It is estimated that approximately 31.6 million people in America are living with some form of eczema. Both genders are affected, but it plagues women at a higher rate. Serious complications from eczema are rare, but anything that causes open wounds put the person at an elevated risk of contracting infections. Pairing that with the fact that is it generally related to a dysfunctional immune system, and eczema could be a wake up call to take better care of your health.
Description of Eczema Skin Rash
Much like emotional issues, untreated imbalances in the body will bubble up to the surface. In this case, you could experience the manifestation of chronic illness or autoimmune deficiencies in the form of an eczema skin rash.
The description includes a dry, scaly, itchy rash that can be found virtually on any body part. If allowed to progress and run rampant, the rash is sometimes accompanied by blisters or open sores. Scratching can exacerbate the problem.
Pictures of Eczema Rash
Not all rashes are equal, even if they are all classified as eczema. Mild forms will appear just as a dry, itchy areas, perhaps with some flaking.
Severe cases will break the skin barrier and cause oozing and bleeding. All of the following photos are real-life examples of diagnosed eczema.
Images of an Allergic Reaction
Because eczema has such a wide range, it can sometimes be confused with allergies. A licensed doctor or dermatologist will be able to definitively make the distinction, but if you are cruising the Internet currently looking for some answers, these images of allergic reaction could give a peek to what you are dealing with. You also could be suffering from shingles, chicken pox, psoriasis, hives, or rosacea.
Risk Factors for Developing Eczema
The main contributing factor for getting an eczema outbreak is still unknown by the medical community. There are some heredity, genetic, and environmental risk factors that could make adult onset eczema more likely.
Experts believe genetics (family history), toxins in the environment, abnormal or malfunctioning immune system, and defects of the epidermis are roots of the disease. The most telling of that list is the genetic predisposition, if your parents have eczema you should be on the lookout for symptoms.
How to Treat Eczema Internally
Going to the source isn’t always possible when it comes to battling eczema since it is a complex condition with no one root source.
But some medications are utilized with success in patients regularly. The following medications are one avenue how to treat eczema:
- Corticosteroid pills. These drugs mimic the adrenal steroid hormones produced by the glands in the body. They are helpful in reducing inflammation that can cause a flareup. A small warning: prolonged use can result in bone-loss and skin damage so it should be reserved for major breakouts only.
- Antihistamines. Products like Benadryl and generic versions can help reduce itchiness from eczema just like they treat hives, allergic reactions, and poison oak and ivy exposure.
- Immune suppressants. Since one identified cause of eczema is a misfiring immune system, severe cases can be treated with drugs like cyclosporine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate mofetil. They depress the immune system to keep it from raging war on the skin. Side-effects are prominent with these medications so they should be used short term and sparingly for burdensome issues only.
Creams to Treat Eczema on a Body Part
The more popular route of treatment is topical. You can’t technically cure the condition so the best course of action is to reduce or eliminate outbreaks of rash. Here is a sampling of creams to treat eczema that can be directly applied on a body part:
Corticosteroid. Again this steroid treatment is a magic solution. It is available to buy in creams, ointments, foams, and gels. Lower strength dosage is available over-the-counter while higher strength products require a prescription. Doctors typical start with these spreadable things first before evolving into more aggressive tactics.
Anti-inflammatory pain relievers. NSAIDs are more widely known as pills, but you can use them as topical treatments too. A new version called crisaborole (Eucrisa) is gaining momentum as an OTC option.
Barrier repair moisturizers. Functionally, a top priority is to retain skin’s moisture and protect from outside irritants. The best barrier lotions will contain at least one of the following kind of ingredients:
- Occlusives: petrolatum, silicone, mineral oil, and lanolin.
- Emollients: ceramide, cholesterol, and fatty acids.
- Humectants: alpha hydroxy acids and glycerin.
Eczema Rash Treatment Therapies
Outside of swallowing a pill or covering yourself in the ointment, what else can you do to hedge your bets and find relief? A few alternative therapies have shown promise in studies, like.
Talk therapy. No matter the format, seeing a therapist is one of the best things you can do for your health. Eczema is extremely sensitive to stress and a shrink can offer tools to process stress in a healthy way.
Phototherapy. Exposure to natural sunlight in healthy amounts or sitting under a calibrated UV lamp gives relief to eczema patients. Avoid tanning beds, however, because the light wave isn’t the proper one and you’ll increase risk of other diseases like skin cancer.
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