Updated: Sep 29, 2022
What is eczema?
Eczema is a type of inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and red. Symptoms can vary from a mild rash that disappears quite quickly to a more severe condition that is present for a long time. Itchy skin is the most common symptom of eczema.
Eczema affects around 1-3% of adults worldwide, and as much as 15-20% in children. Newborn babies can experience eczema within the first weeks and months after birth. Young children with eczema can experience patches of skin that are extremely dry. In severe cases, eczema can persist throughout adolescence, all the way to adulthood.
The main goal of treatment is to eliminate itching which, in left untreated, can cause the condition to get worse.
What are the causes?
Atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema (sometimes referred to as “atopic eczema”), results from an overactive immune system that causes the skin barrier to become dry and itchy. Eczema is not contagious. You can’t “catch it” from someone else. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers do know that people develop eczema because of an interaction between genes and environmental triggers.
There are a few factors or "triggers" that can potentially cause eczema, such as:
Certain soap, shampoo, bubble bath, body wash, facial cleansers
Laundry detergents with chemical additives
Allergens such as dust mites, pollen, molds, or foods
Certain fabrics like wool or polyester in clothing and sheets
Extended exposure to dry air, extreme heat or cold
Many people with eczema use the phrase “flare-up” to describe a phase of eczema when they are experiencing one or more acute symptoms or side effects from prolonged itchiness.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Eczema and its symptoms are different for everyone. Every individual’s skin care routine will also impact the affected areas of the skin differently. Eczema almost always includes itchy skin. Sometimes the itch gets so bad that people scratch it until it bleeds. This is called the “itch-scratch cycle.”
Some of the common symptoms include:
Dryness, sensitive skin
Inflamed, discolored skin
Rough, leathery or scaly skin, appearing as scaly patches; as a result of scratching
Oozing or crusting
Areas of swelling
What are the treatments?
As mentioned, the main goal of treatment is to eliminate itching, which is uncomfortable and causes or worsens the other symptoms.
1. Topical Corticosteroids
There are different strengths of corticosteroid creams and ointments available on prescription that can reduce itchiness and redness. Care needs to be taken, especially if applying a strong corticosteroid as it can cause the skin to become thin. Only thin smears should be applied to the rash. The best time to do this is after a bath, as the skin is more absorbent.
Antihistamines are a class of drugs that reduces the productions of histamines, the main chemical produced by the body in response to allergens, therefore causing allergic symptoms such as itching, sneezing, watering eyes.
More common antihistamines are drugs such as Brompheniramine, Cetirizine, Chlorpheniramine, Diphenhydramine, Fexofenadine, Loratadine.
Specially formulated cream for eczema
DD EZ Relief Cream is one of the best eczema cream for dry and itchy skin, especially in conditions like eczema. It consists of oat kernel extract, olive oil, shea butter, lavender oil and vitamin B12 as the key ingredients.
It has 3 main actions that is perfect for eczema skins:
Shea butter is rich in antioxidant and helps to soothe the skin. It protects our skin from external factors, such as UV rays or wind.
Olive oil that has large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids. Thus, making it particularly nourishing and moisturizing, especially for those with skin that is prone to dryness. Furthermore, the additional Vitamin E and B12 also ensure to protect the skin and speeds up cell recovery and regeneration.
Colloidal oatmeal extract and lavender oil can help our skin with anti-inflammatory action. It also has antimicrobial, moisturizing, antibacterial and antioxidant effects.
A few tips can help you prevent outbreaks or keep them from getting worse:
Moisturize your skin often
Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
Try not to sweat or get too hot. Keeping cool and keeping your home comfortable can reduce itching
Manage stress, and take time for yourself to relax. Get regular exercise. It can help to control stress and increase circulation
Avoid scratchy materials such as wool
Don’t use harsh soaps, detergents, or solvents
Pay attention to foods that might trigger symptoms and try to avoid them