Eczema is a chronic skin condition that affects infants and children. This article provides information about effective home remedies and self-care measures that can help alleviate the symptoms of this skin condition.
The condition ‘eczema’ encompasses a wide range of persistent skin conditions such as atopic eczema, contact dermatitis, xerotic eczema, and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Other lesser known types include dyshidrosis, discoid eczema, venous eczema, dermatitis herpetiformis, neurodermatitis, and autoeczematization.
The common symptoms include redness, skin edema (swelling), itching, and dryness. Crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking of skin, and bleeding might also be observed in some cases. Though it commonly affects arms and area behind the knees, other parts of the body could also get affected. Although, the exact cause of this condition is not clear, it is believed to be genetic. The skin barrier defect or conditions affecting the immune system are also believed to be contributing factors.
The treatment aims at managing the symptoms of the condition, but the affected person’s age, overall health, and severity of the condition also influence the treatment.
Corticosteroids are usually recommended by the doctor to ease the symptoms. These drugs are available in the form of cream or ointment. These provide relief from itching and irritation caused by the condition. Apart from this, antibiotics, oral antihistamines, oral corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants might also be recommended for this skin condition. In some cases, light therapy may prove beneficial. However, this method also has its own share of side effects.
It is also important to keep the skin well moisturized. Coconut oil can be applied on legs, arms, back, and the other affected areas of the body to keep the skin soft and moisturized.
Symptoms of this skin condition can be aggravated, if the skin is exposed to hot and dry air. Hence, the use of a humidifier at home is advised to maintain adequate moisture levels. Also, the humidifier should be kept clean, as it may harbor infectious organisms.
Rough, tight, scratchy clothes, or clothes made of wool should be avoided. Wearing cool and smooth-textured clothing such as those made of cotton, helps reduce the symptoms.
Application of cool and wet compresses over the affected area helps in alleviating the itching and other uncomfortable symptoms. Avoid scratching over the skin, and apply an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion to the affected area. The affected area should be covered with a sterile bandage or dressing, and nails should be trimmed regularly.
Certain preventive measures could also keep the condition from getting worse. These include, avoiding exposure to sudden temperature changes and the use of mild soaps for bathing.
- A mix of camphor and sandalwood in equal proportions, when applied on the affected areas, proves beneficial.
- The leaves of neem tree can also be used. A paste of neem leaves and turmeric powder can be applied on the affected skin.
- Shea butter is a natural emollient (having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin), and its use has proved beneficial in some cases. It is extracted from the nut of shea tree and has the ability to penetrate the skin, thereby having a deep moisturizing effect.
- When it comes to treating skin problems at home, the use of aloe vera is advised. It has a deep skin moisturizing property, and it penetrates the skin rapidly, thereby reducing irritation and helping in skin renewal.
- Also, the application of the juice of spearmint leaves or a light mudpack on the affected area provides relief.
- The use of mashed papaya seeds prevents itching, and hazelnut reduces inflammation of the skin.
Following the aforementioned remedies will help provide relief. Make sure that you keep the skin moisturized, and follow all the other self-care measures reduce the risks.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.