Eczema is an umbrella term for a reaction characterized by red, inflamed, and itchy skin. Studies show that 10.1% of the U.S. population or approximately 31.6 individuals have this problem. Researchers also found that those affected by eczema are more likely to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis. This condition is linked with anxiety, depression, and conduct disorder as well.
We believe that one of the reasons of eczema’s continuing prevalence and poor management is the lack of understanding about it. Today, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about eczema.
Q1: What Is Eczema?
What is eczema? It’s a chronic, recurrent inflammatory skin reaction. It commonly affects those with a family history of atopic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever. It causes dry, patchy, itchy, and even scaly areas on your skin. In more severe cases, your skin may also weep, bleed, and crust.
Q2: Can Stress Cause Eczema?
Eczema is associated with having a defective production of the protein filaggrin in your body. While stress does not directly cause eczema, it may result in rashes to flare up. Other triggers include humidity or temperature changes, intense emotions, and infections. Chemical irritants, like pesticides, astringents, and perfumed soaps, may also lead to eczema. Rough or scratchy fabrics and other physical irritants may give you the same skin reaction.
Q3: Is Eczema Contagious?
One of the top concerns when it comes to eczema is if it’s contagious. In general, this problem cannot be transferred from person to person. The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, is non-communicable. This means you don’t have to worry about touching or mingling with individuals who have this skin condition.
That said, a certain kind of eczema, referred to as eczema herpeticum, is caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV1. Being the same virus that causes common colds, others may easily catch this type of eczema through skin-to-skin contact. In addition, when your raw, irritated skin becomes infected, it’s possible that the bacteria or microorganism can be contagious.
Q4: If Eczema Is Not Contagious, How Do Others Get Eczema?
While the exact reason behind eczema development remains a gray area, experts found that it’s common among individuals with defective filaggrin production, a particular protein in your body. This is primarily hereditary, which means certain gene variations make you more likely of acquiring it. If you have a parent, sibling, or any other relative who has eczema, you’re at a higher risk of having to deal with this problem, as well.
Q5: How Does Eczema Spread?
Eczema is not transmissible from person to person. However, it can spread to different areas in your body. It may start from your face, then affect your cheeks, chin, and neck. You may also have eczema on your wrist, elbows, and even knees. Babies and young kids usually have eczema on exposed parts of their body, like the face, knees, and elbows.
Older children, on the other hand, usually have eczema rash on the sides of their neck, on the wrists, hands, and ankles. The skin on the inside of their elbows and behind their knees are also often inflamed. Meanwhile, the neck, hands, arms, and legs are common sites for adults. Keep in mind that scratching your skin can worsen the itchiness and other symptoms.
Q6: How Do I Know If It’s Eczema or Some Other Skin Problem?
Eczema pattern and symptoms may appear similar with other skin conditions. Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, is sometimes misdiagnosed for psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or contact dermatitis. The best way to confirm if you or your kids have eczema is to seek expert advice. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you see rashes forming on your body. Your healthcare provider has the knowledge, training, and instruments to determine whether you have eczema or some other type of skin problem.
Q7: Should Someone With Eczema Avoid Certain Foods?
Roughly 10 to 15% of eczema cases have been positively linked to food allergies. The most common culprits include, eggs, fish, and nuts. Milk, soy, and wheat often cause hypersensitivity reactions, as well.
Q8: Can an Individual Affected by Eczema Swim in a Shared Pool or Seawater?
While there’s no restrictions when it comes to swimming in a pool or seawater, the chlorine and salt in these places may further irritate your skin. This may ultimately lead to eczema rash flare-ups. What you can do is to observe proper hygiene measures before and after taking a dip. Rinse off completely, pat yourself dry (avoid rubbing your skin), and apply a generous amount of moisturizing or eczema creams on your body.
Q9: How About Participating in Sports and Other Physical Activities?
You may play sports or participate in physical activities. Keep in mind, however, that sweat may irritate your inflamed skin, which may worsen the itchiness. Remember to rinse off and pat dry yourself completely as much as you can. Don’t forget to lather on moisturizing creams or lotions afterward.
Q10: Is It Okay to Spend Time Under the Sun?
There are studies showing spending time in the sun helps improve eczema. There are fewer episodes of eczema rashes during the warm and summer months. That said, it’s best to observe protective measures during this time, such as using wide-brimmed hats and taking cover under a shade whenever you can.
Q11: Once You Get Eczema, Can You Get It Again?
Eczema, particularly atopic dermatitis, is a recurring and long-term condition. This means it can come and go over the years. One day you’re okay and the next you may have rashes all over your body. This often happens when you come in contact with your specfic trigger.
Q12: How to Get Rid of Eczema?
There’s no definite answer on how to get rid of eczema. There are things you can do, however, to help manage the condition, relieve your symptoms, and maintain your well-being. For one, observe proper hygiene measures all the time. Moisturize daily. Refrain from rubbing or scratching your skin, as well. If you can, avoid exposing yourself to temperature extremes and from your specific triggers. Try to find ways to manage stress, like practicing breathing and relaxation techniques.
Q13: Is There a Soap Specifically for Eczema?
Using mild, non-irritating soap is a must for those with eczema. As they don’t contain perfumes, dyes, or other chemicals that are drying or harsh on your skin, they won’t lead to rash breakouts. One of the best in the market is Naples Soap Company’s Eczema Soap. It’s clinically tested, revealing its homeopathic properties that are effective in taming those flare-ups.
Handcrafted in the U.S., the Eczema Soap only uses natural and premier ingredients, like fucus vesiculosus (tinc), hydrocotyle asiatica (tinc), and yogurt extract. It also contains sodium palmate, as well as three times of aloe and melissa officinalis. Sodium cocoate, glycerin, avena sativa (oat), and kernel flour were added too. Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sodium citrate, alcohol, and sodium chloride are included in the formulation. All of them are FDA-approved and registered.
Dyshidrotic Eczema Treatments and Other Types of Eczema Treatments
Eczema management is intended to cut the root cause of this skin problem. While it’s unknown what actually causes the defective filaggrin production, treatments are available to control your triggers and symptoms. If you have dyshidrotic eczema, for example, you should take extra measures to protect yourself during allergy seasons. For those with atopic eczema, keep your skin hydrated, lubricated, and moisturized always to prevent other problems, like eczema herpeticum.
About Deanna Wallin and Naples Soap Company (Specific to Eczema)
As someone who has struggled with eczema herself, Deanna Wallin, Naples Soap Company Founder & CEO, understands your needs. She used her knowledge and experience as a nurse and licensed aesthetician to create a solution to this problem. With her persistence and dedication, she was able to develop a collection dedicated to treat eczema and other skin problems, known as The Eczema Kit™.
The Eczema Kit is a nine-item regimen formulated to effectively cleanse, soothe, and treat your affected skin. It contains a bar of The Eczema Soap and two Sea Salt Soaps. They help detoxify your pores, which is great news for those with acne. The Sea Salt Scrub, on the other hand, gently exfoliates your skin, improving blood circulation in your body. Meanwhile, the Body Butter helps lock in moisture, giving your skin the nourishment it needs.
The Face Cream can be used in the morning and at night. For intensive moisturizing while on the go, you can count on the Moisturizer Stick. The Shampoo and Conditioner Bars are ideal for those with sensitive scalps. They also come in a travel case, so you can continue your regimen wherever you may be. This way, you won’t have to worry about eczema flare ups, letting you enjoy your time away from home.
To learn more about the different types of eczema and the wonders of The Eczema Kit, get in touch with us at (239) 325-8263 or (888) 256-8265. You may also send us a message or shop online. We look forward to hearing from you.