Eczema, is an umbrella term, used to describe a group of skin conditions characterized by the skin being irritated and inflamed. The most common form of the disease, atopic dermatitis, is often inherited and has the tendency to cause susceptibility to other allergic conditions including, hay fever and asthma. Eczema affects around 15 million Americans, with those numbers growing each year. This condition tends to develop within the first five years of life, but can carry into adulthood. There can be times of dormancy between childhood and experiencing sudden outbreaks as an adult.
While some develop rashes with crusting and oozing blisters on their hands and feet, others experience dry, scaly patches on the folds of their elbows. This disorder can present itself in a number of ways. The one commonality is, the eczema itch factor. Often times, the itch can begin, prior to the rash developing. However, areas that are exhibiting symptoms already, tend to produce a more intense itch. It is important that you do not scratch. Sometimes, this can be easier said than done!
Here are a few tips to avoid scratching that incessant itch:
- Trim those nails! Keeping the nails short will help prevent you from tearing the flesh when you unconsciously scratch at the itch (for example when sleeping).
- Apply a cold compress/ice pack to the affected area. Never apply ice directly to skin, as this may result in freezer burn!
- Take an Anti-Itch Soak with Vinegar. This will help to optimize your skin’s barrier by leveling it’s pH.
- Moisturize your skin at least 4 times a day with the TrueLipids Ultimate Eczema Kit. While 2 times a day is the typical regimen, I find greater benefits in moisturizing 4 times a day, when you are actively dealing with dry skin, itching and conditions such as eczema.
Why is it so important that you do not scratch at that itch? Scratching, increases the risk for infection! The most common infection is caused by bacteria known as, Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria is colonized on the skin of around 90% of patients with eczema. I repeat, 90%! That is too much of an overwhelming statistic to ignore. When you scratch at skin colonized with this bacteria, you run the risk of tearing your flesh and infecting your bloodstream with a Staph. Infection. These infections are extremely serious and sometimes, even fatal. At the risk of sounding redundant with previous posts, I feel inclined to remind my readers that Staphylococcus aureus is also found inside the nasal passages. In other words, don’t put your fingers in your nose!