Eczema is an inflamed skin condition characterized by itching and burning sensation. It is not contagious (unless infected) and includes a group of conditions, the most common being atomic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema.
There is no known cause for eczema. However, it can be triggered by factors like excessive sweating, abrupt changes in temperature and humidity, skin contact with coarse materials, use of harsh soaps and detergents, stress, upper respiratory infections, and so on. Bouts of eczema usually come and go.
Eczema can occur on any part of the body, especially the face, knees, hands, and feet. Its appearance, though, can differ from one individual to another.
Generally, eczema gives rise to dry, bumpy, and itchy rashes that tend to become thick and scaly due repeated scratching.
Furthermore, eczema rashes are quite common in childhood. Nevertheless, it has been observed that in most cases, the problem tends to disappear with age.
More often than not, eczema affects individuals with a family history of allergies or oversensitivity of the immune system.
How to Get Rid of Eczema
Although this condition cannot be cured completely, here are 8 remedies and treatments that can help provide relief from eczema.
Cool Wet Compress
Placing ice cubes (wrapped in a towel) on the affected area is one of the best and easiest ways to relieve eczema itching and burning sensation.Moreover, the water trickling from ice hydrates the skin. In case you do not have ice cubes, you may wrap a packet of frozen peas in a towel and use it as a cold compress.
Application of extra-virgin coconut oil can prove highly beneficial in getting rid of eczema because it has natural moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.In addition, it maintains the natural chemical balance of the skin and forms an antimicrobial barrier on skin. It is best to apply coconut oil after taking your bath or shower. Besides, you may apply a bandage dipped in warm coconut oil.
Applying pure aloe vera gel, too, is useful in soothing and curing eczema rashes.
When dealing with chronic eczema worsened with Staph infection, you can take a dilute bleach bath. For this, you need to add a quarter to half a cup of bleach in a tub filled with lukewarm water.You can use regular chlorine bleach for this purpose. Just soak in the solution for about 10 minutes, at most twice a week.
If you are looking for a natural alternative, then take an oatmeal bath. You can create this bath either by using pure colloidal oatmeal or grinding rolled oats/quick oats in a coffee grinder.Just mix a cup of oatmeal in a tub filled with warm water (make sure you break the clumps at the bottom) and soak in this soothing bath for about 15-20 minutes. You can take this bath once or twice daily.
Burdock root contains a several medicinal properties. Hence, it is considered good for healing a number of skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, carbuncles, ulcers, etc. You can drink burdock tea and apply a paste or salve prepared by grinding this herb.
Steroid creams are useful for reducing itching and inflammation. Thus, you can put a thin layer of some corticosteroid cream or ointment on the affected area.To make this treatment more effective, apply an emollient on skin about 15 minutes before applying the steroid cream. Follow this remedy once or twice daily.Interestingly, topical chamomile creams also work as mild steroid creams. If nothing else works, your doctor may prescribe topical immunosuppressants or other medications.
Phototherapy or ultraviolet light treatment is considered helpful in the treatment of eczema for mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.It is usually performed at hospitals under the supervision of a dermatologist. This treatment is mostly undertaken when the condition becomes widespread and does not respond to any medications.
Tips to Prevent Eczema
Eczema flare-ups can be avoided by identifying the triggers and taking relevant precautions. For instance, it is suggested to avoid overheating, excessive sweating, sudden changes in temperature, etc.Plus, avoid wearing scratchy materials and using soaps, detergents, and other cosmetic products containing possible irritants.Needless to say, reduce your stress levels, stay away from environmental irritants (grass pollens, dust mites, animal dander, etc.) and foods (nuts, soy, eggs, etc.) that may cause allergic reactions and eczema outbreaks.
Though eczema is not a preventable condition, still you can moisturize the skin frequently to help manage the symptoms and reduce the severity of the disease as during eczema, the skin becomes dry, hot, and itchy.