Eczema is a group of conditions that cause inflammation (or rash) of the skin. There are seven different types of Eczema, each with several different identifying names and each with a variety of symptoms and different triggers (or causes). None of the different types of eczema are contagious, and regardless of the type of eczema, the physical appearance often looks different on different people. There is no known cure for eczema and their lots of different ideas on how to treat eczema depending on the severity and type.
Atopic Dermatitis (or eczema) is the most common type in infants, many of whom outgrow it (approximately 60%) before adulthood. Typically, eczema causes the skin to become itchy, red, and dry -- even cracked and leathery over time. Eczema can be very uncomfortable, typified by an urge to itch. Scratching the skin can begin a vicious itch-scratch cycle. Reckless scratching an affected area can cause further inflammation and the eczema rash can start to bleed and even become infected. Eczema can appear on any part of the body including around the eyes, on the head, feet, hands, all over the body, around the genitals and on backs (or creases) of the elbow and/or knees. If you suspect your child has eczema it is highly recommended that you seek the professional medical advice of a pediatrician who can typically treat most mild and some moderate eczema conditions or a board-certified dermatologist for moderate to severe eczema conditions.
Figure 1: Eczema (or Dermatitis) Behind the Elbow
Figure 2: Eczema (or Atopic Dermatitis) in the Creases Behind the Knees
One of the most common places on the body for Atopic Dermatitis to appear is on the backs of elbows and/or behind knees in an area called the creases. The creases of elbows and knees are susceptible to eczema related irritation because this is where sweat and salt build-up and skin rubs against skin. Anything that causes sweating can irritate the rash and these two areas of the body are prone to perspiration, even in infants. Also, the friction from clothing and other trapped irritants can further irritate this area and foster the persistence of Atopic Dermatitis.
Eczema behind elbows and eczema behind knees can be especially challenging since they are easy areas to scratch, and therefore eczema in these areas of the body can become easily inflamed, and persistent scratching can damage sensitive skin, making it more prone to infection and further complications including life-long scarring.
Eczema Tip: Keep fingernails cut short and smooth to prevent skin damage. Cover fingers during sleep to prevent scratching.
Untreated, Dermatitis behind elbows and dermatitis behind knees in the creases cause almost constant discomfort whenever the arm or leg bends during regular activities. Further, the friction from harsh clothing material against the sensitive skin in these areas will increase the intensity of the urge to itch and can be a major distraction during the day or a problem at night going to sleep. Eczema on the elbows and knees should be treated as soon as it is identified and regularly thereafter until the rash disappears to prevent further irritation and pain.
This process should be repeated at least twice a day and for as long as the skin irritation is visible. If the condition does not start visibly getting better or discomfort and itching persist consult your healthcare professional immediately.Eczema Tip: Use special eczema therapy arm and leg sleeves
Wet wrapping therapy is a highly effective method for delivery itch relief quickly. You should always consult your advising medical professional before attempting a wet wrap.
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The Vitamin D Council’s research correlates conclusions that having high enough levels of vitamin D3 may reduce your risk of developing eczema and psoriasis and the prevalence of eczema and psoriasis flareups. And that people with normal to higher levels of vitamin D3 will help manage eczema flareups and they will have fewer skin infections.
Conversely, a prominent and leading 2017 study from a team of Canadian researchers found that increasing vitamin D level is unlikely to reduce the risk and susceptibility to asthma, elevated immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis conditions in adults or children.
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Read about a few of our favorite moderate to severe eczema treatments that will dramatically help both chickenpox and shingles.
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