Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis

What is Eczema?



Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition. Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. It’s a general term for dermatitis, which simply means inflammation of the skin. It is not contagious. You can’t “catch it” from someone else.

It may appear as itchy red patch, sometimes, you may have other skin changes along with eczema, such as small raised bumps or hives. It affects men and women equally

You can have eczema can anywhere on your body, but it’s frequently seen:

  • Inside of your elbows
  • Backs of your knees
  • Face, often on the cheeks
  • Behind the ears
  • Buttocks
  • Hands and feet
  • Eyelids

For many people, the itch is usually only mild, or moderate. But in some cases it can become more severe and you might develop very inflamed skin. At times the itch gets so bad that people scratch it until it bleeds, which can make your eczema worse. This is called the “itch-scratch cycle.”

The kind of eczema you have and what triggers it, is the best starting point to treating and managing it.

According to the National Eczema Association, “It is possible to have more than one type of eczema on your body at the same time. Each form of eczema has its own set of triggers and treatment requirements”.

The seven different types of eczema are:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • *Contact dermatitis
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis

 

A Dermatologist can help identify which type or types of eczema you may have and how to treat and prevent flare-ups.

Possible causes of eczema are:

  • The skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) has become comprised making it more vulnerable to irritants or infection.
  • Genetic factors – eczema runs in families
  • Immune system dysfunction causing an unwanted inflammatory response in the skin.
  • Certain substances or conditions called trigger factors can cause eczema to flare-up, such as stress.
  • Irritants such as soaps and detergents, wool, skin infections, dry skin, low humidity, heat, sweating or emotional stress.
  • Allergens such as dust mites, pollen, molds, or foods.

Be Proactive!

Prepare your skin for harsh transitioning weather conditions by preemptively focusing on protecting your skin NMF barrier.

Avoid ingredients that may further irritate and compromise your skin barrier like alcohols, fragrances and harsh soaps. Itchiness is caused by inflammation and irritation, so choose products and ingredients that are calming and anti-inflammatory. Focus on ingredients that soothe inflammation and repair your skin like ceramides, fatty acids and plant oils.

To relieve the itch or reduce the effects of an Eczema flare-up and restore healthy skin!

Look for topical ingredients to nourish and hydrate the skin with anti-inflammatory properties. Such as:

Linoleic (omega 6 and Oleic acids (omega 9) - supportive essential fatty acids that promote healing and provide lipids that are very close to the skin’s own natural lipids. Soothes discomfort and dryness while increasing hydration in the epidermis.

Squalene - Helps neutralize damaged caused by UV light.  Helps protect against lipid peroxidation.  Patients with eczema have a significantly higher level of peroxidation. 

Arnica montana - Anti-inflammatory and heals, it soothes chapped skin and eczema and also speeds healing.

Ceramides - They help to form the skin's barrier and help skin retain moisture. They are lipids, making up to 50% of the skin barrier.  

Hyaluronic acid - Hydrates, and prevents trans-epidermal water loss in the NMF.

Niacinamide - Reduces redness from eczema by strengthening the skin’s natural barrier.

Products with recommended ingredients

Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Toner

Rhonda Allison Pure Omega

Saian Skincare Pure Squalene 

Rhonda Allison Hyaluronic Concentrate

Saian Skincare Pure Hyaluronic acid Serum

Rhonda Allison DNA  Protect

*Personal Note:

I had an allergic reaction to the rubber padding on my ear plug, resulting in contact dermatitis in the Tragus part of my ears. To relieve the relentless of itching and flaking, I applied Pure Omega, followed by a layer of DNA Protect. I immediately received instant short-term relief, applying the products when it was necessary. After about a week, the flaking stopped, and the scabbing disappeared. Two weeks later, my ears are almost normal. I threw away the ear plugs.  :)

Reduce eczema symptoms with an anti-inflammatory diet.

Eating anti-inflammatory foods may help lessen or reduce eczema symptoms because some foods contain properties that have been known to decrease eczema flare-ups. It’s important to know how your body works and which foods work best for your individual needs.

 

Fatty fish and healthy fats

Eat fatty fish, such as salmon and herring. Fish oil contains high levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados have high levels of oleic acid.Walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 essential fatty acid,

Foods containing quercetin

 

 Quercetin is a plant-based flavonoid. It helps to give many flowers, fruits, and vegetables their rich color. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and antihistamine. This means it can reduce inflammation as well as levels of histamine in your body.

Foods high in quercetin include:

Apples

Blueberries

Cherries

Broccoli

Spinach

Kale

Probiotic foods

Such as yogurt. Yogurt contain live cultures that help support a strong immune system. May help reduce flare-ups or allergic reactions.

Probiotic-rich foods include:

  • sourdough bread
  • miso soup
  • naturally fermented pickles
  • soft cheeses, such as Gouda
  • unpasteurized sauerkraut
  • kefir

Eczema and Food Allergies

Many people who have eczema are also diagnosed with food allergies. However, everyone’s body is the same, discovering your personal food trigger is important to minimize issues with allergies and eczema. Not every person will have issues with the foods listed below,common food allergies associated with eczema include:

cow's milk

eggs

soy products

gluten

wheat

peanuts

fish

shellfish

Eating certain foods doesn’t appear to cause eczema, although it may trigger a flare-up if you already have the condition. Maintaining an eczema-friendly diet is key to overall condition management.

Foods know to cause inflammation

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible.

  • Foods containing preservatives and artificial ingredients(may exacerbate symptoms)
  • Foods high in trans fats
  • Foods high in sugar(sugars causes your insulin levels to spike, which can result in inflammation)
  • cakes
  • some coffee drinks
  • some smoothies
  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs,sausage)

*Contact dermatitis can cause an itchy rash.

Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that appears when a person's skin reacts to a certain substance or irritant.

In addition to pruritis, the symptoms of contact dermatitis include a rash, a burning or stinging sensation, redness, and swelling.

Triggers for contact dermatitis on the chest vary among individuals but often include:

  • chemicals or dyes in clothing
  • laundry detergent
  • dryer sheets
  • jewelry, especially nickel
  • cosmetic skin products
  • fragrances

People can try to prevent contact dermatitis by identifying and avoiding their triggers. Topical steroids and antihistamines can help relieve symptoms.

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