Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that affects about 10 percent of people in the world. It is characterized by red, dry, itchy patches of skin that can become infected and spread rapidly. While eczema is not contagious, it can be difficult to manage and prevent from spreading. In this article, we will discuss the causes of eczema, its symptoms, and how to prevent it from spreading quickly.
Atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema (sometimes called “atopic eczema”), is the result of an overactive immune system that causes the skin barrier to dry and itch. Contrary to popular belief, food or food allergies do not cause eczema, even though certain foods may contribute to an acute outbreak of eczema. There is also a potential genetic component of eczema that includes a protein called “filagrin” that helps maintain moisture in the skin; a deficiency of filagrin can lead to drier, itchy skin. Eczema can come and go, and it can migrate through the body just when one patch disappears, another may develop. This is the chronic nature of the disease.
When the skin returns to inflammation, the patient experiences an outbreak. If a person scratches an infected area of skin and then a dry or cracked area, the bacteria can spread to the dry or cracked area.
Symptoms of EczemaThe most common symptom of eczema is red, dry, itchy patches of skin. These patches may be painful or tender to the touch. Other symptoms include:
- Crusting or flaking of the skin
- Rashes on the face, neck, hands, feet, and other areas
- Blisters that ooze fluid
- Darkened patches of skin
- Thickened patches of skin
Causes of EczemaThe exact cause of eczema is unknown, but researchers know that people develop eczema because of the interaction between genes and environmental triggers.
Many people with eczema often report comorbid symptoms of hay fever, allergic asthma, and food allergies.
How to Prevent Eczema from Spreading QuicklyProper and consistent skin care is essential in the prevention and treatment of eczema. One of the main ways people can prevent eczema from becoming inflamed and itchy more is to avoid scratching. In general, the best treatment for eczema can be found by trial and error with any of the treatments recommended above.
- Avoid scratching: Scratching can cause further irritation and infection.
- Keep your skin moisturized: Moisturizing your skin regularly helps keep it hydrated and prevents dryness.
- Avoid irritants: Avoid contact with irritants such as soaps, detergents, perfumes, and other chemicals.
- Avoid allergens: If you have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods or substances, avoid them.
- Use topical corticosteroid creams: These creams help reduce inflammation and itching.
- Try natural remedies: Many people with eczema also have success with specific natural and alternative treatments such as bleach baths, cryotherapy, medical-grade honey, meditation, and acupuncture.
Conclusion: Eczema is a very personal condition in which each person has different triggers and responds well to different treatments. Proper and consistent skin care is essential in preventing and treating eczema. Avoiding scratching, keeping your skin moisturized, avoiding irritants and allergens, using topical corticosteroid creams, and trying natural remedies are all effective ways to prevent eczema from spreading quickly.