What is eczema?
Eczema is a very common skin condition characterized by itchy and inflamed patches on the skin. Moreover, it’s often affects babies and young children, appearing on the faces of infants. Before we dive into the home remedies for eczema, we will discuss the types of eczema. Besides that, we will also touch the types, symptoms and causes of eczema.
What are the types of eczema?
When people refer to eczema, they usually refer to atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is very common and occurs as red and itchy patches over the body. Moreover, it is a very common and the most chronic type of eczema. Other types include:
- Contact dermatitis: This occurs as a result of coming in contact with an irritant. The substance may cause irritation to the skin, leading to mild inflammation, redness, and rashes. Common culprits include soaps, cosmetics, jewelry, fragrances, etc. However, the inflammation reduces as soon as the irritant is no longer there.
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis: This is characterized by the appearance of tiny, fluid-filled blisters on the fingers and palms of both hands and feet. The cause is unknown, but it’s more common in women.
- Nummular dermatitis: With Nummular dermatitis, dry, coin-shaped rashes or sores appear on the skin. It’s more common in men and mostly appears on the leg.
What are the symptoms of eczema?
The main symptoms of eczema are dry, red, flaky, and irritated patches on the skin. Eczema can occur anywhere on the body, but the hotspots are areas around the arms, knees, inner elbows, scalps, and cheeks. Eczema is not contagious. Other symptoms of eczema include:
- Red or brownish patches on the skin
- Intense itching
- Small fluid-filled bumps
- Scaly, dry skin.
In addition, it is best to avoid scratching. Scratching causes further irritation and inflammation, which could then lead to infections.
What causes eczema?
The causes of eczema remain blurry and aren’t fully understood. Some researchers believe that it occurs as a result of the immune system’s overactive response when exposed to an irritant. It sometimes appears as a result of the immune system’s abnormal response to proteins that are part of the body. Normally, the immune system ignores bodily proteins and attacks foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria. However, in the case of eczema, the immune system is unable to differentiate between the two.
Home remedies for eczema
According to the National Eczema Association, the antibacterial properties of coconut oil can reduce the growth of staphylococcus bacteria, which helps prevent infections. This property of coconut oil is significant for those inflicted with eczema. The patches of dry, inflamed skin may crack and begin to ooze, allowing bacteria to enter. When going for coconut oil, select pure coconut oil, processed without any added chemicals.
Sunflower oil is obtained from the sunflower plant. Some research has shown that sunflowers can protect the skin’s outer layer by repelling bacteria from entering the skin and eliminating bacteria on the skin. Besides that, it can also hydrate the skin and can relieve inflammation and itching. It’s best to apply sunflower to the skin undiluted, preferably after bathing.
Witch hazel is gotten from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel shrub. It has astringent properties, which is why it works effectively against inflammation. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence to back up its efficacy against eczema, the remedy is believed to calm inflamed skin, dry up oozing areas, and relieve itching.
This is made from finely-ground oats. It helps to calm and soften inflamed skin. To use this, add the powder to lukewarm bathing water and soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. After doing this, you’ll feel more relieved from the itching and inflammation. You should then apply a moisturizing lotion to your body, preferably coconut oil.
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is gotten from the evening primrose plant. Currently, it’s used to soothe irritated skin. Evening primrose oil can be taken by mouth to treat systemic inflammatory conditions caused by eczema. Although study results on the efficacy of evening primrose oil against eczema are mixed, many people claim it reduces the effects of eczema with no side effects.
For someone who has eczema, you’d want to avoid anything that’ll irritate or dry your skin, as this may cause eczema to flare up. Some irritants might be in the form of:
- Dyed soap
- Perfumes body wash or soap
- Tight clothing and cloth material
- Animal dander
In addition, some food sources can also cause eczema in young children. Foods linked to eczema include:
Finally, a combination of self-care, self-awareness, and the home remedies for eczema listed above can go a long way in managing cases of eczema.