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Eczema

Eczema is a skin complaint that is characterised by the occurrence of dry, hot and very itchy patches on the skin. In severe cases blisters containing a clear fluid accompany these symptoms in the irritated areas. Scratching offers immediate relief to eczema but only serves to increase the level of irritation. It also increases the risk of the skin's surface becoming broken, introducing the possibility of infection.

Eczema has a variety of causes. The most common type of eczema, known as atopic eczema, is thought to be hereditary. Atopic eczema occurs when the immune system over-reacts to certain allergens that the skin comes in to contact with. It is the same primary cause of asthma and hay fever, and is why atopic eczema sufferers often have problems with asthma and hay fever too. Other causes of eczema include reactions to chemicals, detergents, nickel and yeast growths. It is also thought that stress and diet are contributory factors.

Although there is no known cure for eczema, there are many types of products available on the market to help control eczema flare-ups. The main two products are emollients and topical steroid creams. Emollients hydrate the skin, locking in moisture and so reducing itchiness. Steroid creams reduce inflammation and should only be used when eczema is out of control.

For more information on eczema please review the resources on our site.

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