Before we discuss what eczema is, let’s get to know what inflammation is.
What is Inflammation
Inflammation can be defined as the defense response of the body to various infections or harm, like injuries (the pain, swelling, the itching sensation you feel is inflammation). It can also result from bacteria, fungi, or virus attacks on the body.
You can either feel warmth, redness, swelling, itching or pain, or loss of function on the inflamed part of the body.
In medical terms, the suffix (itis) is used to refer to an inflammation. For instance, appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix.
Dermatitis (eczema) means inflammation of the skin. And there are 5 types of this dermatitis:
Types of Skin Inflammation
- Skin Infection – Caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria
- Seborrheic dermatitis – Inflammatory process characterized by scaling and redness in some areas of the body
- Diaper dermatitis – Occur in the diaper area of babies due to prolonged contact with urine and stool
- Atopic dermatitis – It’s a chronic skin inflammation that is related to hereditary factors
- Contact dermatitis – This is a common form of skin inflammation that results from the use of cosmetic products. So, this is the type of dermatitis we’ll be explaining more of in this write-up.
Types of Contact Dermatitis
Direct Irritation of the skin
This type of contact dermatitis can happen to everyone. For instance, everybody’s skin will give out an itchy, painful, and peeling skin when it comes in contact with concentrated acids.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
We all have that product our skin won’t just have. You might have itchy skin when you use a lemon-infused product, while the next guy just feels cool using any product with lemon.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis is a state of hypersensitivity arising from an immune response of the body to a particular substance. You might react entirely to a new substance or you might suddenly react to the previous ingredients you have been applying to your body. Allergic contact dermatitis can spring up at any time.
What Causes Eczema (Allergic Contact Dermatitis)
Cleansing Agents and Metals
These are the cause of housewife eczema or hand dermatitis. Hand Dermatitis is a problem that prevalently occurs due to prolonged contact with cleaning agents and water.
It can also spring up when your hand reacts to the chemical components of bracelets or rings or rubber straps (the ingredient is usually nickel).
You can either use a hand glove anytime you do the dishes or use an occlusive ointment on the hand before putting your hands in the cleaning agent. Also, some cleaning agents are harsher than others, so try to choose wisely.
Fragrance and Plant Extracts
Your skin can react to lemon, eucalyptus, camphor, or peppermint (these are the major culprit, including other citrus and alcohols), giving rise to eczema…which may occur on your face or other parts of your body.
Discovering the ingredient that is responsible for skin dermatitis is always difficult. But a patch test is recommended to discover the culprit.
What Eczema is – How To Get Rid Of Eczema
- If you noticed eczema (dermatitis), the first thing is to drop the offending products
- You should always take a regular warm bath
- Apply a moisturizer on the affected area
- Avoid scratchy, rough fibers on the affected area
- Don’t rub the affected area with a towel. Rather, pat it dry
- Try to keep your fingernails short to avoid scratching the surface area by mistake
- Phototherapy (exposing the skin to UV rays for a short moment)
Some Medications for Eczema Treatment
Note, don’t try any of these on your own. See your doctor before attempting them
- Medications to treat viral and fungal infections may work for eczema as well
- To relieve the itchiness that normally accompanies eczema, you can apply corticosteroid creams and ointments
Now that you know what eczema is, see other ways to get rid of eczema