What is eczema?
Eczema is a condition where patches of the skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked and rough. The word "eczema" is also used specifically to talk about atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema.
What causes eczema?
The cause of eczema remains unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors can include;
- Irritants like soap, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, meat or vegetables
- Allergens like dust mites, pets, pollens, mould and dandruff
- Microbes including bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, viruses and certain fungi
- Hot and cold temperatures
- Foods including dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products and wheat
How can I treat eczema?
Although there is no cure for eczema there are treatments that aim to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-up symptoms. There are some home treatments that support skin health and alleviate symptoms, these include;
- Lukewarm baths
- Applying moisturiser within 3 minutes of bathing to 'lock in' moisture
- Moisturise every day
- Wearing cotton and soft fabrics
- Use mild soap or a non-soap cleanser