What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema may come and go, and it can be asymptomatic for long periods of time between attacks. A rash behind the knees or on the arms is the most common symptom. However, the rash can appear virtually anywhere throughout the body.
This rash is usually dry and flaky, with peeling or redness. It may include bumps or fissures and might sometimes be itchy. Although some medications can help with eczema, it can often be controlled by being aware of environmental triggers and managing them proactively.
Ultraviolet Radiation Therapy For Eczema
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can help reduce the symptoms of chronic eczema. Exposure under medical supervision can be carefully monitored with the use of specially designed cabinets the person stands naked in the cabinet and fluorescent tubes emit ultraviolet radiation.A person with stubborn eczema may need up to 30 sessions. The risks of unsupervised ultraviolet radiation therapy can be the same as for sunbathing faster ageing of the skin and greater risk of skin cancer.
How Can Anxiety Cause Eczema
If youâve ever felt like your eczema flares up at exactly the wrong time, it might be your bodyâs way of responding to your pre-big-presentation-at-work tension. âAny type of stress, whether physical or mental, can worsen just about every skin problem,â Dr. Allen tells Bustle. âEczema is no exception.â
That doesnât mean your anxiety has your eczema, Dr. Allen explains â but if youâre already predisposed to it, stress can definitely cause a flare-up. You might be likely to have it, she says, if you have a family history of eczema, dry skin, or are being exposed to cold temperatures and low humidity.
Why does stress impact your skin like this? It has to do with your immune system and all those stress responses your body has. âEczema may be a response to a compromised immune system due to the excessive release of stress hormones, triggered by your body’s prolonged fight-or-flight response to stress,â says board-certified clinical psychologist Jenny Yip, Psy.D. In other words, when your entire week is thrown off-kilter by that ill-advised trip through your exâs social media page, your body becomes hypervigilant against perceived danger, cuing eczema.
Read Also: How To Relieve Stress For Kids
What Can I Expect If Ive Been Diagnosed With Eczema
Nearly half of children with eczema will outgrow the condition or experience great improvement by the time they reach puberty. Others will continue to have some form of the disease. For adults with eczema, the disease can be generally well-managed with good skin care and treatment, although flare-ups of symptoms can occur throughout life.
What Eczema Feels Like
Eczema made peoples skins very itchy. This could make it hard to concentrate or sit still. The itching could be intense, constant and uncontrollable. People described their skin as twitching, throbbing, stinging or like having ants crawling on it.
Recommended Reading: How To Fight Stress Acne
Find An Eczema Support Group
Even though eczema is a common disease affecting more than 31 million Americans, many people say they are too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. Oftentimes, they report covering up their skin and thus go through life not knowing if the person standing in line next to them also has eczema. Its human nature to want to talk with others who have the same problem and know what youre going through. The National Eczema Association can help. Connect with us on and to discuss the latest news and research with others in the eczema community. Join Eczema Wise, an online support group where people living with or affected by eczema can post discussion topics, exchange ideas and make new friends.
What Causes The Inflammation
So, what causes your skin to break out in red, itchy patches? Experts arenât exactly sure. But research says things like health, genetics, environment, certain products, and lifestyle may act as triggers. But eczema affects different people in different ways, so the things that cause you to have flare-ups may not bother someone else.
Immune system. When you have eczema, your body has an immune system that reacts too much. It responds easily to something thatâs either inside your body such as genes or outside of it like an allergen or irritant. This reaction damages the skin barrier — the topmost layer of your skin that defends your body from bacteria and keeps it from losing too much moisture. Without this protection, your skin is more sensitive, dry, brittle, and prone to inflammation.
Genetics. Youâre more likely to have eczema if you have:
Research shows that youâre also more likely to have eczema if you have a gene mutation that makes your body less able to produce enough filaggrin. This is a type of protein that helps your body build a strong skin barrier. If youâre low on filaggrin, your skin may lose a lot of water and become dry. It can also expose your skin to viruses and bacteria and make it more prone to infection.
Thereâs no cure or supplement you can take to fix your filaggrin levels, but keeping your immune system healthy can help ward off skin problems.
They can include:
Also Check: How Do I Handle Stress
The Added Burden Of Comorbidities
The presence of comorbidities also contributes to the stress and eczema exacerbation cycle. Dr. Levenberg states that “some patients with eczema also suffer from co-morbidities, such as anxiety, depression, autoimmune diseases, or other atopic diseases, like asthma, hay fever or food allergy. These associated conditions create their own stress and underlying chronic inflammation, and can contribute to a patient’s eczema.” In fact, more than 20% of adults with eczema also have asthma, and they have a two to four times increased risk of having allergic rhinitis and food allergy.
In addition to atopic co-morbidities, studies show that over 30% of people with atopic skin disease suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Psychosocial stressors such as the stigma faced when people assume rashes are ‘contagious,’ fear of showing inflamed skin at a hair salon or swimming pool, or the financial strain of disease management, all contribute to the anxiety associated with eczema. Anxiety and depression can be common triggers in some individuals that can cause eczema to flare up, which then creates further stress, leading to more eczema exacerbations.
How To Modify The Diet
You still need to eat healthy and dont go too extreme into the highly restricted diet.
Because if you go highly restricted, in order to remain eczema-free, youll have to maintain that highly restricted standard for the rest of the time being.
The solution is to let yourself heal from eczema slower with a lighter restricted diet, with cheating sessions every once in a while.
This doesnt mean you cram yourself 100% junk food in those sessions. It means letting yourself blend in with social conventions. This way, your body will adjust to your habits .
Slowing down your eczema recovery on purpose is for the long-term benefit of not being constrained to a highly restricted diet.
But if you tell me, hey Harrison! Im highly dedicated and I will exactly follow the highly restricted diet forever!, then sure thing, you can optimize your recovery to its greatest speed and thats fine!
Also Check: How To Relieve Stress Headaches Naturally
Open Up To Those Close To You
Being transparent to friends and family about how your skin problems are making you feel can be helpful to get some perspective.
“Just talking through feelings and discussing acne really helped me – sometimes, you just need someone else to help you see things a little more rationally and remind you that you’re much more than your skin,” says Lang.
How To Protect Your Hands From Eczema
Cut down on Hand Washing
Wash your hands just when theyre dirty or have germs, like after you utilize the bathroom. Each time you wash up, you rinse away some of the nourishing oils that your skin makes.
Also, be fussy when you select soaps, since some have extreme chemicals. Look for items that do not use the word soap but instead state moderate cleaning bars or lipid-free cleansers. These are gentler on sensitive skin.
Prior to you suds up, take off your rings they can trap irritants beside your skin. Wash your hands with lukewarm water, then pat them dry before you put your rings back on.
Use protective, cotton-lined gloves when youre doing household chores or utilizing cleansers and chemicals. Latex gloves can cause allergies, so its best to avoid them. Dont use waterproof gloves for too long, though. They can make your hands sweat and cause an itchy eczema flare-up.
Handle Cracks on Your Hands
If a flare-up makes the skin on your hands crack and bleed, attempt the soak and smear method.
- Soak your hands in lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes and after that pat them dry.
- Next, smear plain oil-based ointment all over your hands and place on cotton gloves. Glycerin-based lotions likewise help recover dry, cracked skin.
- Use the gloves for at least 30 minutes.
Do this twice a day. If its tough to do at work, make certain you hydrate typically.
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission.
Also Check: How To Deal With Stress Naturally
Eczema And Other Mental Health Issues
In a 2016 survey by the National Eczema Association, about one-half of the respondents said they were bothered by poor sleep and symptoms of mental health issues like depression and anxiety caused by eczema. The skin condition also affected their ability to effectively engage in self-improvement activities.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Why Im Modifying My Diet And Why You Should Too
Lets face the truth. The diet is actually quite boring unless you are great at and have the time to make good food using only food choices available from the restricted diet.
Plus, the constraints the diet puts you in social conventions is immense. Who wants to miss out on parties? Or hanging out with friends and family? No Christmas dinner? Who wants to be so extreme and sacrifice all these elements of a happy life just to be eczema-free?
This doesnt mean you cant adjust your body to be able to tolerate less restricted food options.
But I need to not repeat the same mistake from last year.
In fact, I know that if I go into my highly restricted diet like I did last year right now, my eczema would probably be gone in 20 days. But I dont want this because I need to adjust for the long-term.
If I dove in the highly restricted diet for the entire summer, sure-fire Ill be super healthy but Ill get eczema again like last year when school starts. I need to modify my current diet so my body adjusts and itll be more tolerable to the less restricted food I will eat when school begins.
Of course, this doesnt mean if you eat Oreos every day you can adjust your body to function on Oreos. Theres a limit.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Stress Pain In Neck
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Eczema
- How can you tell that I have eczema?
- If I dont have eczema, what other skin condition might I have?
- Is there a specific brand of moisturizer that you recommend?
- Is there a prescription cream that you can prescribe?
- How often should I see a dermatologist regarding my eczema?
- What soaps, lotions, makeup, etc. should I avoid?
- What medications do you recommend?
- What at-home treatments do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Eczema is very normal, very common, and very, very uncomfortable. It can affect your quality of life. At its worse it can keep you from sleeping, distract you and make you feel self-conscious in public. See your dermatologist or other healthcare provider as soon as you start to see signs of it. Explore at-home remedies and prescribed treatments.
Youre not alone! 15% to 20% of people experience eczema or another type of dermatitis at some point in their lives.
Next Take A Look At Your Lifestyle
Once you have your diet under control, you could look at your lifestyle.
Slow down & take some time for yourself: If your day-to-day routine is busy and hectic, its important that you try and set aside some time for yourself every day, at least 30 minutes. Its also essential that you get plenty of good-quality sleep as this can have a huge impact on your overall happiness and wellbeing, as our sleep advisor Marianna details in her blog, Is a good nights sleep the key to happiness?
Exercise regulary: Getting plenty of exercise can also help to lower your stress levels. If you are new to working out, I would recommend starting with a low-impact form of exercise such as yoga, which can teach you deep breathing techniques, enabling you to cope with stress better. If you are more used to exercise, though, you could try running or cycling, which can be great for getting you outdoors and exposing you to more vitamin D!
Try a gentle stress remedy: Finally, if you feel that stress is really starting to take over your life, you could try our natural, gentle stress remedy, AvenaCalm, which works gradually to ease the symptoms of mild stress and anxiety, restoring a sense of balance and calm. Prepared using extracts of organic oat herb, this remedy is very popular with our customers and can also be used to help you drift off into a natural sleep.
Don’t Miss: How To Deal With Post Traumatic Stress Triggers
What Are Some Tips For Stress Relief
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Sleep is one of the most important factors in stress management. In fact, having sufficient sleep will help you deal with everything else that might happen as a result of stress. Most adults should seek seven to eight hours of sleep a night on a consistent schedule.
- Take Time to Breathe: When someone is angry, anxious, or upset, breathing tends to be affected very quickly. When you consciously take long, deep breaths to the count of ten, it can help you maintain your calm. It also reduces heart rate and blood pressure.
- Exercise: Although many hobbies only provide a temporary distraction from stress, regular exercise has the potential to change things for the better long-term. Over time, it helps with the balance of stress hormones, respiration, and other issues.
To find out more, contact Florida Academic Dermatology Center.
Social And Sexual Problems
One of the main problems of eczema socially is that there are still many members of the population who think it may be contagious, infectious or unhygienic. Many people with eczema on their hands get embarrassed because they see people staring at them. If you cant say it outright, try and slip into the conversation that you have eczema and that it is neither infectious nor contagious and certainly not unhygienic. You may like to make a joke about how often you have to bathe and how scrupulous you have to be with your laundry and house cleaning. A joke thats not really joke is a very powerful way of getting a message across! If you have eczema on your hands you may find wearing cotton mittens helpful in this respect.
Dont stay away from life or wait until your eczema disappears before you enter it. Friendships are very important to all of us and the person with eczema is no different. You dont have to be the life and soul of the party or go to parties at all if you dont like them. Better to find interests and activities that you enjoy and try and forget about the eczema. This way you can meet kindred spirits, most of whom will be far more interested in you than in your skin condition.
- Vaginal deodorants
- Talcum powder, perfumed soaps and bubble bath.
- Nylon underwear. .
- Very tight clothing and clothing that rubs.
- Rough toilet paper.
Recommended Reading: Do Stress Balls Gummies Work
How Stress Causes Hives
Chronic hives caused by stress are usually due to the reaction of the immune system to allergens. Stress hives can also come from an environmental trigger, illness, or viral infection.
So how does it happen?
Those who are allergic to certain foods, pollen, or animal dander will most likely get skin hives anywhere on the body. Some people even develop stress hives due to sunlight exposure and sudden weather changes.
Common Food Allergens
Ways To Reduce Eczema
There are also many options you can take to reduce your eczema symptoms in general. First, visit your dermatologist so that they can properly diagnose you and perform tests to see what type of eczema you have and why you have eczema. There are many different types of eczema, some of which include atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis. There are a variety of treatment options for eczema like:
- OTC Products
- Prescription Products Many of these include topical creams with medications like corticosteroids, PDE4 inhibits, hydrocortisone, or topical calcineurin inhibitors to help relieve symptoms. Using hydrocortisone for eczema is a common practice and one that we explore in additional detail in our blog.
- Light Therapy
In addition to treating your eczema treatment, if you are suffering from the other common co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, or auto-immune diseases, you should schedule an appointment with your general doctor as well. They will be able to offer treatments for these conditions that will help not only help them, but eczema symptoms as well. If you have questions on eczema or any other skin conditions, do not hesitate to contact us today!
Don’t Miss: How To Limit Stress In Your Life