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Facts on Eczema

Healthcare Inspectorate WalesIn 2005, it was estimated that approx 5.8m adults and children were affected by this skin condition, a 42% increase in the condition over a 5 year period. A potential explanation for this incredible increase is thought to be the increased frequency of bathing and use of soap and detergents. In 2005, GPs issued over 13m prescriptions to treat the condition.

Many sufferers find their eczema improves with exposure to sunlight, whilst some find their condition gets worse. Whatever your experience your skin will always need protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Eczema – The Symptoms

The symptoms of eczema vary depending on the type and severity. Symptoms of atopic eczema can include:

  • red, inflamed skin
  • dry, cracked skin
  • itchy skin
  • small water blisters on the skin, particularly
  • The skin may become wet and weepy if  infected
  • The skin may thicken in places that are scratched frequently

Scratching the affected area damages the skin, causing it to bleed which can lead to infection.

Eczema – The Causes

You can’t catch eczema. It doesn’t spread from one person to another. The exact cause of atopic eczema isn’t fully understood at present. However, you can have a genetic, or inherited, tendency to develop the condition. Atopy means a family tendency to develop a variety of allergic conditions, including asthma, hay fever and eczema.ezcema skin condition You may notice certain environmental or personal factors that set off eczema including:

  • soap, shampoo, detergents and other chemicals
  • pollen, house-dust mites or moulds
  • If you are generally unwell and run down
  • the menstrual cycle and pregnancy can make eczema worse
  • stress
  • high or low temperature or humidity – this leads to seasonal variation in eczema severity but sweating can also make eczema worse
  • rough fibres, such as wool and other types of clothing

Eczema – Treatments

Emollients Moisturisers which soothe and add water to (hydrate) the skin. They reduce dryness and often the frequency of flare-ups.

Mild steroid creams Mild steroids, such as hydrocortisone can calm bouts of eczema by suppressing your body’s inflammatory response. You should continue to use emollients at the same time as steroid creams.

Prescription medicines If emollients and mild steroids don’t treat your condition, there are a range of other treatment options that your doctor can prescribe including steroid creams and tablets. Antibiotics, such as flucloxacillin or erythromycin, will be prescribed if your skin becomes infected.

Ultraviolet light treatment – Phototherapy For many people with eczema, ultraviolet light treatment can make a huge difference in their condition. Phototherapy can:

  • Significantly improve, and even clear many skin conditions. A study conducted in Germany investigated the effects of phototherapy on severe eczema. The study found more than 80% of the patients with eczema who were treated with phototherapy showed significant improvement, and in some cases, complete clearance within three weeks.
  • Help prevent bacterial infections, which are common in the skin of patients with eczema
  • Reduce the strength of steroid creams required, and in some cases, eliminate the need for them.

If you suffer from Eczema then contact Clear Skin today on 02920 795775