A few years ago, I sat on my couch making fun of Kim Kardashian during an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians as she cried over a skin rash that was ruining her life. It was the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to her and she just didn’t know if she could go through life anymore. It was really great, entertaining television that taught us all the important life lesson that eczema is real, and it can affect anyone, including talentless celebrities.
In all seriousness, eczema can be a difficult and painful skin condition to deal with. There are several different forms of eczema, but they are treatable. The term eczema refers general inflammation of the skin that is usually red and itchy. It can be caused from contact with a certain substance, fluid buildup, or simply genetics. Many people may mistake their eczema for an allergic reaction, but there are some differences between the two. Although both can leave the skin red, itchy, swollen, flaky, and sore, eczema rashes come and go and can also lead to blisters and cracked skin. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, but it most often occurs on the inside of the elbows, face, behind the ears, in the backs of knees, and on hands and feet.
The only way to know for sure if you have eczema is to have it diagnosed by a doctor. If you do discover that you have eczema, there are ways to deal with it so you can live your day-to-day life without major disruption. First, you should know the triggers that cause your skin to flare up. Again, there are many different causes so take note of when your eczema occurs. Common triggers include fragrances from soaps or cosmetics, sweat, certain foods, changes in temperature, or allergens like dust mites or pet dander. Avoid your triggers when you can, and use a moisturizer daily to help keep your eczema under control. Use a gentle lotion that is unscented to keep your skin soft and avoid flare-ups.
If you do have a flare-up, it is important not to scratch the irritated area. Scratching can crack and damage the skin and allow bacteria to enter, causing an infection. Use a cold compress or ointment to help ease the itching. If your child has eczema, consider making them wear special cotton gloves at night that will keep them from touching their eczema patches. Also, avoid taking hot showers and baths, as they are common causes of flare-ups. Stick to room temperature water and avoid scrubbing the skin too much while bathing.
Eczema can almost always be managed in some way or another. However, everyone’s eczema is different, so it is important to understand your skin and what it needs. Consult your doctor and come up with a plan to treat your eczema that is right for you and your lifestyle. Also, if you need moral support to get you through, just remember that if Kim Kardashian can get through this, you sure can too.