Eczema (or dermatitis as it is sometimes called) is a type of inflammatory skin condition which can affect all ages and can vary in its severity. In its mild form, the skin becomes dry, hot and itchy but in its more severe form, the skin can become broken, raw and bleeding. Eczema is not contagious but it can sometimes look unpleasant.
The word eczema means “to boil” and it affects up to ten per cent of the population. Dryness of the skin is the main problem associated with eczema and this dryness is aggravated by hot, dry conditions or extreme cold.
Eczema almost always begins in childhood, usually during infancy. Its symptoms are dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracks behind the ears, and rashes on the cheeks, arms, and legs. It alternately improves and worsens. During flare-ups, open weeping or crusted sores may develop from the scratching or from infections. Because the itching makes the eczema sufferer want to scratch, the skin can get broken allowing other skin infections to take a hold. Children suffering from eczema may also suffer from asthma and hay fever at the same time or one or both of these conditions may appear later.
The itchy feeling is an important factor in eczema because scratching and rubbing in response to the itching, worsens the skin inflammation and a vicious cycle of itch-scratch develops. The almost unbearable itchiness of the skin causes the person to scratch, which in turn worsens the itch and so it goes on. Itching is particularly a problem during sleep so the nails should be kept short and even cotton mittens should be worn to help stop the scratching.
The exact cause of eczema is not known although medical studies and research are on going. However, there are certain risk factors such as:
— A family history of eczema.
— A family history of allergies, including hay fever and asthma.
— Contacts with irritants in the environment.
— Abrupt changes of temperature.
— Heavy physical activity that causes sweating.
— Emotional stress.
— Allergens such as house dust mite, animal dander, grass pollens and moulds.
— Occasionally, allergic reaction to particular foods.
It is wise to treat the condition as soon as an outbreak occurs and a natural healing product is indicated to help eliminate the itching before the healing process can begin.
Amoils offers all natural treatments for common conditions and ailments using essential oils. Visit our Eczema for more information.