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October is Eczema Awareness Month. Here is some information about eczema that will help to keep your skin healthy. 

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a condition that causes different skin irritations, inflammation, and redness in the skin. Eczema can weaken your skin’s barrier, so hydrating products will help repair the damaged skin barrier. Eczema is one type of dermatitis out of a group that causes symptoms of sensitive skin, swelling, and rough, dry patches. 

What does Eczema look like?

Skin looks dry, patchy, rashy, red, and inflamed. Skin can feel itchy and irritated. Eczema can develop on elbows, knees, feet, neck, and face. Eczema symptoms look different and vary for each individual. Some symptoms may be more severe than others, or flare-ups may last longer. 

What are some causes or triggers of Eczema?

Triggers for eczema are environmental factors like allergens and irritants.

People with a family history of eczema are more at risk of getting it. Some other things that can trigger eczema are chemicals, soaps, pollution, hormones, and weather. Your immune system overreacts to irritants around you that cause your skin to develop eczema. Mental health can also trigger eczema if you are under high stress levels; it can cause a flare-up. 

Is Eczema Contagious?

Eczema is not contagious. You can’t spread eczema from one person to another.

Do certain foods trigger eczema?

Specific food allergies may contribute to eczema symptoms if your eczema worsens after eating particular foods. Keeping a food journal to track what you eat and your skin’s reaction is a good idea. 

What does eczema look like on different skin tones?

On olive or deeper skin tones, the skin rash may present differently. The rashes may appear grayish or light brown. After eczema flare-ups go away, the skin may have leftover hyperpigmentation. There are many skincare products available to address the hyperpigmentation.

How is eczema diagnosed?

Make an appointment with your health provider to get a proper diagnosis with a physical exam. Your doctor may do a few tests to diagnose eczema, like allergy and blood tests. The tests help to rule out other health conditions. Children are sometimes diagnosed with eczema in childhood, but symptoms can occur anytime. 

What questions or information will the doctor ask me?

What are your symptoms?

Does anyone in your family have eczema?

Do you have any medical conditions?

Do you notice there are times when your symptoms are worse?

How long have you had your symptoms?

How do you treat Eczema?

There is no cure for eczema or atopic dermatitis. Treatments help the skin heal and prevent flare-ups from getting worse. Certain ingredients work to calm and heal the skin. It’s best to use skincare ingredients that are natural and paraben-free. Using paraben-free ingredients will reduce irritations from developing in the skin. Some people will only have eczema a few times; for others, it may be a chronic condition. After consulting with your doctor, they may prescribe certain medications to aid in healing your flare-ups, and other treatments may include phototherapy. The skin barrier will need help with repairing and healing. Maintaining good skin health and improving your skin barrier is essential. Using the right ingredients for healing the skin is vital. 

Have questions? I’m here to help! 

Teresa

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