The word eczema is traced back to the two Greek words: Ek which means out and zema which means boiling. When the word is combined it becomes ekzein in Greek which means to boil out.
Eczema is also known as dermatitis. It is an inflammation of the skin which makes it red, itchy and even blistered.
There are two main types of dermatitis: atopic and contact.
Atopic eczema is caused by some problem within the body. It is therefore, highly possible that people who have the atopic type will inherit it from their parents.
Contact dermatitis, on the other hand, is caused by something outside of the body. When the body comes in contact with those irritating substances, the skin may become inflamed, itchy and even blistered.
Of both the types, atopic eczema is the most common type and some children are born with it or get it very early in their lives.
In a study conducted by scientists in the University of Dundee, Dublin, Glasgow and Copenhagen, researchers found that a particular gene was responsible for atopic eczema among children. A later study in 2009 at the University of Edinburgh supported the earlier findings and named the gene responsible for the disorder as filaggrin gene.Atopic eczema is often the result of inheriting it from parents. If the parents have the cause in their genes, there is a high possibility of passing it down to the children.
According to some studies, if one of the parents has atopic eczema, then there are 60% chances of passing the condition down to the children. However, if both parents have the condition, the chances are as high as 80% for the children to inherit.
According to Medical News Today, 80% of atopic cases start in children before the age of 5 and a high percentage within the first year.
History of Allergies
According to WebMD, it is very common to find the condition among those who have families with history of other allergies or asthma. Furthermore, if there is a defect in the skin barrier, it could potentially let the moisture out and germs in.
The allergens in the outside environment may make your condition worse. The reaction of the body to such allergens is normally classed as irritants of the problem rather than its cause. House dust mites, pet fur and pollen are considered to be some of the most common outside allergens.
Certain food can cause allergic reactions to people suffering from atopic eczema. Children having food allergy may increase the chances of attracting eczema more than children with no food allergies. The following foods are notorious for such allergic reactions.
- Cow’s Milk
According to the National Health Service these food may cause allergic reactions and make the condition of dermatitis worse. However, according to WebMD, eczema is not an allergic reaction and the food listed above may neither cause eczema nor make it worse.
Irritants and Triggers
There are many external substances which triggers the condition by making it worse. These are known as irritants. The best advice is to avoid these irritants as far as possible.
Soaps and Detergents
Many cleaning soaps and detergents consist of harsh chemicals which damages the skin. The skin thus becomes dry, itchy and inflammatory. People suffering from dermatitis may react badly to soaps and detergents.
It is best to avoid soaps, hand washes and detergents that contain harsh chemicals. Substitute them for products which are herbal, natural and do not contain any harmful chemicals.
Wearing protective gloves while using washing liquids may also do the trick to keep the flare ups in check.
If you have a dry skin, keeping it moisturized will help reduce itchiness and inflammation. Using good natural cream, solution or ointment is a great way to keep the skin moisturized.
Extra virgin organic olive oil has been used by many people to keep the skin moisturized and softer.
Scents and perfumes that contain certain chemicals such as alcohol cause irritation in the skin. Avoid using such toiletries, perfumes or scents. You may substitute them with more natural products.
Hormonal changes can bring about a wide range of effects in the body. Women during the menstrual cycles may find their dry condition worsens especially before the start of the period. Similarly, hormonal changes during pregnancy can also either make the condition worse or better. According to NHS UK, more than half of all the pregnant women find their condition becoming worse while one third find it that it improves significantly during pregnancy.
It is not known why stress triggers atopic eczema. The relationship between stress and eczema is reciprocal. High stress triggers it and makes the condition worse while a triggered condition may cause high stress.
Heat is a known irritant. People with in warm places often find themselves very itching. Keep the temperature low at a comfortable level. If you are out in the sun, make sure you take sun umbrella to protect yourself from the damages caused by the sunlight.
Heavy exercise causes the body to sweat which may irritate the skin. Try to wipe off excess sweat by using a cotton cloth. Avoid rough cloth or tissue paper.
It is a good practice to avoid the irritants as far as possible. However, avoiding the irritants will keep the flare ups in control, but this is not the solution to the actual problem.
In order to solve problem, it is best to use some herbal and natural remedies that are safe.
There are some over the counter solutions available which can be used for the treatment of eczema. It is absolutely essential to use only those types of solutions which contain natural ingredients and are 100 percent safe.