Eczema: Symptoms and Causes
Eczema is a common skin problem that affects over 200 million people around the globe. It usually starts in childhood, but it can also appear in adulthood. In many cases, the disease is triggered by allergies, skin irritants, stress, and even heredity.
Eczema is a skin disease that can be seen in people of all ages. It is a long-lasting type of dermatitis that forms as a result of inflammation of one or more areas of the skin. The word eczema comes from the Greek word “ekzein” meaning to boil over. To some, it is known by different names like atopic dermatitis and xerosis.
Even though the symptoms may vary from one person to another, there is one common thing about them: itchiness. Most individuals with eczema complain about feeling itchy, and this is the first symptom of the disease. In some cases, the itchiness can be more severe and even cause scratching. Scratching worsens the situation further as it leads to a greater rate of skin inflammation and redness of the affected area.
The rash that develops with eczema is often very itchy and can lead to discolouration of the skin, especially in darker-skinned people.
The causes of eczema include a combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers and stress.
Home Remedies to Treat Eczema
Eczema is a condition that results in inflammation of the skin. The affected area becomes itchy, sore and inflamed. Blistering, cracking and oozing are also common symptoms of eczema. One of the most common skin conditions in children, eczema is often misdiagnosed as an allergic reaction.
Medical professionals have long prescribed steroid creams to treat eczema, yet only 2% of patients with moderate to severe eczema and 8% of patients with mild to moderate eczema report that these creams are moderately or very effective.
Instead, many patients have had success with the following natural remedies:
- Zinc is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with the itching and inflammation associated with eczema. Take 1 to 3 mg daily in tablet or capsule form.
- Aloe vera gel has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of skin issues. One common use includes soothing eczema and its symptoms. Aloe vera has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that boost the immune system and help heal wounds.
- Honey is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can heal wounds and fight off infections. With the direct application on eczema-affected areas, honey can help prevent infections while moisturizing the skin and speeding healing.
Oils that can Treat Eczema
The condition is characterized by itchy, red, and inflamed skin caused due to a hypersensitive immune system. This causes the body's immune system to send out autoantibodies against its own cells which attack the outer skin. It can occur on any part of your body but it commonly appears on the elbows, knees, hands and feet. In severe cases, it can also appear on your face and neck. The symptoms are often relieved by anti-inflammatory creams, steroids and topical immunomodulators.
At present, there are dozens of oils that can treat eczema.
- The first one is argan oil. Argan oil contains a lot of fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E which are all essential for the skin to remain healthy. It’s believed that argan oil is derived from the Argan tree, famous for its medicinal and beauty products. This is true as it contains vitamin E that prevents damage from free radicals in cells. Argan oil also helps in strengthening the skin and reducing signs of ageing.
- The second oil that can treat eczema is carrot seed oil. Carrot seed oil is rich in vitamins A, C, and K and other nutrients like flavonoids and carotenoids which are known to be beneficial for the skin.
- Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can be used to treat yeast infections and other fungal infections that commonly occur in patients with eczema between the fingers and toes. Apply coconut oil topically to affected areas two to three times a day for two to four weeks for the best results.
While it's impossible for us to recommend one oil over another, the most common and effective oils for the skin include jojoba, hemp seed, coconut and argan. The best option is the one that will work for you.
Olive oil, coconut oil and castor oil are some of the most preferred natural remedies to treat eczema.
Our skin is the first thing that everyone notices about us, even more than our face. Our skin is a mirror of our overall health, state of mind, and physical well-being. People who have eczema must always watch out for things that can trigger an outbreak. Eczema is an illness that manifests itself in the form of a rash. It makes the skin red and swollen, which can be itchy and painful.
While many still think that the only way to treat eczema is through medication, it has been proven that home remedies are as effective as steroid creams.