What is Eczema?
Eczema is a non-contagious medical condition characterized by rough, inflamed patches of skin that may itch, swell, crack, or bleed. Different types of eczema exist, and there are many different causes. According to conventional medicine, there is no cure for eczema and they mostly offer methods to alleviate symptoms and heal the skin. We take a more holistic approach and believe the body is capable of resolving most any health condition, under the right conditions and circumstances.
The 7 Types of Eczema
There are seven specific sub-types of eczema defined, based on what area of the body is effected, who is more likely to suffer from it, and what it looks like. The most common form is atopic dermatitis and is the form that will be most discussed here.
7 forms of eczema:
- atopic dermatitis (usually found on creases of knees, elbows, wrists, face and neck)
- contact dermatitis (found anywhere on the body where fabric, or other triggering substance is in contact with the skin)
- dyshidrotic eczema (found on hands and feet)
- discoid eczema (found on lower legs, torso and forearms)
- Asteatotic eczema (found on lower legs)
- seborrheic dermatitis (found in oily areas such as the scalp, face, armpits and genitals)
- stasis dermatitis (found on lower legs)
Who is Affected by Eczema
Eczema is a common condition affecting over 30 percent of Americans. It can manifest at any age and flare-ups may occur at any stage of life. It has a genetic component and is more commonly found in families that suffer from other immune system dysfunction, such as asthma and hay fever.
Eczema affects everyone differently. Some people are affected in childhood and grow out of it. For others, eczema will manifest later in life. Symptoms and triggers can be different from person to person and must be managed and treated on an individual basis.
Eczema can affect people differently and symptoms are varied. Age, hormones, and climate all play a role in the condition, so certain symptoms may be present at onset but can often change for an individual over time.
Most eczema is characterized by:
- Red, inflamed skin
- Itchy patches of skin
- Dry, sensitive skin
- Leathery, rough, or crusty patches of skin
- Oily, yellow scales of skin
- Rashes that bubble up, and sometimes leak fluid (most common in infants)
Common Areas Affected By Eczema
Nearly all areas of the body can be affected by eczema, from the scalp to the soles of the feet.
The most common locations for eczema are:
- The scalp and face (most common in infants)
- Areas that collect sweat such as the creases of elbows, knees, and between buttocks and legs
- Elbows, knees, and nape of the neck
- Hands and feet
What Causes Eczema?
Eczema occurs because of an overactive immune system. When exposed to a triggering substance the body responds by mounting an inflammatory response. This inflammation results in unwanted symptoms such as itching, rashes, or flaky skin.
Common Eczema Triggers
- Dietary sensitivities including nuts and seeds, dairy products, eggs, soy products, or wheat
- Environmental exposure to cigarette smoke, dust mites, pets, or pollen
- Infections due to certain fungi, virus, and bacteria such as staphylococcus or ringworm
- Irritating compounds found in soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, or fragrances
- Certain clothing, usually wool or polyester and other man-made fabric
- Dry skin from a dry climate, as well as hot, long showers that dry out the skin
- Hormonal changes including pregnancy and menstruation
- Stress and lack of sleep, while not a direct cause, can worsen symptoms
Both a hereditary predisposition and contact with a trigger must occur for eczema to manifest. Pinpointing your unique triggers, and minimizing them can be the first line of defense to controlling this condition.
Natural Eczema Treatment
Eczema treatment begins with addressing underlying health issues and removing potential triggers. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we’ll help you determine what type of eczema you suffer from and develop a care plan that will work best for you. Your treatment plan may include a combination of at-home care techniques as well as a few special treatment protocols that will help.
At-Home Management Techniques
Avoiding triggers: Keeping track of flare-ups in a journal can help you pinpoint your individual triggers and avoid them. A professional in allergy elimination can help you uncover what is aggravating your condition.
Proper hygiene and moisturizing: Bathe or shower daily in lukewarm, not hot, water. Adding vinegar, salt, or oatmeal to bath water may help alleviate itching. Moisturize immediately (within three minutes of drying off) with gentle lotion or virgin coconut oil.
Don’t scratch: Itching makes eczema worse, as well as rubbing with coarse towels or fabric.Be gentle on the skin and keep fingernails short to keep from breaking, and potentially infecting the skin.
Avoid stress: make an effort to avoid stress in your life, try meditation, leisure activities, and even massage. Prioritize sleep and your mental well-being.
Climate control: use a humidifier during cold, dry months, avoid harsh changes in climate and temperature and when possible, avoid situations that will cause you to sweat without being able to wash off immediately.
LifeWorks Therapies for Eczema
Autoimmune Support: Addressing an underlying autoimmune disease can help people who suffer from eczema as the condition is caused by an overactive immune system. We can determine if you have an undiagnosed autoimmune condition that is contributing to your issue and recommend any needed treatment.
Ozone therapy: Ozone therapies saturate the body with oxygen to kill bacteria and fungi, which can be an underlying cause of eczema.
Dietary Help: Your practitioner can advise on diet to ensure that you are avoiding all dietary triggers while maintaining a balanced diet free of nutritional deficiencies.
Nutritional Supplementation: There are many dietary supplements that support the natural functions of your immune system. Vitamin D, zinc, and fish oil all help your immune system work optimally and help mitigate eczema flare-ups.
Got Eczema? See a Natural Eczema Doctor Today!
You don’t need to be discouraged and frustrated by your skin any longer. We can help you address the underlying causes of your eczema, heal your skin, and prevent further flare-ups.
We have helped many patients with eczema and we’re confident we can help you too.
If you or a loved one have symptoms of eczema or already have a diagnosis and want to see what natural health treatment options are available to you, give us a call at (727) 466-6789 or submit an online inquiry.