Eczema Facts

Eczema Facts

Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema. Atopic refers to a group of diseases with an often inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

Eczema affects about 10% to 20% of infants and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Most infants who develop the condition outgrow it by their tenth birthday, while some people continue to have symptoms on and off throughout life. With proper treatment, the disease often can be controlled.

What is eczema?

The term 'eczema' is used in two different ways. It can be used widely to describe any rash-like skin conditions. Or, it can be used to describe atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin condition that commonly starts during infancy and continues through into childhood. Some people outgrow the condition, while others will continue to have it into adulthood.

The word "atopic" refers to a collection of diseases involving the immune system, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, and hay fever. "Dermatitis" means inflammation of the skin.

What is eczema
Symptoms of eczema

No matter which part of the skin is affected, eczema is almost always itchy. Sometimes the itching will start before the rash appears, but when it does, the rash most commonly appears on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet. It may also affect other areas as well.

Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly. In fair-skinned people, these areas may initially appear reddish and then turn brown. Among darker-skinned people, eczema can affect pigmentation, making the affected area lighter or darker.

In infants, the itchy rash can produce an oozing, crusting condition that happens mainly on the face and scalp, but patches may appear anywhere.

ARACUS™ Eczema Relief Bamboo Moisturizing Lotion
Causes eczema

Causes eczema

The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it's thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body's immune system to an irritant. It is this response that causes the symptoms of eczema.

Children are more likely to develop eczema if a parent has had it or another atopic disease.

Environmental factors are also known to bring out the symptoms of eczema, including:

  • ● Irritants, e.g. soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants.
  • ● Allergens, e.g. dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff.
  • ● Microbes, e.g. bacteria, viruses, and certain fungi.
  • ● Temperatures, e.g. extremely hot or cold weather, high and low humidity, and perspiration from exercise.
  • ● Foods, e.g. dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat.
  • ● Stress, not a direct cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse.
  • ● Hormones, women can experience worsening of eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, e.g. during pregnancy and at certain points in their menstrual cycle.
Treatments for eczema

Treatments for eczema

There is no cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flaring of the symptoms. Doctors would suggest a plan of treatment based around a patient's age, symptoms, and current state of health.

Hydrocortisone 1% cream, or prescription creams and ointments containing corticosteroids, are often prescribed to lessen inflammation. However, long term usage of hydrocortisone could cause serious side effects, including nausea, heartburn, headache, dizziness, menstrual period changes, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, even life threatening problems.

The FDA has approved two drugs known as topical immunomodulators (TIMs) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate eczema. The drugs, Elidel and Protopic, are skin creams that work by altering the immune system response to prevent flare-ups.

The FDA has warned doctors to prescribe Elidel and Protopic with caution due to concerns over a possible cancer risk associated with their use. The warning advises doctors to prescribe short-term use of Elidel and Protopic only after other available eczema treatments have failed in adults and children over the age of 2. It should not be used in kids under age 2.

In recent years, more and more herb based products have been approved effective to eczema, and much safer as compared to chemical drugs.

Overall, the key goals of treatment for eczema are summarized below:

Environmental factors are also known to bring out the symptoms of eczema, including:

  • ● Keep the skin moisturized.
  • ● Relieve the main symptoms of eczema, such as skin itchiness and redness.
  • ● Prevent infection and inflammation caused by eczema.
  • ● Form a barrier to reduce water loss.
  • ● Repair skin damage.

Why and How ARACUS™ Treats Eczema by Fulfilling Above 5 Goals? Please see details in ARACUS™ Facts.