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Those who cope with eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) know how frustrating the condition can be. Symptoms can range from mildly annoying to painful. Making matters worse, although it’s thought that eczema results from a disruption of the body’s immune system, doctors have been unable to determine the root cause of the disorder. We do know that there are several environmental influences that can provoke it, and there are effective methods for treating it. But, treatments are limited to reducing the severity of the symptoms rather than curing the condition. Today, I’ll describe the symptoms that are common with eczema. Then, I’ll explain the treatment strategies that are often used to provide comfort to those who suffer from it.

Common Symptoms  

Eczema can manifest in a number of ways; some symptoms are mild while others are painful and unsightly. They can include severe itchiness and burning, patchy rashes, areas of skin that are visibly inflamed, and cracks and fissures in the skin. The itching that accompanies eczema can often be so severe that it disrupts sleep. And in some cases (often with children), scratching the affected area can cause bleeding or oozing.

The condition is not exclusive to particular areas of the face or body. It can affect any area of skin, though it’s commonly found on the arms, legs, hands, feet, and facial area. This may be due to the fact that these areas are often most exposed to external factors that trigger the symptoms.

Potential Treatments  

While eczema still lacks a cure, there are several strategies to treat the symptoms. First, because eczema is caused in part by very dry skin, it’s important to take precautions that will help skin retain moisture. This can include the use of soothing emollients along with products that deliver a source of antioxidants. Eczema is often provoked by certain triggers such as long, hot baths or showers,laundry detergent, clothes, and even certain types of jewelry. If you can isolate the triggers, try to remove them so you’ll limit your exposure.

Also, keep in mind that bar soaps can be excessively harsh on your skin and can exacerbate the symptoms related to eczema. Use a cleanser that won’t irritate your skin. Keep skin hydrated and if that doesn’t help, speak with your dermatologist regarding the use of a cortisone cream or other prescription options. While you can purchase some cortisone creams without a prescription, their effects are often limited. One note of caution: if you choose to use them, limit their application because they can thin your skin over time.

Eczema is a frustrating condition made worse because a cure has thus far evaded doctors. Keeping skin moisturized and using gentle cleansers can help. While there are a range of solutions that work, both friends and customers have had good success with these two products:

[Link Removed] - A hydrating moisturizer with Shea Butter and urea, a natural moisturizing factor (produced by the body and found in skin) that can provide comfort from dry skin while preventing water loss.

[Link Removed] - This lipid enriched cleansing bar cleans without harshness and is enriched with shea butter to moisturize.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Dec 1, 2008
    • As a life-long eczema sufferer, I can complete relate to the description of the symptoms you’ve included here.

      The itch is completely unimaginable if you’ve never had it. The majority of my eczema presents on my hands and fingertips, and I will wake in the night having scratched myself raw.

      I have to say that about 8 months ago, someone recommended I add a dose of apple cider vinegar to my diet in a very specific manner, and whether coincidentally or by design, I have experienced a vast improvement in my condition.

      Currently there are a lot of concerns about a regular apple cider vinegar regimen, but the risks are worth it to me based on the relief I’ve experienced.

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