If you have skin condition, you may feel extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed.
People often worry that eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is contagious and has ability to spread from one person to another, when shaking hands or using one cup.
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In reality, eczema develops as a result of genetic features, which trigger immune response to detergents, pet dander, pollen and certain foods. It's even possible that your skin becomes itchy and reddish after exposure to heat or cold temperature, hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycle.
Increased sensitivity to certain substances usually runs in families. So, if your mother or sister suffers from atopic dermatitis, you have high risks of getting the same problem.
Eczema makes the skin dramatically dry, scaly and itchy, with red to brown spots on its surface. Rash usually appears on the neck and face, but can also occur on the hands, elbows, feet and knees. Discomfort may be really unbearable, so that you may wake up at night and find it difficult to fall asleep.
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In infants, itchy patches often develop on the scalp and cheeks.
Sometimes dermatitis starts with fluid-filled bubbles, which burst and form lesions.
Unfortunately there is no cure for eczema. This annoying disorder flares from time to time and then runs into the dormant stage.
However it's completely possible to relieve the symptoms and decrease frequency of flare-ups.
Moisturize your skin with creams, sprays, oils and try to avoid rapid changes of the environmental temperature, as well as wearing rough, tight-fitting clothes.
Recognize your triggers and stay off them. It's worth buying only mild non-alkaline soaps without any perfumes and additives.
Some people feel better after taking oral over-the-counter anti-allergy drugs like cetirizine or fexofenadine. Nonprescription corticoid cream that contains 1% cortisone may alleviate itching and improve inflammation.
Another good option is topical medicines, which contain calcineurin inhibitors. Tacrolimus and pimecrolimus were supposed to increase risks for cancer, but specialists from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology say that studies don't prove these assumption. So, it may be more benefits than harm for those, who apply these medications onto the skin.
The problem is also that eczema can make it easier for infection to invade your body. In this situation antibiotics or antifungal medicines may be needed to fight off complications.
The newer and the most powerful treatment, known for today, is monoclonal antibody called dupilumab. This immunotherapy is used only in severe cases, when people don't respond to other treatments.
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For those, whose eczema doesn’t improves after using topical medicines, light therapy may be the best option. But be aware that exposing skin for a long time to high amount of ultraviolet radiation may contribute to early skin aging and can raise risks for skin cancer.
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