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Category Archives: Eczema
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Updated January 06, 2015.
Eczema is a chronic skin disorder characterized by itching rashes, which may be red, scaly, dry, or leathery. There may be skin blisters with oozing and crusting.
Eczema usually occurs for the first time in infants, with rashes typically occuring on the cheeks, elbows or knees. Eczema, although often less of a problem in adulthood, can persist, especially if a person is exposed to allergens or chemical irritants or is under stress.
People with eczema frequently have family members with asthma, hay fever, or eczema.
So far, scientific support for the claim that any remedy can treat eczema is fairly lacking.
Studies suggest that babies at high risk for allergic disorders such as eczema have different types and numbers of bacteria in their digestive tracts than other babies, and that probiotic supplements taken by pregnant women and children may reduce the occurrence eczema in children.
A large, long-term study examined whether the use of a probiotic supplement or a placebo could influence the incidence of eczema in infants. Researchers randomized 1223 pregnant women carrying high-risk babies to use a probiotic supplement or a placebo for 2 to 4 weeks before deliver.
Starting from birth, infants received the same probiotics as their mothers had plus galacto-oligosaccharides (called a "prebiotic" because it has been shown to help multiple strains of beneficial bacteria flourish) for 6 months. After 2 years, the probiotics were significantly more effective than placebo at preventing eczema.
In addition to the use of probiotics to prevent eczema, probiotics have also been explored as a treatment for infants and children who already have eczema. Some studies have found that probiotics alleviate symptoms of eczema only in infants and children who are sensitized to food allergens.
Researchers are testing different strains of bacteria to see if one particular strain is more effective for eczema. One of the most commonly used probiotic strains used in eczema studies is Lactobacillus GG. Other strains used include Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-033 PCC, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Bifidobacteria lactis. The prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides has also been used.
Consult a qualified health professional before using probiotics. Children with immune deficiencies should not take probiotics unless under a practitioner's supervision. For more information about probiotics, read Acidophilus and Other Probiotics.
For example, one double-blind study examined the use of borage oil (500 mg a day) or placebo in 160 adults with moderate eczema. After 24 weeks, the overall effectiveness was not significantly better with borage oil compared with the placebo.
Find out more about GLA.
Due to a lack of supporting research, it's too soon to recommend any alternative medicine for eczema treatment.Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements inpregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on usingsupplements here,but if you're considering the use of alternative medicine,talk with your primary care provider first.Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.
Brouwer ML, Wolt-Plompen SA, Dubois AE, van der Heide S, Jansen DF, Hoijer MA, Kauffman HF, Duiverman EJ. No effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis in infancy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Exp Allergy. 36.7 (2006): 899-906.
Henz BM, Jablonska S, van de Kerkhof PC, Stingl G, Blaszczyk M, Vandervalk PG, Veenhuizen R, Muggli R, Raederstorff D. Double-blind, multicentre analysis of the efficacy of borage oil in patients with atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol. 140.4 (1999): 685-688.
Kalliomaki M, Salminen S, Poussa T, Arvilommi H, Isolauri E. Probiotics and prevention of atopic disease: 4-year follow-up of a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 361.9372 (2003): 1869-1871.
Korting HC, Schafer-Korting M, Klovekorn W, Klovekorn G, Martin C, Laux P. Comparative efficacy of hamamelis distillate and hydrocortisone cream in atopic eczema. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 48.6 (1995): 461-465.
Kukkonen K, Savilahti E, Haahtela T, Juntunen-Backman K, Korpela R, Poussa T, Tuure T, Kuitunen M. Probiotics and prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides in the prevention of allergic diseases: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 119.1 (2007): 192-198.
Moro G, Arslanoglu S, Stahl B, Jelinek J, Wahn U, Boehm G. A mixture of prebiotic oligosaccharides reduces the incidence of atopic dermatitis during the first six months of age. Arch Dis Child. 91.10 (2006): 814-819.
Patzelt-Wenczler R, Ponce-Poschl E. Proof of efficacy of Kamillosan(R) cream in atopic eczema. Eur J Med Res. 5.4 (2000): 171-175.
Saeedi M, Morteza-Semnani K, Ghoreishi MR. The treatment of atopic dermatitis with licorice gel. J Dermatolog Treat. 14.3 (2003): 153-157.
Sistek D, Kelly R, Wickens K, Stanley T, Fitzharris P, Crane J. Is the effect of probiotics on atopic dermatitis confined to food sensitized children? Clin Exp Allergy. 36.5 (2006): 629-633.
Taylor AL, Dunstan JA, Prescott SL. Probiotic supplementation for the first 6 months of life fails to reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis and increases the risk of allergen sensitization in high-risk children: A randomized controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 119.1 (2007): 184-191.
Viljanen M, Savilahti E, Haahtela T, Juntunen-Backman K, Korpela R, Poussa T, Tuure T, Kuitunen M. Probiotics in the treatment of atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome in infants: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Allergy. 60.4 (2005): 494-500.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.
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Natural Treatments/ Remedies for Eczema
Updated December 15, 2014.
It is important for people with eczema and their loved ones to understand how to take care of their skin because using the wrong soap or moisturizer can cause flare-ups that are itchy or painful. On the other hand, using the correct soap or moisturizer can calm down inflamed skin or prevent flare-ups.
Boguniewicz, Mark. "Atopic Dermatitis: Beyond the Itch that Rashes." Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America 25(2005): 333-51.
Chamlin, Sarah, et al. "Ceramide-dominant barrier repair lipids alleviate childhood atopic dermatitis: Changes in barrier function provide a sensitive indicator of disease activity." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 47(2002): 198-208.
Choi, Myeong Jun, and Howard Maibach. "Role of Ceramides in Barrier Function of Healthy and Diseased Skin." American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 6(2005): 215-22.
Coderch L, et al. "Efficacy of stratum corneum lipid supplementation on human skin." Contact Dermatitis. 3(2002):139-46.
Halvarsson, K, and M. Loden. "Increasing quality of life by improving the quality of skin in patients with atopic dermatitis." International Journal of Cosmetic Science 29(2007): 69-83.
Hanifin, Jon, et al. "Guidelines of Care for Atopic Dermatitis." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 50(2004): 391-404.
Simpson, Eric, and Jon Hanifin. "Atopic Dermatitis." The Medical Clinics of North America 90(2006): 149-167.
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Eczema - Skin Care Recommendations - Dermatology
Acute Phase of Eczema. Photo Heather L. Brannon, MD
Updated December 15, 2014.
Eczema is a term that is used often, but can be confusing because it's often used incorrectly. As technology improves, we are learning more about the actual causes of eczema. This has led researchers to divide eczema into two groups, atopic and non-atopic, based on whether certain parts of the immune system are overactive.
While there are some subtle differences between the appearance of these two eczema types, they often look the same depending on how long the rash has been present.
Both rashes can go through the different stages of eczema the longer they persist.
This difference in stages is important because certain treatments work better on different stages of the rash. All three stages respond to antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec and topical steroids. Oral antibiotics like cephalexin and dicloxacillin are useful in all three stages if bacteria have invaded breaks in the skin. Some of the treatments that tend to be useful for each stage are discussed below.
Habif, Thomas. "Eczema and Hand Dermatitis." Clinical Dermatology, 4th Edition. Ed. Thomas Habif, MD. New York: Mosby, 2004. 41-9.
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Eczema - Description, Treatment, Stages - Dermatology
Atopic dermatitis can be persistent. You may need to try various treatments over months or years to control it. And even if you respond to treatment, your signs and symptoms may return (flare).
It's important to recognize the condition early so you can start treatment. If regular moisturizing and other self-care steps don't help, your doctor may suggest the following treatments and drugs:
Light therapy. The simplest form of light therapy (phototherapy) involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of natural sunlight. Other forms use artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and narrow band UVB either alone or with medications.
Though effective, long-term light therapy has harmful effects, including premature skin aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. For these reasons, phototherapy is not used for infants and young children. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of light therapy in your situation.
Treatment for infantile eczema includes:
See your baby's doctor if these measures don't improve the rash or if the rash looks infected. Your baby may need a prescription medication to control the rash or to treat an infection. Your doctor may recommend an oral antihistamine to help lessen the itch and to cause drowsiness, which may be helpful for nighttime itching and discomfort.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin disorders seen in infants and children, affecting 10 to 15 percent of the childhood population. There could be many causes of atopic dermatitis, including allergic or immune mediated components. In adulthood, the disease typically worsens and the skin becomes thicker and drier.
Brought to you by: National Eczema Association
Take care of your skin with the eczema treatment that's right for you.
Your skin becomes dry when it fails to retain water. Good skin care habits including bathing are an important part of managing eczema, use a gentle cleanser and avoid scrubbing with a washcloth or rubbing with a towel; pat instead.
Use of an OTC moisturizer several times every day helps to relieve the irritation and itch to improve skin hydration and protect the skin moisture barrier. Moisturizers are more effective when applied to skin that has been soaked in water and still wet.
Brought to you by: National Eczema Association
Take care of you skin by following these eczema management tips.
Have you ever had a red, itchy rash that does not go away? Chances are, it may be eczema. While mild eczema is not life threatening, it may be extremely uncomfortable with an itch. Symptoms usually vary depending on the individual, and may include dry, scaly, red and itchy skin. If left untreated, constant scratching may lead to bleeding, crusting, or broken skin open to possible infection. It is usually easily diagnosed by doctors by a physical check-up, and most of the time, does not require biopsies or additional testing.
According to the National Eczema Association, the term "eczema" is a general term used to describe dermatitis and can be interchangeably used. Although it comes in many forms, eczema mostly describes a dry skin condition that may be relieved by moisturizers and emollients. This skin condition is not contagious, so you cannot pass it on to other people or catch them from someone else.
A specific cause for eczema has yet to be identified. Many believe that this skin condition is attributed to a combination of factors that include:
Many of these factors are still speculation, with further research needed to confirm a specific cause for eczema. Factors like asthma and hay fever that are often associated with eczema could pose as possible leads. However, not all people who have been diagnosed with eczema have shown these particular medical conditions.
Since eczema can refer to various types of irritated skin, the types can almost be endless. Here are some of the more common types of eczema:
The most common symptom of eczema is red, swollen and itchy skin. The symptoms may vary depending on the specific type of eczema you are dealing with. Blisters and scaly patches are also possible symptoms of eczema. These blisters might also ooze, crust and even bleed. Skin color may also change, and can even become thick and leathery. These outbreaks can appear practically anywhere on the body, and the location of the affected area can be used to classify the particular type of eczema that the person is suffering from.
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for eczema, but there are many ways to relieve symptoms. For example, there are several easy home remedies that can help relieve itch and irritation should a breakout take place.
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Eczema, Causes, Tests, Diagnosis & Treatment