What is it?
Eczema (sometimes called atopic dermatitis or allergic eczema) is a common skin condition that mainly affects infants, but can also affect older children and adults.
Eczema causes redness, itching, and skin thickening. Many people with eczema also suffer from other allergic conditions such as hay fever, asthma, or food allergies.
What are the symptoms?
Eczema signs and symptoms vary widely from person to person and include: * Dry skin * Itching, which may be severe, especially at night * Red to brownish-gray patches, especially on the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, inside the bend of the elbows and knees, and in infants, the face and scalp * Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched * Thickened, cracked, scaly skin * Raw, sensitive, swollen skin from scratching Eczema most often begins before age 5 and may persist into adolescence and adulthood. For some people, it flares periodically and then clears up for a time, even for several years.
- Non-medicated skin relaxants like petroleum jelly can be applied to soothe the itching and irritation. Applying them immediately after bathing on softly dried skin for better effect.
- Drink plenty of water. This will keep skin hydrated and help to combat the disease better.
- Go for Yoga/ Pranayama. The exercises help to relax the mind, improve circulation and enhance immunity.
- Do not scratch especially with long nails. It may lead to secondary infection.
- Avoid foods you are allergic to.
- Avoid nickel plated jewelry, cosmetics, and other articles that give you skin complaints.
- Avoid dairy products, sugar, white flour, fried foods and processed foods.
- Avoid the excess fat from meat- buy lean and preferably organic.
- Avoid sugar, gluten (wheat, barley, rye and oats) and raw eggs.
- Avoid soft drinks and oranges (if allergic to oranges).Avoid eggs, fish, peanuts and soy.
- Do not use your bath soap excessively. Soap tends to dry the skin and can aggravate eczema.
Things to watch out for
GP should be contacted if the irritation is persistent, recurrent or severe. Your GP may refer you to a dermatologist for further tests.