Living with Eczema

Living with Eczema

Eczema is a common skin dermatitis.  It is when your skin is itchy and inflamed.  It can cause scaling and blisters. Eczema can appear anywhere you have skin, but most common spots are arms, behind the elbows, face, and behind the knees.  Eczema usually develops in early childhood and is more common in people whose family members have eczema as well. If eczema doesn’t show up in infancy or childhood your chances of getting it are almost nonexistent. The specific cause of eczema is unknown, but it usually is because of genetics, family history, or your environment. 

There are lots of things you can do to manage the symptoms of eczema.  Eczema causes your skin to be very itchy and can cause inflamed skin spots that can ooze sometimes.  If you have eczema you will want to make sure you have a good skin care regimen. There are good over the counter creams and ointments that you can get.  Such as hydrocortisone creams to help with the itchiness. Antihistamines can help with the inflammation if your skin becomes inflamed. Other treatments can be UV light therapy if your doctor feels that your eczema is bad enough.  The UV light therapy that uses a machine that focuses UVB light onto the skin that is affected by eczema. This is used to help get rid of some of the itching. Your doctor can also prescribe you prescription strength moisturizer to help. 

Though no one is sure what causes eczema there are some things that can make eczema flare up.  Makeup, perfume, and some soaps may cause eczema to flare up. Try to avoid, dust, sand, chlorine, solvents, cigarette smoke, dry air, or being too hot or cold.  That is a lot that can cause flare ups. Other things that can cause irritation to your skin is wool or other man made fibers. You may need to avoid tight clothing.  

People have found the creams and ointments to help but some people have found that cutting out or eating more of certain foods can help make their eczema better.  Taking a probiotic supplement can help.  

Not everyone will have food allergies or issues with these foods but some people with eczema  have been known to have some food aversions.

Foods to avoid are citrus fruits, dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, cinnamon, and tomatoes. 

Eating these foods may not cause you to have eczema but eliminating them may help decrease flare ups. Everyone is different. This may or may not help you even if you have eczema, but it could be something to try to see if they help.  Also try limiting foods that are high in sugar and foods that are high in trans-fats. 

There are foods that you can add into your diet that have been shown to help with eczema.  Foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids, like fish are a good. Also foods high in probiotics such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup.  Foods that are high in flavonoids can help decrease inflammation. Foods that are high in flavonoids are apples, cherries, kale and vegetables.  The main thing to focus on are foods that are anti-inflammatory foods that way they can help reduce the symptoms. 

Eczema though it isn’t contagious, is a severe dermatitis.  There is no cure for it, but there are ways to try and deal with the symptoms.  Cutting things out that cause flares up of the eczema and then adding in things that can help take away some of the inflammation can help you manage.  If your eczema doesn’t seem