Tag Archives: eczema awareness

10 Things to Know About Adult Eczema

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If you have always thought that eczema is only a skin condition of childhood, think again. Adults can have eczema too. There are some children who will continue to suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis into their adult years.

Although there are different types of eczema, atopic dermatitis is the most common variation of eczema and the words are sometimes used interchangeably. Atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema is an extremely itchy inflammatory skin condition made worse by scratching. The skin can become red and irritated and even weep (oozing liquid) if the area becomes infected.  In the chronic stage, skin thickening (lichenification) can occur.  Atopic eczema can be a very difficult condition to deal with for both children and adults.

Here are ten quick facts about adult atopic eczema:

1.  Atopic dermatitis is a common condition affecting approximately 17 percent of the population. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of children with atopic dermatitis have the disease in adulthood.

2.  Although there have been many advances in research about atopic eczema, there currently is no cure.  Atopic eczema in adults is characterized by intermittent flares and spontaneous remissions.

3.  There can be a family history of allergy associated with atopic dermatitis. If you suffer from atopic eczema it is likely that you may also suffer from hay fever or asthma or else some of your family members may have these conditions. Physicians call hay fever, asthma and atopic dermatitis the “atopic triad.”

4.  The National Eczema Association says it is common for adults to experience having “hand eczema,” which is characterized by itchy, scaly patches of skin that flake constantly. As the condition worsens, your hands can become inflamed, cracked, and feel very painful.

5.  If you have a job where you get your hands or skin wet a lot or exposed to irritating chemicals, this can cause your eczema to worsen.

6.  Some possible environmental triggers for adult eczema include: dry heat in the house during winter, cold weather, emotional stress, wool clothing, harsh detergents, perfumed lotions or soaps, sweating a lot, and pollen.

7.  For some people food allergies and intolerances may play a part in worsening atopic eczema. Some of the common culprits may include: dairy, wheat (gluten products), and soybeans. If you suspect that you have a food allergy or intolerance it is wise to get a referral to an allergist.

8.  Some lifestyle changes which may help adult atopic eczema include: limit the time spent in baths or showers, use lukewarm water instead of hot water, limit your stress, protect your skin from becoming overly dry, and avoid harsh soaps and detergents.  Medications may also be used such as corticosteroids ranging from mild cortisone creams one can buy over-the-counter to more potent medications prescribed by your doctor. For a list of medications offered to treat adult eczema listed by potency see the Eczema Information page. Other medications used include antibiotics, antihistamines, and a new family of topical medications called topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), which work to inhibit the skin’s inflammatory response. Ask your doctor about the risks of using a TCI as it can suppress the skin’s immune system.

9.  A picture is worth a thousand words. To see what adult atopic eczema can look like, a site called Dermnet.com has a “Skin Disease Image Atlas” to show you.

10.  If you suspect that you have eczema see your doctor or dermatologist to learn how to treat it effectively. The American Academy of Dermatologists has a web page where you can enter your zip code to find a certified dermatologist in your area.

17 things you’ll only know if you have eczema

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To anyone who complains about having dry skin in winter, you seriously don’t know the half of it.

Eczema is a seriously unpleasant skin condition, and worst of all, there’s no cure.

It’s something you just have to learn to live with – and if you live with it too, you’ll recognise these 17 signs:

1. You probably had a special school uniform as a kid

Not because you were a superhero or had special powers, but because the regular one irritated your skin too much. Oh, the shame.

2. Your bathroom has more creams than a pharmacy

Diprobase? Doublebase? Elocon? Elidel? We’ve tried them all, and they don’t bloody work, okay?

3. Everyone thinks they are a doctor when they see you scratching

‘Oh, have you ever tried E45?’ they say. Erm, yes, obviously, and OBVIOUSLY it didn’t work.

4. Just when you think it’s gone, it comes back with a vengeance

Like the night before your wedding, or an interview, or a date with someone you really like. Basically, every time you really don’t want your eczema to rear its ugly head, it turns up again.

5. Eczema actually stops you sleeping at night

Cheezburger animated GIF

It ain’t easy being itchy.

6. You have a legitimate excuse to want to go on holiday all the time

The sun cures my skin, OK, cynics?

7. The sleeping you is the worst you

You can put on all the creams, cotton gloves and bandages in the world, but the minute you go to sleep, there’s nothing to stop you scratching it all off in a frenzy.

8. You often resemble a wild animal

bear animated GIF

Scratching all the time is not a good look. Apes and bears may pull it off, but you don’t.

9. You have no control over your actions

You don’t even realise you’re scratching. Well, 99 per cent of the time.

10. ‘Stop scratching’ is the most annoying thing anyone could ever say

‘It’s like having chicken pox for your whole life,’ we respond. That shuts them right up.

11. You often wish you were a house pet

cat animated GIF

Being scratched and pampered all day? That’s the dream.

12. Turning the shower to its full heat potential is the best feeling ever

Scalding your arms, neck and legs under the boiling water feels absolutely incredible… until the water stops flowing, that is.

13. You wish you could scratch yourself with your legs too

bunny animated GIF

Those lucky rabbits, dogs and cats…

14. You shouldn’t use those fancy shampoos and conditioners, but you do

We’re already ostracised from society because of the massive red blotches all over our body, so let us have these forbidden pleasures, please.

15. You leave little dead skin flakes everywhere you go

Attractive…

16. You’ll get it in the worst places

Under your eyes, around your neck and even in your scalp – and hiding it under make-up only makes it worse. And no, over-familiar strangers, the eczema on my neck is NOT a love bite.

17. You have been known to rub your itchy bits against inanimate objects

And these ‘inanimate objects’ sometimes include your friends – at least, until they notice…

Stages of Eczema You Should Know

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Eczemais a skin condition consisting of inflamed skin. It is sometimes referred to as dermatitis and most commonly occurs among infants and young adults, although it affects all people of all ages.

The beginning of eczema symptoms can cause a redden rash and sometimes have blisters that will weep fluid. During this stage and later stages, the skin will always be itchy, with the skin having an appearance of a brown color and scales. In almost every case, eczema itches. Eczema can be widespread or limited to a few areas. Atopic eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. Eczema runs its course through three distinct phases: acute, sub-acute, and chronic.

The usual symptoms associated with the acute stage of eczema include inflammation, pain, heat, tenderness, swelling, and possible itching. The affected areas are characterized by extreme redness and drainage at the lesion site. In acute eczema you would experience vesicles, blisters, and intense redness of the skin. The skin surface will sting, burn, or may itch intensely. The common examples for this stage of eczema would include acute nummular eczema, acute contact eczema, pompholyx eczema, and stasis eczema. Treatment in the acute stages of eczema include antibiotics to reduce inflammation and treat any infection that may be present, antihistamines to suppress the immune system, cold wet compresses, and possibly a short-term course of steroids.

The sub-acute phase of eczema includes symptoms associated with skin redness, inflammation and crusting; however, there is no extreme swelling. You may observe redness, scaling of the skin, fissures, and a parched or scalded appearance to the skin. In the sub-acute phase, itching is more of concern than pain. One may experience some blistering or oozing of the skin. The itching in the sub-acute phase is generally slight to moderate with possible stinging and burning. A skin biopsy would display evidence of inflammation of the cell structure and swelling. The common examples of the sub-acute phase include atopic eczema, contact allergy, stasis eczema, asteatotic eczema and nummular eczema. The basic course of treatment at this time would include emollients to ease dryness, a topical steroid, antibiotics and antihistamines.

Chronic eczema refers to eczema flares lasting three months or more. The cycle of intense itching and subsequent urge to scratch tend to worsen and prolong the condition. In the chronic stages of eczema the skin would show a thickened, leathery and /or fissuring appearance. The skin may appear to be darker and rather dull in appearance. At this time you would experience a moderate to intense itch. When viewed under a microscope, the epidermal or upper most layer of the skin appears elongated and is seen to proliferate. Chronic eczema is more commonly seen with atopic eczema, fingertip eczema, hyperkeratosis eczema, and lichen simplex eczema.

Types of Eczema

Eczema is a constellation of symptoms concerning any cause or effect that generates an inflammation of the skin resulting in itching and redness of the skin. In some instances the skin may ooze, blister of peel. When one hears the term eczema, the most common form atopic eczema, is what often comes to mind, although there are several other varieties of eczema including:

  • Atopic Eczema is a topical skin reaction resulting from exposure to an allergen. It may also result from fear, stress or anxiety.
  • Contact Eczema is a topical skin reaction resulting from physical contact with an allergen causing or irritating substance.
  • Discoid Eczema is a topical skin reaction that appears as a red or pinkish round coin-shaped spot on the skin.
  • Dyshidrotic Eczema results in itchy blisters on the hands or fingers and on the feet.
  • Eczema Herpeticum is a very rare contagious eczema infection caused by herpes simplex virus. Please see your infectious disease doctor.
  • Eczema Craquele has symptoms of a dry, parched skin surface with fine cracks or a ‘cracked paving’ appearance while being scaly and itchy.
  • Infantile Eczema or cradle cap is an itchy, scaly patch of skin on the top of babies’ heads.
  • Juvenile Plantar Eczema is more common in children but may occur in adults. This eczema of the feet results from an allergic reaction to man-made materials in shoes and socks.
  • Light Sensitive Eczema results from over exposure to sunlight or sensitivity to sunlight caused by a reaction to medication.
  • Seborrheic Eczema results from an accumulation oily yellow scales appearing on the face, scalp, ears or folds in the skin. Dandruff is a mild form of this condition.
  • Varicose or Stasis or Venous Eczema are all names given to eczema resulting from poor circulation in the legs and ankles.

Itching commonly occurs with occurs with most types of eczema. Itching can vary from a mild nuisance to an extreme distraction.

Skin redness may fluctuate from barely noticeable to a bright red. Skin redness is more prominent during times of strenuous exercise or exertion, stress or when the body is hot.

Eczema affected skin will experience dryness; the skin may become thickened, rough and develop scaly patches. When the skin becomes dry, it loses moisture causing small fissures to develop on the skin’s surface causing the skin to be susceptible to fluid loss, bacterial infections, and affects the skin’s ability to regulate body temperature.

In more advanced episodes of eczema, prolonged and repetitive scratching can damage the skin’s protective uppermost surface. Once the protective barrier is breached, the skin may ooze clear liquid tissue matter; this may be mixed with small amounts of blood from leaking blood vessels. It is at this stage that eczema affected skin is most susceptible to infection.

On the hands and feet small fluid filled blisters may rupture when scratched and ooze this same clear fluid.

Understanding Eczema Skin

To understand eczema, we must begin with an understanding of the composition of the skin itself. The skin’s composition is made of three distinct layers: fat, dermis and epidermis.

The top or outmost layer of skin is the epidermis. This top layer of visible skin is comprised of keratinocytes or layers of epithelial cells. The epithelial cells are produced is the lowest level of the epidermis where the epidermis meets the dermis layer of skin. As the skin sheds, the layers gradually move up toward the surface in a constant state of renewal and regeneration.

The cell layers of the epidermis are very tightly packed in layers. The cellular layers closest to the surface are very flat and contain keratin for added strength. The blood vessels are found in the deeper layer of the dermis. The epidermis on the hands and feet are by comparison quite thick – up to a millimeter in depth, the thinnest areas of the epidermis, around the eyelids is 0.1 millimeter in depth.

Through the process of regeneration, the uppermost layer of the epidermis contains the oldest cells which die and are shed from the skin. This cell layer may appear to have very fine scales or flakes. The regeneration process from the dermis conjunction or basal layer to the surface of the skin takes about four weeks. The dead cells located on the surface of the skin form a flat, overlapping barrier called the corneum. This barrier layer is very pliable and flexible and produces a moisture shield to hold moisture in the skin with a dry surface to shield the body from bacteria and microorganisms.

The middle layer of the skin is the dermis. This layer is comprised of connective tissue made up of hair follicles and roots, blood vessels, sweat glands and lymph vessels, and nerve endings. All these combine to give the skin its elasticity and strength. The purpose of the dermis is to support and feed the epidermis to keep it viable in protecting the body from germs and bacteria.

The lowest layer of the skin is the fat layer. The fat acts as a source of nutrition producing the water, energy and food source for the dermis. It also provides the body with a cushion against cold temperatures and blows from physical injury.

In an occurrence of eczema, the flat, tight protective layers of keratinocytes that form the protective bonding layers on the surface of the skin become very dry and less flexible. They lose their bonding integrity, and begin to separate. This makes the skin more vulnerable to allergens, chemicals, bacteria and germs. If you look closely you will observe small cracks or fissures in the skin. The redness you observe is the immune system rushing blood and fluid to the area in an attempt to protect the barriers of the skin. This rush of fluid can cause itching and irritation. As you rub or scratch the area, the eczema cycle of reaction and action begins – irritation of the skin, inflammation from the immune system response and deterioration from scratching the skin.

This cycle of action and reaction inhibits the skin in its primary function to act as a barrier protecting the body from outside bacteria, chemicals, pollutants and moisture loss. The larger the affected area, the more risk to the body. In rare cases the affected area may so large that the body losses too much fluid causing severe dehydration and limiting the body’s ability to regulate temperature. In these rare, sever instances, hospitalization may be required.

The epidermis is where the environment collides with the body’s immune system. Usually the immune system reacts only to parts of the outside world that present a danger, such as insect bites. In many people with eczema, however, the immune system reacts more vigorously than usual to a wider range of normally harmless influences such as animal dander (small particles of hair or feathers), pollen and house-dust mite. As these trigger allergic reactions, these substances are known as allergens. The immune system tries to destroy allergens by releasing a mixture of its own irritant substances, such as histamine, into the skin. The result is that the allergen may be altered or removed, but at the expense of causing soreness and making the skin fragile so other problems can develop, such as bacterial infection or damage from scratching.

The epidermis is where the environment collides with the body’s immune system. Usually the immune system reacts only to parts of the outside world that present a danger, such as insect bites. In many people with eczema, however, the immune system reacts more vigorously than usual to a wider range of normally harmless influences such as animal dander (small particles of hair or feathers), pollen and house-dust mite. As these trigger allergic reactions, these substances are known as allergens. The immune system tries to destroy allergens by releasing a mixture of its own irritant substances, such as histamine, into the skin. The result is that the allergen may be altered or removed, but at the expense of causing soreness and making the skin fragile so other problems can develop, such as bacterial infection or damage from scratching.

New recommendations for treating kids with eczema

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Ava Rosado, only 4 years old, has been dealing with itchy, painful eczema all her life.

“It feels like you need to scratch it,” she told CBS News.

Her mother, Deanna Rosado, says she constantly tells her daughter not to scratch the eczema. “Rub, rub, rub,” she tells her daughter. “Because if you scratch, you break the skin. She gets infections,” she told CBS News.

It’s estimated about 10 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from eczema, an uncomfortable, inflammatory skin condition that is often difficult to treat. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released new recommendations for doctors when treating the youngest of patients. It says doctors should also give parents an “action plan” to help them manage their child’s condition.

Dr. Nanette Silverberg, a dermatologist at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai in New York City told CBS News she advises parents first how to use moisturizers for eczema, which are sometimes enough to keep skin healthy.

Typically, she also prescribes a steroid cream to apply to skin when a patient has a flare-up. She says the treatment is safe for children. “They certainly have not been associated with major side effects,” she said.

The AAP report also recommends bathing every two or three days with a gentle cleanser. Skin should be patted dry but left damp and moisturizer applied immediately. Parents should monitor flare-ups because children with eczema are more prone to staph infections compared with kids who do not have the skin condition. Sometimes Rosado also gives her daughter an antihistamine before bed to help her fall asleep.

Ava says the treatments have helped prevent her skin from feeling itchy. “When they put the medicine on, it feels better,” she said.

My eczema was so bad I left a trail of skin flakes when I walked, says woman who says £1.99 PORRIDGE OATS are the best remedy

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A woman whose eczema covered her entire body and caused a ‘snowstorm’ when she walked says porridge oats have dramatically improved her skin.

Amy-Louise James, 25, had such severe eczema she had to change her bed sheets every day because of her weeping wounds.

She also scratched so much that flakes of skin fell from her body – forcing her to apologise to strangers for being ‘disgusting’.

Now she has treated her eczema using Quaker’s oats – bought from Tesco for £1.99.

She also scratched so much that flakes of skin fell from her body – forcing her to apologise to strangers for being ‘disgusting’

Miss James said spreading porridge over her body has improved her skin – and she is healthier than she has been in years.

She said: ‘People don’t realise how serious eczema is, they think it’s just red skin that’s a bit itchy.

‘I had to change my bed every day because there would be so much skin and my eczema wept so much the sheets got all sticky.

‘I itched constantly and there would be blood on the sheets too. It was just permanently painful.’

Miss James, who works for a recovery firm in Northampton, first suffered from a small flare up aged three.

She said: ‘I can’t remember not having eczema. It started in the creases of my arms when I was little.’

The eczema gradually spread over her arms and patches appeared on the back of her knees, followed by her hands, stomach and over her legs.

In her teens, the eczema progressed and by aged 15, it had spread to her neck and her face.

She said: ‘I was teased for having ‘lovebites’ on my neck but it was the eczema.

‘I used scarves to try and cover it up but then people thought I was covering the lovebites.’

And while most distraught teenagers would reach for the foundation, Miss James had no idea how to use cosmetics.

She said: ‘I wasn’t one of those girls who knew how to use make up. I didn’t know how to cover it up.

‘When I got to college and started going out, I just saw so many girls on nights out who were beautiful and I looked disgusting.

‘I just couldn’t even hide it, so on a bad day I wouldn’t even leave my room.

‘I thought it was down to stress with exams.’

Even sat at her desk, Miss James was faced with problems.

She said: ‘At the office I would have to go to the bathroom and have a scratch for 20 minutes.

‘My fashion sense went downhill because I couldn’t wear anything that wasn’t cotton.’

Despite trying countless treatments, nothing worked.

‘I’d used light treatment, different creams, medication, herbal remedies – I’d tried everything,’ she said.

And in desperation to keep her condition at bay, she became reliant on steroid cream, which if used incorrectly, can thin skin and increase the risk of skin infections.

Miss James said: ‘If I had a flare up, I would use the cream all over then it would be at bay for two weeks.

‘But when it came back it would be worse than ever.’

Eventually, Miss James came across the International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN) which has research showing a link between steroid cream and worsening eczema.’

After discussing with her doctor, Miss James stopped using the treatment in May 2014 and is now using other skin creams to calm the eczema.

But one of the most surprising and effective treatments she has found is porridge oats.

She said: ‘Now I make a face mask using goat’s milk and porridge oats, it’s really soothing.

‘I have oat baths, you just use a pair of old tights to put the oats inside.

‘The water looks disgusting but it works for me.’

Her home treatment, along with anti-histamines from her GP, have cleared up her eczema on some of her body.

She said: ‘My face is much better now, and my stomach and legs you can’t even tell I’ve got it.’

However she still has severe eczema on her hands, neck and arms but is hopeful she will have further recovery.

Despite porridge having helped her, she still wears cotton whenever she can.

Miss James also credits her the support of her partner of six years, Nicola Wilson, 26, with her progress.

She said: ‘Nicola is a teacher so she works long hours and then she comes home and looks after me.

‘I can’t bathe myself because of the condition so she washes me.

‘We joke that she’s become my carer.’

However, due to the stress her body is under, and because she scratches patches of eczema on her head, for the past nine months Miss James’ hair and eyebrows have been falling out.

She now washes her hair just once a week – with shampoo for thin hair and to stimulate hair growth – so not to irritate her scalp further and cause more hair loss.

She said: ‘I have to be careful with my hair as it’s holding on by a thread. I think others in my condition would have shaved their heads.

She said: 'People don't realise how serious eczema is, they think it's just red skin that's a bit itchy'

‘It upsets me as I got my hair really long and healthy and then one day it started to fall out. I back-comb it to cover up bald patches. I’m trying to make the best of it.’

She added: ‘I started a blog to document my journey and so many people have been supportive.

Eczema May Reduce Skin Cancer Risk, Study In Mice Suggests

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For anyone used to the discomfort of eczema, some welcomegood news: The skin condition seems to reduce skin cancer risk, according to new research. The preliminary study, conducted in mice, suggests that the immune system response caused by eczema may limit tumor formation, possibly by shedding the pre-cancerous cells.

King’s College London researchers replicated some of the skin defects commonly seen in people with eczema in genetically engineered mice lacking three important skin proteins. These so-called “knockout” mice along with a control group of typical, “wild-type” mice were then treated with two known carcinogens.

About 16 weeks later, the researchers found six times as many benign tumors in typical mice than in the knockout mice. Nearly all of the typical mice had at least one benign tumor, while half of the knockout mice had no tumors. Knockout mice exhibited a significantly stronger inflammatory reaction in response to one of the carcinogen treatments, notably shedding cells from the skin that could have become cancerous. The researchers propose this response may be what offered the knockout mice protection from developing more tumors.

“We are excited by our findings, as they establish a clear link between cancer susceptibility and an allergic skin condition in our experimental model,” Professor Fiona Watt, director of the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London said in a statement. “They also support the view that modifying the body’s immune system is an important strategy in treating cancer. I hope our study provides some small consolation to eczema sufferers –- that this uncomfortable skin condition may actually be beneficial in some circumstances,” she added.

Skin has been increasing worldwide over the last few decades, according to the World Health Organization. Globally, there are between 2 and 3 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers and around 132,000 cases of melanoma skin cancers each year, andone in every three cancer diagnoses is a skin cancer.

Types of Eczema You Should Know

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Eczema is a general term for any type of dermatitis or “itchy rash”. There are several skin diseases that are eczemas. All types of eczema cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel. It typically affects the insides of the elbows, backs of the knees, and the face, but some eczema types can cover most of the body.

ATOPIC DERMATITIS

Atopic dermatitis is the most severe and chronic (long-lasting) kind of eczema.

Atopic Dermatitis

HAND ECZEMA

Hand eczema (also known as hand dermatitis) is a common condition affecting up to 10% of the population.

This is irritant contact dermatitis of the web spaces and fingers.

CONTACT DERMATITIS

Contact dermatitis is a reaction that can occur when the skin comes in contact with certain substances, which can cause skin inflammation.

This image displays an allergy to the nickel found in the watch case. The result is a scaly, itchy, persistent skin rash where the watch touches the skin.

SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that is similar to eczema and sometimes occurs in patients with eczema.

Seborrheic dermatits can affect the upper chest and have round, red areas in addition to slight scaling.

DYSHIDROTIC ECZEMA

This is a blistering type of eczema, which is twice as common in women. It is limited to the fingers, palms and soles of the feet.

This image displays deep-appearing blisters typical of dyshidrotic eczema.

NUMMULAR ECZEMA

Nummular eczema (also known as discoid eczema and nummular dermatitis) is a common type of eczema that can occur at any age.

This image displays a severe case of nummular dermatitis.

NEURODERMATITIS

Neurodermatitis, also known as lichen simplex chronicus, is an itchy skin disease similar to atopic dermatitis.

This image displays scaly skin due to lichen simplex chronicus.

STASIS DERMATITIS

Stasis dermatitis is sometimes called venous stasis dermatitis because it arises when there is a problem with the veins, generally in the lower legs.

This image displays an early case of stasis dermatitis.

DERMATITIS ATÓPICA

La Dermatitis Atópica (DA), es una enfermedad que causa comezón e inflamación de la piel.

Atopic Dermatitis

Eczema for the first time since moving across the country. Horrible flare up on eyes and spreading!

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It started with some scaly skin on my under eye. The next day, it got red and really itchy. Then it started to swell. Then it swelled even worse, spread to my upper eyelids and cheek bones and now I look like a lizard if I try to cover it up with makeup.

A nurse practitioner gave me 11 days of prednisone tablets (can’t use topical steroids near your eyes) and some oral antihistamines. I couldn’t afford the antihistamine ointment she prescribed me.

I look like someone punched me. I can’t stand going into work with swollen eyelids and scaly skin. Please please please tell me how to make this go away as fast as possible.

I’ve been using CeraVe lotion in the tub and mineral oil to try to keep everything hydrated, but it’s soooo itchy!!! and flaky, and red.

6 Trusty Treatments For Baby Eczema

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When a baby’s silky smooth skin develops red, dry, itchy patches, the culprit is often eczema. Commonly appearing around 2 to 6 months of age, eczema (or atopic dermatitis) affects some 20 percent of infants and young children. If your baby is itchy and irritated, these six trusty eczema treatments from readers are sure to help soothe his skin.

1. Avoid Topical Irritants

Many babies have skin allergies to the perfumes, dyes, and chemicals in common household products like soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and bubble baths. As Heidi F. advises, switching to hypoallergenic, fragrance-free products can help relieve eczema: “For soap, we use Dove for sensitive skin — anything that I put on their skin is fragrance free. I even found Mr. Bubbles for sensitive skin, which makes bath time fun for them. Another thing that I was told by their doctor was to wash their laundry with fragrance-free detergent and fabric softener. This has all seemed to help minimize flare-ups and itching.”

2. Test For Food Allergies

Topical irritants aren’t the only allergic reactions that can cause eczema. As mother-of-two Sarah P. shares, “My son had really bad eczema before he turned 1. We had a doctor recommend he be tested for food allergies. Turns out he was allergic to several things, and as soon as they were removed from his diet, the eczema went away completely.” Keep a food journal to see if certain foods trigger flare-ups, or ask your pediatrician to recommend an allergist.

3. Use a Good Eczema Cream

Slathering on a gentle, fragrance-free eczema cream is one of the best treatments for eczema. Readers suggest applying eczema creams several times daily, especially right after baths. Highly popular brands among moms include Aquaphor by Eucerin, Cetaphil, California Baby, and Aveeno. Others recommend locking in moisture with Vaseline.

4. Avoid Overheating

Mom Kelly F. recommends children with eczema wear lightweight, breathable fabrics: “Lots of light layers are great as overheating can make eczema worse.” Avoid heavy and scratchy fabrics like wool. Jamie D. adds, “You don’t want their water to be hot, just a slight warm.”

5. Limit Scratching Damage

“I’m afraid she will be left with scarring to her face if I can’t get her to stop scratching,” shares Melissa E. “It’s mainly in her sleep.” Since eczema makes skin seriously itchy, heavy scratching is common. To prevent your baby from worsening the rash with cuts and infection, keep nails clean, short, and covered at night. “Try some lightweight mittens,” Robyn S. suggests.

6. Give Medication

Several readers, including Amber P., say that the types of treatments listed above did not relieve their babies’ severe eczema, so they resorted to stronger medications. “We just recently took him to another doctor and she told us that what we’re doing was great for the eczema (washing with Aveeno and using the Aveeno lotion, putting Vaseline on to keep it moisturized, getting rid of all fragrances — laundry detergent, lotion, everything that came into contact with him) but she said that sometimes it just isn’t enough. So she suggested using a steroid cream called triamcinolone acetonide. Ever since we started using it, his face has completely cleared up and we have not had any breakouts in almost two weeks. It’s the best stuff we could have asked for.”

Other moms, like Montana mom Lindsy F., recommend an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream: “Hydrocortisone works miracles! You don’t even have to get a prescription for it. It’s in the anti-itch cream, part of the health and beauty department.” However, pediatrician and mom Helen T. advises that parents use it sparingly: “Just be aware of using cortisone cream in any format for any more than a short period; it will bring much needed relief but it is not a long-term cure as it can have side effects after many years of use and it treats the symptom, not the problem.”

17 things you’ll only know if you have eczema.Is It Right?

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To anyone who complains about having dry skin in winter, you seriously don’t know the half of it.

Eczema is a seriously unpleasant skin condition, and worst of all, there’s no cure.

It’s something you just have to learn to live with – and if you live with it too, you’ll recognise these 17 signs:

1. You probably had a special school uniform as a kid

Not because you were a superhero or had special powers, but because the regular one irritated your skin too much. Oh, the shame.

2. Your bathroom has more creams than a pharmacy

Diprobase? Doublebase? Elocon? Elidel? We’ve tried them all, and they don’t bloody work, okay?

3. Everyone thinks they are a doctor when they see you scratching

‘Oh, have you ever tried E45?’ they say. Erm, yes, obviously, and OBVIOUSLY it didn’t work.

4. Just when you think it’s gone, it comes back with a vengeance

Like the night before your wedding, or an interview, or a date with someone you really like. Basically, every time you really don’t want your eczema to rear its ugly head, it turns up again.

5. Eczema actually stops you sleeping at night

It ain’t easy being itchy.

6. You have a legitimate excuse to want to go on holiday all the time

The sun cures my skin, OK, cynics?

7. The sleeping you is the worst you

You can put on all the creams, cotton gloves and bandages in the world, but the minute you go to sleep, there’s nothing to stop you scratching it all off in a frenzy.

8. You often resemble a wild animal

9. You have no control over your actions

You don’t even realise you’re scratching. Well, 99 per cent of the time.

10. ‘Stop scratching’ is the most annoying thing anyone could ever say

‘It’s like having chicken pox for your whole life,’ we respond. That shuts them right up.

11. You often wish you were a house pet

Being scratched and pampered all day? That’s the dream.

12. Turning the shower to its full heat potential is the best feeling ever

Scalding your arms, neck and legs under the boiling water feels absolutely incredible… until the water stops flowing, that is.

13. You wish you could scratch yourself with your legs too

Those lucky rabbits, dogs and cats…

14. You shouldn’t use those fancy shampoos and conditioners, but you do

We’re already ostracised from society because of the massive red blotches all over our body, so let us have these forbidden pleasures, please.

15. You leave little dead skin flakes everywhere you go

Attractive…

16. You’ll get it in the worst places

Under your eyes, around your neck and even in your scalp – and hiding it under make-up only makes it worse. And no, over-familiar strangers, the eczema on my neck is NOT a love bite.

17. You have been known to rub your itchy bits against inanimate objects

And these ‘inanimate objects’ sometimes include your friends – at least, until they notice…