How to Get Rid of Eczema
What It Is Eczema
Eczema is a common skin condition where the skin becomes reddish, itchy, irritated and inflamed. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and can show up anywhere in the body. Eczema affects adults, children and infants so even if you never had one as a child, you could still have eczema as an adult. Some children and infants affected by eczema eventually outgrow them later on in their lives while others won’t and will continue to suffer its effects as long as they live. There is no cure for eczema but it can be controlled with proper eczema diet, care and treatment.
Eczema could appear in any part of your skin. It can appear in small areas or it can show up all over the body. For infants they appear mostly on the face. The cheeks and chin are the most common affected areas for babies. Adults and children get affected mostly in the neck, ankles, wrists and other areas that bend.
What Causes Eczema
There is no definite cause as to where people get eczema from. In fact, the actual cause of eczema could not be pinpointed exactly until now. What doctors do know about eczema is that these are the reactions of the body’s immune system to irritants and external factors that the body thinks is harmful.
Harsh soaps and detergents, industrial cleaning products, dusts and allergens are some of the irritants that could cause eczema to appear on the skin. Extreme temperatures can also trigger eczema in some individuals. Stress also contributes to worsening this skin condition. Germs that get inside breaks in the skin surface can also cause eczema in some people.
Eczema manifests itself on the skin as red, itchy rashes and tiny bumps that could sometime ooze clear liquid when ruptured. If you or any family member has or had asthma or allergies in the past, you are also more likely to get eczema. Like asthma and allergies, this skin condition is not contagious so it is safe to touch others even if you have eczema. These rashes clear up eventually for some while others need medication to stop the redness and the itchiness.
Most individuals with eczema grow up healthy and with no untoward effects in their body. The only problems they have are recurrence of eczema and scars that it leaves behind especially when these were scratched when they were children.
How You Can Get Rid Of Eczema
As earlier mentioned, eczema does not have a cure but it can be managed with proper treatment and an eczema diet. Having eczema can sometimes be frustrating and irritating but there are many ways on how to get rid of eczema when it shows up on your skin.
When you get itchy rashes on your skin, your first action should be to consult a dermatologist. The dermatologist can diagnose the rash by performing skin tests and then provide proper treatment for it. Most patients also go through a patch test wherein common allergens like shellfish extracts, peanut extracts etc. are applied on the skin to determine which allergen will trigger the rashes.
Once the rashes have been identified as eczema, the doctor will try to find out the extent of your eczema and then give you a prescription for medicines that can treat it. Most eczema treatments include moisturizing the affected area and applying topical creams and taking antihistamines to reduce the redness and itchiness.
Hydrocortisone 1% cream is one of the most prescribed topical creams to help lessen the skin inflammation. This is the traditional and medical process on how to get rid of eczema and it usually works for most people.
In extreme cases, phototherapy or applying ultraviolet light in the skin, tar treatments and a drug called cyclosporine is used on people whose eczema do not respond to the common medications prescribed. These are generally not painful but can be costly and time consuming as you need to keep coming back to the dermatologist for these types of treatment.
Note that most of the treatments for eczema mentioned above are applicable to adults and children above the age of 2. If your baby has eczema-like rashes, do not attempt to cure him by using these medications on him. Consult with your physician or pediatrician before giving any treatment to your baby.
Home Remedies for Eczema
How to get rid of eczema can also be answered by some simple things you can do at home. Do these things on top of the medication and treatment that the dermatologist gives you and you could be eczema free in no time.
- Avoid clothing that do not breathe – Eczema sometimes gets triggered by extreme heat or extreme cold. When your clothes do not breathe, they trap heat and moisture on your skin and cause eczema to appear on your skin. Polyester and synthetic fabrics are some of the items that do not help you when you are feeling overheated so if you suffer from eczema you should not wear these fabrics. Stick to natural materials like cotton.
- Avoid clothes that are scratchy – Wool is a great example of a scratchy fabric. Avoid them as much as you can. Faux fur and synthetic materials on your clothes could also cause an itch so it is best not to wear clothes like this.
- Use hypoallergenic products and avoid harsh, perfumed soaps and washes – Eczema can be triggered when you use harsh soaps and washes on your skin. The skin gets irritated by the chemicals that make up your soap. How to get rid of eczema with mild products entails sticking to non-perfumed soaps and washes.
- Wear protective gloves – Whether you are doing some hand washing, cleaning the house, gardening or washing the dishes manually, you should always protect your skin from potential irritants like dishwashing liquids, detergents, dirt and other cleaning products. Detergents and soaps used for cleaning are made with harsh chemicals to ensure that they effectively clean any area. These same chemicals can easily trigger eczema.
- Try to avoid getting into extreme temperatures – cool yourself when it is too hot and turn up the heater when it is too cold. Sudden changes in temperature can trigger eczema to appear on the skin. You should always strive to regulate the temperature as much as possible.
- Reduce stress – stress affects eczema more than you think. When you feel stressed, your immune system tries to work harder to take care of your body. When this happens, your eczema could worsen. Get a hobby or exercise to get rid of all those stress.
- Avoid long hot showers and baths – bathing in warm water can dry up skin easily. Eczema happens when skin is too dry. Take short showers with lukewarm water instead. Avoid rubbing your skin in the shower as well as these can aggravate and irritate your skin more.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize – Use lotions that are fragrance free and non-comedogenic. How to get rid of eczema by moisturizing means finding and using products that are rich in moisturizing products to help keep your skin from drying. Put on your moisturizer just after you shower to help the skin absorb it better and keep the moisture in.
- Use natural products as much as possible – harsh chemicals and fragrance contained by some skin care products could cause eczema to appear on your skin. Go for the natural and unscented variety as much as possible. Organic products tend to produce less suds and bubbles so it might take some getting used to.
- Get a humidifier – when the air around you is dry like when you are in a desert or in cold places, you skin loses moisture and will need to stay hydrated. A humidifier can help you retain moisture on your skin and relieve the dryness in the air.
Another thing that could be affecting or triggering your eczema is your diet. Eczema could be triggered by certain foods just like allergies. Read on to find out how to get rid of eczema by taking on a special eczema diet.
- Dairy products are major contributors to eczema breakouts. If possible remove any dairy product from your diet altogether.
- Try to remove regular meat from your diet for a few days and try organic, grass fed animal meat instead. See how this change has affected your eczema.
- Eat more dark green leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts. Vegetable juices are also good for your body. Try blending celery, cucumber and kale with some honey and drink up. If vegetable juices are not your thing fruit juices will do. Blend together berries and oranges and include the pulp to add fiber into your diet. If there is one thing you should know about how to get rid of eczema its increasing your intake of dark green leafy vegetables.
- Eat foods rich in probiotics. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and water kefir are rich in probiotics.
- Hydrate yourself often and avoid diuretics like coffee and caffeine rich foods and drinks. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and make sure you are always hydrated.
- Reduce your intake of artificial sweeteners and diet anything. Low fat or fat free foods are processed and have added ingredients to make them more palatable. Don’t be fooled by these things as they can trigger your eczema.
- Try removing or significantly reducing your intake of strong acid producing foods like beef, chicken and pork.
- Remove gluten rich foods from your diet. These can be found in breads, cereals and processed foods.
- Avoid processed foods altogether. Processed foods can contain artificial flavors and added chemicals that give them a longer shelf life that naturally grown food. Processed food also contains huge amounts of salt and preservatives.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Raw means not roasted, not dipped in sauces and not adding sugar or oil. Eat apples, cherries, peaches and oranges for breakfast. For lunch and dinner make sure that your vegetable serving is bigger than your meat. Munch on Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, spinach and other dark green vegetables.
- Fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your health and your eczema. Salmon is a good source of Omega 3.
How to get rid of eczema depends greatly on your diet and treatment. You should follow your doctor’s instructions and change your diet to avoid triggers of eczema. You should also supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamins A, C, and E and zinc.
Having eczema is not the end of the world. You shouldn’t have to hide inside the house or cover yourself with long loose clothing in order to avoid stares and questions as to why you are always itchy and red. By now you have learned how to get rid of eczema with natural and medicinal methods. Use the knowledge you have gained to manage your eczema and live a normal, healthy life.
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