In this time of skincare obsession, having occasional breakouts is almost like a jail sentence. You’d think adulthood is hard enough, then some skin disease which you thought you had outgrown comes along and you’re stuck wondering why you have to be the chosen one. Story of your life, right?
So that skin disease has you playing hide and seek because you can’t afford to go down on the cool-girl chart. The misconception that eczema is as a result of poor hygiene doesn’t seem to pacify the situation. I mean, who wants to walk around having people avoid them with so much judgment?
Eczema, just like acne, is a skin disease that also affects adults. Symptoms may include itchy, dry, sore, cracked and red skin.
What causes Eczema?
The exact cause of eczema isn’t known but it can majorly be gotten through a dip into the gene pool (heredity). Eczema is believed to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to what it presumes to be an irritant. So certain soaps, detergents and other chemicals that come into contact with the skin could be judged an irritant by the immune system of someone prone to eczema.
Exposure to other allergens and infection with certain bacteria and viruses can also cause adult eczema. Extreme weather conditions and being around certain pets and dust have also been known to result in eczema.
Can Eczema be treated?
Yes, it can be treated although treatment of eczema feels like a constant battle and like any other battle you’d need to be well equipped with tools and stay ever ready to fight.
Here are some tips to help you treat and cope with adult eczema…
Frequent application of moisturizers and creams that help protect the skin’s moisture barrier goes a long way in alleviating eczema symptoms since the skin’s moisture barrier is weakened by eczema. Opt for perfume / fragrance-free moisturizers and ones loaded with ceramides, which help build up the skin’s moisture barrier.
Creams with moisture-locking glycerin and shea butter are also top options for eczema-prone skin. The drier the skin the greasier the moisturizer you’ll need.
#2. Other over-the-counter treatments
OTC treatments, such as hydrocortisone 1% cream, or prescription creams and ointments containing corticosteroids, are typically prescribed to treat inflammation. In cases where the affected area becomes infected, your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics to destroy the infection-causing bacteria.
#3. Use steroid creams
Steroid creams get a lot of heat because of the side effects they bring but they are found to be of good help in treating itching and inflammation. A dermatologist must, however, be on the recommending end.
#4. Use calcineurin inhibitors
If your skin doesn’t respond to topical steroids or the eczema is located in a place on your body that is sensitive such as your eyelids or armpits, Calcineurin inhibitors is your best option but should only be used at the direction and prescription of a dermatologist.
#5. LED or oral treatment
If severe or widespread eczema persists, phototherapy / light treatment is a great treatment option to consider. It involves dampening down the immune system under the supervision of a dermatologist. Light therapy is a common treatment for a number of conditions ranging from eczema to depression.
Other treatments include antihistamines and tar treatments to curb severe itching and the drug cyclosporine for people whose condition doesn’t respond to other treatments.
#6. Foods that help treat eczema
Like with everything health-related, what we eat play a big role in speeding up or slowing down or treatment process. So as a bonus, here are foods that help the fight against adult eczema:
1. Banana: High in potassium.
2. Beef or chicken broth: Provides skin-repairing amino acid glycine.
3. Green onions: Rich source of vitamin K, important for healthy skin.
4. Potato: Rich in fibre, potassium and vitamin C.
5. Rice milk: Low allergy and low in chemicals and considered eczema safe
6. Buckwheat: Gluten-free and has a strong effect
7. Mung bean sprouts: Strong alkalizing food
The state of a person’s skin can affect their mood and eventually their overall well-being. When you are not pleased with your skin, frustration may set in, leaving you embarrassed and isolated. It’s encouraging to know that you’re not alone in this and if you apply the above tips, it really does get better.
Photo credit: Instagram | Annakozdon
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