Published: 12/06/2013 - Updated: 02/22/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes6 Comments
Eczema is a condition that can drain a lot of energy and self-esteem. Sufferers are plagued by incessant itching, and sometimes this prevents them from sleeping or concentrating.
What causes it?
There are usually three main causes: Damaged skin barrier, a weak immune system and exposure to elements that can weaken the skin. There are other factors that can contribute, for example stress and climate, that can lead to outbreaks.
Massage: Natural oils can be good allies against this skin condition and the best way to apply them is with a gentle massage. Sunflower seed oil is a great example; it contains healthy fats and improves the barrier function of the skin. If you spend a few minutes a day doing this massage, you can improve itching, redness and swelling. Avoid if the skin is cracked or very damaged.
Climate: Dry air and/or climate can worsen the condition of eczema, so it is recommended to try to keep the inside of your home moist, this can be done with a cool mist humidifier in Winter, and an aerated conditioner in Summer.
Taking a bath: Try to bathe with warm water as this restores moisture to skin which is susceptible to eczema. Avoid using hot water as it dries the skin. Use fragrance-free, natural cleaning products. When you dry your body, do it by patting gently with a towel and apply an additive-free cream afterwards to seal in moisture.
Acupressure and acupuncture: In 2011, a study found that the use of these therapies can help reduce itching and therefore the swelling of the skin that arises from scratching. One tip is to apply pressure with your fingers onto a point on the inner arm, near the elbow, several times a week to reduce itching.
Vitamin D: It has been proven that people with eczema that consume about 2,000 IU of this vitamin daily have less severe symptoms. Conversely, those whose intake levels of vitamin D are lower tend to have more severe symptoms of eczema.
Hypnotherapy: Maybe it doesn’t directly relieve the symptoms of eczema, but hypnotherapy can help you to relax and learn to control the anxiety generated by the constant itching by increasing your tolerance to it and reducing the constant necessity to scratch which, in turn, will benefit you by preventing the symptoms from worsening.
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Topical glucocorticosteroids: Steroid creams that are sold over the counter or via prescription help relieve itching. Despite this, the frequent use of these creams can thin the skin. Doctors often recommend starting with a small dose and then gradually adjusting it until the desired results are achieved.
Phototherapy: Certain ultraviolet waves can help soothe inflammation, improve endurance and increase the amount of vitamin D in the skin. Two therapies stand out: The first is narrow band therapy, which involves exposing the patient to ultraviolet B waves and sessions are usually applied two to three times a week. The second is an older treatment called broadband therapy. It can be just as effective as the first, however it may require more sessions to achieve results. Side effects of this therapy may include sunburn.
Antihistamines: These are drugs used to block the effect of histamine, which is responsible for the symptoms of allergic reactions. It is recommended to use at bedtime for itching and to achieve sleep.
About the author
My brother has eczema since I remember and he had a lot of troubles when going to sleep especially when he was younger, he just told me that the feeling is just awful, you cannot think in anything else than scratching your whole body and that makes you desperate, thankfully he is a little bit better now.
I couldn’t stand to have an illness like this one, this sounds like something really big and hard to pass, especialyl if you are an anxious person like me, so I’m glad that I do not have it, but certainly I am worried of getting it so I have to take care of myself
YEAH I WAS THINKIN THE SAME SO! I AM VERY NERVOUS PERSON SO HAVING THIS CAN LEAD TO MADNESS! AND JUST LOOK AT THE PERSON IN THE PICTURE! HAHA
I do not have eczema but I have a rash on my back and I find it similar, so I do not if I should apply the recommendations that you explain here or I should follow a different treatment or this one, and well the simple things I will do and especially changing my diet to stop having the skin so sensitive
An old co-worker of mine told me an interesting story once about eczema: His youngest son had come down with eczema when he was only 2 or 3, a real little guy, and they tried EVERYTHING they could think of, from changing laundry detergents, to soaps, to improving his diet. Finally, when he was doing some reading about in online, he stumbled across an article that was loosely linking wi-fi internet with various illnesses. So he changed his wi-fi to ethernet internet, and within a few months his son’s eczema was completely gone! (I think he also started using coocunt oil as a moisturizer for him too)
I have known people in the past who have had eczema, and in some cases it seems a really awful condition to have! I would always recommend a natural approach as opposed to chemical and steroid creams, as the article has already mentioned they can thin the skin over time which actually leads to a worse condition… Studies have suggested that eczema can flare up when the person is stressed, and is also related to allergies and asthma.