skin
- Skin not performing as optimum barrier for germs
Apart from causes, triggers of eczema are also important.
Triggers for Eczema flare ups
There are certain factors in the environment that may trigger eczema flare ups. It is important to note that these are not causes of eczema but their presence can lead to showing up of severe eczema symptoms like redness, dryness, skin patches, blisters, itching etc.
- Heat and dust
- Soaps, detergents, cleansers, etc.
- Cigarette smoke
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Allergic reaction to certain things such as pollen, pet dander, certain food or spices etc.
- Dry skin
Can Eczema be cured completely?
No, there is no cure for eczema but it can be managed to such a level that you feel as if your eczema has been cured.
How to Treat Eczema at Home?
It should have been, ‘how to manage eczema’ so that you feel you have treated your eczema completely. There are essentially 4 steps to manage or treat eczema at home:
- Proper bathing
- Moisturizing the skin effectively
- Using prescription treatments to keep away inflammation and infections OR using home remedies for eczema.
- Avoiding triggers to reduce eczema flare ups. From the soap, perfumes, and cosmetics to clothes that you wear and foods that you eat, everything should be friendly to your skin.
Bathing Tips for Eczema
Bathing is very important, not only for people with eczema but for everyone. Water hydrates the top layer of your skin. When you bathe, the water softens your skin so that the topical medications as well as moisturizers can be absorbed into it. Water also removes allergens and irritants as well as the crusted tissue. Bathing is relaxing and it reduces stress, which is sometimes a trigger for eczema.
- Take at least one bath or shower every day.
- Prefer taking bath instead of showers, as far as possible. Occasional showers are all right.
- Do not use hot water to bathe as it may trigger eczema. Use warm water or water at room temperature for bathing.
- Do not take long showers. Bathe for just 5-7 minutes. While bathing helps hydrate your skin, longer exposure to water makes it drier.
- Do not scrub your skin with wash cloth. If needed, use natural ingredients as scrub such as oatmeal.
- Always use a mild soap or a gentle cleanser. During the days when you have severe eczema, avoid using soap or cleansers
- After bathing, use your towel to pat dry your skin, never rub towel on your skin.
Just after bathing, within 3 minutes, moisturize your skin to lock in the moisture. This is essential for managing eczema. You can use natural moisturizing agents or choose one that is commercially available. Conduct a patch test before using any moisturizer so that nothing in it could flare up your eczema.