The skin is the largest body organ. You may or may not be aware of it but the average area that the skin takes up about 20 square feet. Being the largest, the skin is also one of the most important organs of the body. Why so? Without the skin, what will hold everything in place? The skin is also tasked to protect everything within. Plus, it is also responsible for the one of the senses – touch.
For this reason, you must not take your skin for granted. Do what it takes to protect your skin from injuries and diseases. One such medical condition that is quite common is eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a general term for many skin diseases. It is also commonly known as atopic dermatitis or simply dermatitis. Some refer to the condition as exema which is actually just a misspelling of the word. Eczema is often described as an inflammation of the skin. Though the real cause of eczema has not been truly proven yet, many in the medical field believe that this condition is brought about by an abnormal reaction of the immune system to an irritant. Others get eczema as a reaction to contact with detergents and other products with chemical ingredients while some can get it just by getting in contact with rough materials. Another possible reason why some people suffer from eczema is genetics. When a family member or relative suffers from asthma and allergies, chances are you can get eczema.
When your skin becomes dry, red and itchy, this may be a sign that you are suffering from eczema. Allergy tests may be done to determine if these symptoms are a reaction to certain irritants. In babies, eczema is characterized by dray scaly patches often located on the cheeks and scalp. In children, the rashes can be found on the neck, elbow creases, wrists, knee creases, and the fold between the legs and buttock.
There is no way to cure eczema. What you can do is to treat the symptoms. Itchy skin, for example, can be remedied by simply applying creams or lotions, specifically those that contain corticosteroids. Antihistamines are also popular against the itching. Some people, however, may be too sensitive or may experience adverse reactions from using such products that contain chemicals. In fact, two FDA-approved medications for eczema are being debated upon due to the belief that they may cause or worsen cancer.
It may be better to resort to natural methods of treating eczema and other skin diseases. One simple technique to relieve itching is to apply cold compress. Taking warm baths regularly may also help relieve the symptoms the same with using mild or chemical-free soaps. After washing or bathing, avoid rubbing your towel on your body. It is better to air dry or at least pat your body dry.
More than treatment, you have better chances by taking precautions. One way to avoid flare-ups is to keep your skin moisturized. This does not only mean applying moisturizing lotions and such. You need to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. By doing so, you also avoid overheating which is also a trigger for flare-ups. It can also do you well to avoid sweating. But if you are the active type, you just need to make sure that you dry yourself up as soon as possible. Bacteria thrive on your skin and cause sweat to stink. It may also result to infection on your skin if you already are suffering from eczema.