Have you been noticing a nasty red rash on your arm lately? Is it itchy? If yes, then read on and find out if you have clinical symptoms of Eczema. Eczema is a common skin disease which is characterized by an inflammatory rash. It can be acute as well as chronic. Although Eczema is more common in the limbs, it can occur on any part of the body.
What is the Cause of Eczema?
Eczema is mainly caused due to genetic factors. Mutation of a gene called filaggrin in individuals helps the body in forming a protein which helps in maintaining a healthy and protective barrier on the dermal layer of skin. As the eczematic patients have a defective gene structure, the filaggrin production is reduced to a great amount. This leads to the breaching of the protective layer of skin. This is why moisture escapes from the pores of the skin. Hence, patients of Eczema are prone to a load of infections. Also, dry skin is one of the main clinical manifestations.
Eczema remains dormant for a long period of time in most patients. A sudden attack of eczematic inflammation is called an eczematic flare. Eczematic flares can be triggered due to a variety of factors. One should take extreme care in making sure that the symptoms of eczema are controlled in order to get relief from the inflammatory rash.
What triggers Eczema?
1. Dry Skin
Moisture is one of the most important things to prevent eczema. Eczema is elevated by the loss of moisture. As the skin barrier is disintegrated in a classic eczema patient, moisture is lost almost immediately. Dry skin eventually leads to an itchy and leather-like skin which causes an eczematic flare. Dry skin is usually caused due to excessive wind, cold temperatures, usage of harsh soaps and chemical products.
Moisturizers are important products which help in retaining moisture.
Moisturizers are divided into mainly 3 types – ointments, creams, and lotions.
- Ointments are the first line of treatment in eczema cases. The oil to water ratio in ointments is the highest. Hence, on the application of ointments, the burning sensation is minimal. Examples include petroleum jelly and mineral oil.
- Creams are less greasy than ointments. They have a lower oil to water ratio than ointments.
- Lotions are easily evaporating liquids. These liquids are specifically used when the affected skin has been scratched.
2. Chemical Irritants
Everyday products used in daily life can irritate the skin. Some irritants include
- Certain fabric materials such as wool, polystyrene, polyester.
- Tobacco released from cigarette smoking.
- Formaldehyde, which is usually found in common household disinfectants.
- A certain complex of betaine which is used in cosmetic industries to thicken lotions and shampoos usually cause an eczematic flare.
3. Alternating Climate
Eczematic flare can occur due to tight clothes worn during a humid night. Alternative weathers consisting of extremely humid or extremely dry air causes irritation of the skin. Also, during the winter weather, the skin gets too dry which causes attacks of eczema. You should shower regularly with hot water to open up the pores of your body. Coldwater closes the pores.
Eczema is definitely an annoying disease, but be rest assured it is not contagious. You know whom to blame if you get it! Genes! Keep Scratching.
Tags: eczema treatment, eczema causes, eczema symptoms, eczema types