Health and FitnessMedical

How To Manage Eczema Atopic Dermatitis Through Healthy Lifestyle Changes?

Introduction

Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis is one of the most commonly occurring, non-contagious, inflammatory skin conditions. Approximately, 1 in 10 people suffer from this condition worldwide.

The development of eczema appears to be influenced by a mix of hereditary and environmental factors. It affects approximately 30% of the US population of which most of people are children and adolescents.

Atopic dermatitis is more common in children whose parents have asthma or allergies than in those whose parents have not had any allergies. Food allergies affect some children with atopic dermatitis, and many eventually develop asthma or other respiratory inflammatory conditions. People who live in cities or drier climates tend to be more susceptible to the disease, as well.

Many clinical research organizations and pharmaceuticals are conducting paid clinical trials near you in the USA to help researchers better understand this skin condition.

What is Eczema?

Although Eczema is known as Atopic Dermatitis, these two terms are often used interchangeably. It is an inflammatory condition that is characterized by dry, itchy, red and bumpy skin. It is a chronic condition that has flare-up episodes during which the symptoms are uncontrollably apparent and cause severe discomfort.

These episodes are periodic and manifest at any time on any part of the body. Triggers are concurrent with these outbreaks but which trigger effects to which extent varies based on the area affected.

How Do Eczema Symptoms Come About? 

Eczema symptoms are different for everyone. They are caused by an immune response of the body to a foreign or internal allergen or trigger. The name “dermatitis” indicates inflammation of the ‘derm’ – this condition is abnormal, overreactive response of the body’s immune system which involves inflammation of the skin layers. Involvement extends from the outermost “epidermis” to the innermost “dermis” layer. The dermis is responsible for furnishing a protective barrier by instating structure and support. Eczema destroys the integrity of this layer causing the unavoidable ‘itch-scratch cycle’

What are the Symptoms of Eczema?

The prominent manifestation of Eczema is itching (pruritus). The itch occasionally even starts before the rash is evident. Persistent inflammatory overreactions in the body generate the continuous impulse to scratch the red, scaly rashes. The severity of symptoms is different in everyone suffering from the skin condition. It itches to the extent that the crusty, leathery skin patches bleed.

In infants, the rash can lead to an oozing, crusty situation that mainly affects the face and the scalp. And In children, it extends to their arm and knee bends more commonly than other places and presents as dry and scaly patches. Adults suffer from several patterns involving the face, scalp, wrists, armpits and feet.

Atopic dermatitis is more commonly found to be present in females and people of African American descent. In fair-skinned people the rash initially is red and over time, due to chronic itching, it turns to a dark brown skin patch. In people of color, eczema tends to alter the pigmentation, and hence it may become lighter or darker depending on genetics and environmental factors.

What Triggers Eczema Flare-Ups?

Eczema flare-ups happen when an individual’s immune system is overworked. The immune system is unable to fend off the culprits or the triggers that cause the inflammation. The exact cause for the complex inflammatory phenomenon remains unknown. However, according to doctors and researchers, it has been associated with a combination of factors. It is a multifactorial condition related fundamentally to genetic susceptibility but, it is also strongly linked to environmental factors as well.

Environmental triggers are inclusive of seasonal changes that bring widespread exposure. Eczema flare-ups are usually more common in the dry, cold winter weather but they can get triggered all year round. Wool sweaters, hot baths, indoor heating, cold or the flu may dry out the skin during the winter season. This makes the skin more tight and brittle. The barrier is weakened when the skin cannot stay moist and hydrated on its own. This makes it easier for the body’s immune response to act up.

Spring and summer seasons also add monumentally to the worsening of the condition. Too much sun exposure, increased humidity and heat can lead to more sweating. As sweat contains salts, they act as an irritant to eczema-prone damaged skin aggravating symptoms and leading to flare-up episodes. Patches of the skin condition are usually apparent in areas that harbor moisture like elbows, knee area, behind the neck and armpits. In addition, the season also increases exposure to allergens like pollen, dust mites and mold that may set off the body’s immune response into an exaggerated frenzy.

Furthermore, varying stress levels and aggression; skin infections, hormonal imbalance, and food-related allergies are all factors that significantly predispose to worsening eczema symptoms. Alterations in the chemical physiology of internal emotion-based systems elicit an inflammatory response that manifests as dry skin, and itchy rashes.

How to Manage My Eczema Flare-ups?

While there is currently no cure for eczema and the symptoms are mostly very uncomfortable and distressing.
To ensure this, the first step is to steer clear of all known triggers. Exposure should be minimal to none in order to not have the itch initiate in the first place.

Make sure to avoid extreme, drastic weather conditions. In winter it is imperative to wear warm, non-woolen clothes and essential to remain hydrated. Skip the long hot baths and moisturize the skin to keep it protected and functional. In addition, switch to fragrance-free products and gentle non-abrasive soaps or body washes as chemical irritants can change the pH of the skin eliciting an inflammatory reaction. During peak summer, make sure to avoid direct sunlight as it tends to weaken the skin barrier and make use of a non-chemical sunblock on all days.

To manage the irritating symptoms, one can also opt for a variety of over the counter medications that help to tolerate and minimize the flare-ups. Oral antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen) and anti-itch can be of great help for temporary relief. In more severe cases doctors may also recommend corticosteroids to aid in providing relief from the ‘itch-scratch’ cycle.

Treatment for Eczema

It is a known fact that there are no established cures for eczema and researchers conducted several Eczema Clinical Trials to find cure.  Finding a cure for chronic skin conditions, exploring novel treatments for a diverse demographic pool. A cure for all age groups and ethnicities is the primary goal of these research studies.

While currently mitigating the terrible effects and management of eczema is key, Atopic Dermatitis Clinical Trials near You may be an option in furthering the solution. Becoming a part of trials that advance technological parameters and therapeutic modalities for the disease may be purposeful enough to find the cure.

Also Read: Top 10 Health Benefits Of Lentils

Moin Tabish

Moin Tabish is a Software Engineer and a Digital Content Producer And Marketer Particularly related to medical technology, software Development and More.

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