Eczema is a skin condition which can lead to the skin to over react to it's external environment by becoming dry and itchy.
Skin can become inflamed and start to crack, leading to potential infections from where the skin becomes exposed to elements.
Generally, eczema is a long term condition with sufferers either having eczema throughout their whole lives, or suffering from bouts of eczema over longer periods.
Eczema is believed to be a condition passed down from one generation to the next and along with this hereditary nature, changes in the environment, can combine to make eczema more prevalent in society today.
Eczema generally appears in rashes on the skin, which causes irritation, resulting in itching and scratching.
Skin is the largest organ in human body and is composed of layers which provide a barrier to the outside world. There are in essence three layers, with each layer containing a combination of cells, water, fats and oils.
The water provides moisture to the skin cells and acts as an effective barrier against damage. The fats and oils help keep the water within the skin, thereby keeping the skin moisturised.
When the water, fats and oils start to become depleted, as is the case with eczema sufferers, the skin begins to become dry resulting in an increase in irritability. This in turn causes the sufferer to scratch the area of skin under irritation, causing an increase in inflammation in the skin area.
By replacing some of the lost water through the use of creams such as moisturisers, the dryness of the skin can be reduced, leading to a reduction in irritation and inflammation as a consequence.
Moisturisers provide sufferers precious healing time, for their skin to recover and the restoration of some of the skin's protective barrier effects from self healing.
There are many types of eczema, with (atopic eczema) being the most prevalent amongst children, which can linger into adulthood.
Other types of eczema range from discoid eczema to irritant contact dermatitis.
There is no cure for eczema, treatment therefore conforms to the standard practice of moisturising the affected skin and the application of steroids to repair the skin damaged generally from scratching.
Along with moisturising, the application of steroids is a common way of reducing inflammation and aiding the skin repair process.
There are many remedies for eczema, some are licensed as medicines, with others sold outside of any medical verification.
Most of these remedies work on the principles of replenishing the lost moisture in the skin, so as to reduce the skin's tendency of drying out and causing irritation.
Many sufferers find allergic reactions can lead to an increase in their eczema. Typically, these allergens cause irritation, leading to an increase in itching, which is accompanied by scratching.
Many sufferers can find an improvement in their condition, when allergens causing a reaction can be identified and therefore avoided.
For example, if wheat is found to be an allergen causing an eczema reaction, then by avoiding wheat based foods such as bread, pasta, pizza and the like, could lead to an improvement in sufferers.