5 things you should know about eczema

Credit: rawpixel, Unsplash

Credit: rawpixel, Unsplash

October is Eczema Awareness Month, so we’ve decided to put together a guide all about the itchy skin condition that affects more than 10 percent of Americans.

Here are five things you should know about eczema:

  1. There are different types of eczema

    That’s because eczema is actually an umbrella term for several different conditions that cause red and itchy skin.

    Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. Genes play a significant role in whether or not a person develops this type of eczema. Unfortunately, there is no cure.

    Seborrheic dermatitis appears in oilier areas like the scalp or chest, and contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that is caused by a skin irritant or allergen. You can read more about the different types of eczema here.

  2. It affects all ages

    While atopic dermatitis is common in children, it can occur at any age. Mayo Clinic says the rash usually shows up before a child reaches five years old. Some affected children may experience flare-ups throughout their life while others may find their eczema gets better with age. It’s also possible to develop the condition as an adult.

  3. A bunch of things can trigger outbreaks

    Atopic dermatitis is chronic, but that doesn’t mean it’s always apparent. Eczema can clear up for a few months or years before reappearing unexpectedly. That’s because things like sweat, certain soaps, stress, dry weather, pollen and other allergens can trigger the rash.

  4. Eczema can be really frustrating

    Dry, itchy skin that cracks and bleeds is not fun. It physically hurts and can be embarrassing for some people. The National Eczema Association reports a significant portion of patients feel frustrated or embarrassed by their condition. Two-thirds of adults with eczema said it interfered with their job or household chores.

    If you have eczema, remember you are not alone. As many as 31.6 million Americans are affected by some sort of eczema.

  5. There are treatments

    Treating eczema is not as simple as applying more lotion. In fact, using the wrong cream can be painful and even make your condition worse. We recommend visiting your dermatologist to find the right medicated cream to ease itching and repair your skin.

    You can also help prevent flare-ups by identifying the factors that trigger your eczema. Switching to gentle soaps and detergents, taking shorter showers and moisturizing regularly can help maintain clear skin. Click here for more tips on managing eczema breakouts.

Midwest Clinic