You’d been noticing it for sometime now. It started as a small rash on the back of your hand, remained there for sometime, disappeared, but has reappeared again. Only this time it’s itching. Whether it’s eczema or not, only your physician can tell, as there are plenty of other similar skin problems.
However, if it’s eczema, don’t panic. More than fifteen million people in the US alone are afflicted with it. Of these ten percent are kids! But don’t rush off to the drugstore for over-the-counter prescription drugs, as there’re some good natural cures available and some home remedies for eczema too.
What is eczema?
Simply defined, eczema is inflammation of the skin. It can be an allergic reaction to household cleansers, detergents, soaps and even perfumes and after-shave lotions. It can also happen if you come in contact with gasoline, turpentine or other strong solvents. Other things that bring about this condition are scratchy fabrics, like wool or dust mites in your bed linen. Whatever be the cause, eczema makes your skin dry, red and itchy. In chronic cases, the whole body may break out in rashes.
Protection from eczema
If you’ve never experienced eczema, there are things you should adhere to meticulously:
a. Gloves: If your work involves continuously immersing hands in water, wear vinyl or plastic gloves for protection from irritants in water. Use cotton gloves underneath to prevent the hands getting sweaty. In winter protect your hands from dryness due to cold air and low humidity by wearing gloves.
b. Clothes: Wear clothes that can “breathe”. Clothes made from cotton or cotton blend belong to this category. Avoid synthetic fibers that don?t absorb sweat. These clothes, and even woolen ones, can irritate skin.
c. Avoid sweatiness: If you build up too much sweat, it can lead to skin irritation and itchiness. So, bring down hot and sweaty activities to a minimum.
d. Skin care: Taking a bath using strong soaps to clear the dirt and grime is a likely cause of skin irritation leading to eczema. So, always use a mild soap, like Dove or Oil of Olay, but not excessively.
If you get afflicted with eczema, you should know how to manage and cure the condition the natural way. Follow the points given below:
a. One thing you shouldn’t do is scratch or rub the affected area, even if you’re itching mad! This may seem difficult, but do your best not to. Scratching can cause the skin to break, allowing bacteria to infest the open skin. Using a wet washcloth can help dampen the urge to scratch.
b.Take bath in lukewarm water. Hot water can make you itch more. Once you’ve taken a bath, don’t rub your skin dry with a rough towel, as it may cause irritation. Better is to gently pat the skin dry to get the water off. Use some moisturizing cream or lotion on the skin to prevent dryness after your bath.
c.Drink lots of water, as it adds moisture to your skin.
d. You’d be surprised to know that eczema can even flare up due to stress. So, learn to cope with stress by taking recourse to natural therapies, like yoga, meditation and the like.
e. Use traditional treatment for eczema in the form of medicated shampoos and creams. These help change the normal exfoliation rate of the skin to prevent flaking and dryness. Other home remedies are the sulfur eczema treatment and ultraviolet light treatments. These remedies relieve redness, curb itching, increase collagen synthesis and gently acidify the natural ph balance of the skin.
Opting for natural cures will help you not only in healing eczema, but also in keeping the harmful side effects of prescription drugs away. But remember to continue skin care even after your skin has healed.