Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eczema In The Offing

Too much stress can take its toll on your physical, emotional and psychological well-being. It can cause you to feel extremely fatigued and can make your skin to act up. While acne breakouts occur when pores become clogged, a red, irritated and itchy skin can be an eczema in the offing.

Eczema is a common skin irritation characterized by reddening of the skin which sometimes develop small, fluid-filled bumps that become moist and ooze. There are many forms of eczema, but atopic eczema is one of the most common and severe. There is no exact known cause for eczema but doctors believe that skin allergies and the way a person's immune system reacts to things may be involved in the formation of eczema.

While it may not be contagious like a cold, researches show that it could be inherited or passed through genes. This is the reason why most people with eczema have other family members with the same condition. Some people with eczema may also have asthma and certain allergies, such as hay fever. Others have food allergies to cow's milk, soy, eggs, fish, or wheat which can worsen eczema. Allergies to animal dander, rough fabrics, and dust may also trigger the condition in some people.

When under severe stress, people may find it difficult to avoid all the triggers, or irritants, that cause or worsen eczema flare-ups. These itchy patches of eczema may affect any part of the body but are usually seen where the elbow bends; on the backs of the knees, ankles, and wrists; and on the face, neck, and upper chest.

Eczema flare-up may feel hot and itchy at first, prompting the person to scratch it, making it red, inflamed and blistered. When heavily scratched, the skin becomes almost leathery in texture. Others find that their skin becomes extremely dry and scaly.

Since emotional stress can also lead to eczema flare-ups, your doctor might also inquire about any problems you might be having at school, home, or work.

Eczema can't be cured. However, there are many ways to prevent a possible eczema flare up. Use only nondrying facial cleanser or soap substitute for facial eczema. This will keep facial skin from being irritated. A noncomedogenic/oil-free facial moisturizer can also help ease the dryness and itchiness cause by eczema. Try not to apply make-up or use only hypoallergenic makeup and sunscreens.

Furthermore, try to avoid substances that may stress your skin such as housesehold cleaners, drying soaps, detergents, and fragranced lotions. It is possible that too much exposure to water can dry out your skin. A short warm shower is advised but wear gloves if your hands will be in water for long periods of time. Pat your skin dry gently and thoroughly. Do not rub with a coarse towel which can irritate the condition. Remember, it isn't the water that causes your skin to react; it's the water evaporating if not dried soon enough. Wear clothes made from cotton fabrics. Avoid scratchy fabrics like wool which can irritate the skin. Do not scratch no matter how itchy it gets. Scratching can worsen the eczema and cause breaks in the skin which could lead to bacterial infections.

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